Does PhonePe’s latest ad pack the perfect punch?

We asked experts on their take on the spot, which has crossed a whopping 28 million views on YouTube

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Published: Aug 21, 2020 8:28 AM  | 3 min read

Despite a stream of ads being released after the March-May lull led by the pandemic, one ad that has managed to cut through the clutter is digital payments platform-PhonePe’s latest ad starring Aamir Khan. The spot has crossed a whopping 28 million views on YouTube (until the time of filing this story). We ask industry experts whether the spot manages to pack the perfect punch?

The film pays an ode to the spirit of India, that hasn’t skipped a beat, even in these unprecedented times. It has been conceptualised and created by Leo Burnett India. The brand has also roped in Alia Bhatt who has joined Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador. 

Anupama Ramaswamy, NCD, Dentsu Impact praises the piece of work for its direction, small nuances like the smile on the mask and the voiceover. “Overall, the idea of the undying spirit of this country has been captured very well. While it’s not something that we haven’t seen before, I would give more points to the director than the writing. The framing of the smaller shops the nuances of the smile on the mask all adds to the overall feel-good impact of the film. The voice obviously works best. The whole honesty with which the voice-over is delivered is what makes the long duration not seem boring,” she remarks. 

Sanjay Mehta, joint chief executive officer, Mirum India too feels that the ad has not only come out well but also does a good job for the brand, overall owing to the strategic brand integration in the storyline. “The ad is paced well, has a good voice over and a very identifiable storyboard. The brand and the service is well integrated into the storyline without being too much in your face. And at the end of it, the brand promise and the integration of the service in the new normal world comes out quite well,” he remarks. 

The campaign reflects on how India has persevered through the unexpected pandemic and even in these tough times, how Indians have found ways to cope successfully and how PhonePe is proud to have contributed in helping India forge forward with its array of digital payment services. It features one master film and 5 microfilms and has been released on digital platforms.

Jagdish Acharya, Founder-Creative Head, Cut The Crap believes that the ad is well made and anthemic in vibe which is a plus point. However, Acharya adds, “It’s a soft motivator for people struggling to get on with their lives. However, it is a bit too long and monotonous. By the end, it creates a heavy atmosphere thereby  undermining its own objective.”

Interestingly, PhonePe had earmarked Rs 800 crore for marketing in this calendar year. This will include spends on a mix of ATL, BTL, TV, Digital marketing and other advertising mediums.

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