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That 60's feel - new trend to break ad clutter?

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That 60's feel - new trend to break ad clutter?

Creative minds across agencies constantly face the challenge of presenting a commercial that not only conveys the ad message but also attracts viewers' attention and breaks ad clutter. If the Aaj Tak, Surf and the more recent Close up and Kit Kat ads do differentiate themselves, one might think that the underlying 60's feel in all these ads is working. Definitely seen more than usual, is the nostalgic touch the new trend for creatives?

Whichever ad one might pick, beginning from 'Polo, The mint with a hole' or 'Aaj Tak', the music and the black and white feel of the ad has helped it to be a strong differentiator. 'Beta, sweater pehno' or 'Aye Babu' indicated that the ads helped generated good brand recall as well. What factors works in favour of such creatives?

Prasoon Joshi, Executive Vice President and National Creative Director, McCann Erickson, replies, "It gives it a subtle and distinct touch. Anything that stands distinct attracts people attention and that adds value to the ad. People remember it because they enjoy it."

R Balakrishnan, Executive Creative Director, Lowe remarks, "It makes it funny and that strikes a chord with the viewer. It gives scope for the creative directors to play with the soundtrack and the feel. With these components an idea can be presented better and convey the ad message efficiently."

More on what the nostalgic advantage is all about, says Pushpinder Singh, Creative Director, O&M, "Its not what you can call nostalgic. It is rather old treated in a spoofy and modern flavour - retrocool. Brands like Checkers and Surf have used the idea and it has managed impact."

Now with Close-up and Kit Kat also coming up with similar creatives, the visibility of this tactic has increased. Does this lead to some kind of a trend? "It's definitely not a trend," states Joshi, "There really cannot be a trend in advertising. Creative minds have to keep reinventing themes so that they differentiate themselves in the ad crowd that is seen today."

"It is a fad," Balakrishnan expresses, "At least it would appear like that. More and more ads are employing it so one might think that it is a season. But a season always passes away. So will this one. And it would make sense to give it a rest now. As the uniqueness of the idea dilutes, its effectiveness will also come down similarly."

Singh also agrees, "It does attract the audience attention but it's not a formulae. With every successive ad, it will not do what it did for the pioneers. But the market is a great evaluator in that sense. Creative directors everywhere are very conscious that they have to be more innovative and do new things. Any thing which is over used will die, so that situation won't arise in this case definitely."

However, the consumer has a choice of his own and reinstating that Joshi adds, "Consumer fatigue factor is much lesser that the industry. Our point of view then ceases to matter. Why should something that could have lived longer be taken off because we are tired of it. It is important to view things in that manner as well."

If the industry minds are anything to go by than though the 60's funda is a good differentiator, for some time it is enough. The tactic should be given a rest till people forget about it and then take them by surprise again.


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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.