Does the Ponds’ TVC #SeeWhatHappens stand out in the face wash category?

According to industry experts, the ad that has been conceptualised by Ogilvy India breaks the mould, has an inspiring story and carries brand recall value but the execution could have been tad better

by Noel Dsouza
Published - Jun 21, 2019 8:45 AM Updated: Jun 21, 2019 8:45 AM
Ponds TVC

HUL’s new TVC conceptualised by Ogilvy India for Ponds’ campaign asks Indian women to overcome their inner hesitations and #SeeWhatHappens. 

The TVC shows two female wrestlers practising in a wrestling ring and one of them is seen concealing a bruise. The girl’s mother is under the impression that her daughter got late to reach home as she was at the library. This goes on for days until one day the girl comes out clean to her mother that she was training to be a boxer. The situation eases when the mother pulls her daughter’s leg, asking if the other girl’s face was worse than hers. The ad film ends with the tagline, ‘Clear up what needs to be cleared up and #SeeWhatHappens’. 

Ad films have gone beyond showcasing the technicality and services their product provides. They have become an influential medium and are putting forth powerful messages about stereotypes and gender inequality.

We, at exchange4media, asked industry experts about what they thought about the Ponds ad film.

For Jagdeep Kapoor, CMD, Samsika Marketing Consultants, the ad is effective and clear. “A good, well thought out, effective ad, both in tangible and intangible terms. It brings out everything that is clear and needs to be cleared. Whether it is thoughts, relationships, career or your face and to clear all that there is Ponds.” 

Speaking about the brand’s recall value, Anjali Malthankar, National Strategy Director, Tonic Worldwide says, “The ad will have a good recall for sure as it breaks the codes of the face wash category and stands out with an inspiring story.” 

Talking about the effectiveness and if the message was impactful enough to drive home the point to the consumer, Malthankar said: “I certainly feel that the ad is impactful from a brand viewpoint. It remains to be seen if it is effective in pushing the product. The youth will relate to it and find it sharable. I like the fact that the brand does not push the face wash functional story too far. However, because the protagonist also uses compact, in the beginning, it can be a bit confusing as to which product the ad is for.” 

Kishore Karumbaiah, CCO & Partner, Langoor, states that over the years Ponds, as a brand, has been known to do films with a good amount of warmth and love in them. “They had a particular style going for them in terms of look and feel, which meant a good brand connect in the first 5 to 10 seconds of watching the film. Unfortunately, not in this case. Maybe the brief here was to break away from the old format and do something new. So looks like brand recall was not a priority here, it was more to do with a fresh look.”

For Karumbaiah, the script was also good. “The acting could have been a lot more real (less filmy) to make the message more impactful. The story needed the mother to keep a straight face, but excessive expressions on the Mother's face made it seem like she knew what the daughter was up to from the very first instance. Don't know if that was the intention. The casting and direction is the culprit if the message is less impactful,” said Karumbaiah. 

Ankit Nalotia, Founder, Mo Mantra says the story neatly establishes Ponds among that audience who feel they're second to none. “The brand is trying to make a shift from soft and beauty to tough and real,” said Nalotia. 

Today, one does not have to boast about its name throughout the ad. Making a small but effective presence counts more and yes, it does leave a very strong brand recall. Nalotia states: “Brands across the spectrum have understood this and are in fact ready to settle for a cameo in own films if that's the scope the story leaves them with. The film does leave an impressive message, ‘do not hold back, take the leap and #SeeWhatHappens’.”
For N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA, the ponds ad stands out in the segment. “It definitely makes an emotional connect with the TG and will be very relatable to this segment and have high recall and impact. Single mother, unconventional daughter, the need to adhere to expectations all came out very well in the ad. While the ad is well conceptualised, it could have had slightly better execution, as some parts of it could have been edited better,” Chandramouli stated.  

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