In high spirits: Does the latest star-studded ad work for Royal Stag?

The ad starring Ranveer Singh and a host of top cricketers is aligned to the brand’s #Makeitlarge proposition

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Published: Oct 28, 2020 8:43 AM  | 3 min read

French spirits company Pernod Richard-owned brand Royal Stag is here with its latest IPL ad starring brand ambassador Ranveer Singh and its dream team of star cricketers like Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah, among others. 

The overall theme is energetic, perky and shouts out the message - “It's your life, make it large”. The campaign and the association with global stars defines the larger than life attitude by bringing forth individuals who aspire to make it large in every aspect of their lives and communicates the brand’s ideology in a fast-paced way. While a spate of brands in the category seem to be having a free run on over-the-top (OTT) video streaming platforms in terms of advertising, we ask industry observers whether this one does the job in a cluttered and fragmented market such as packaged water.

Dr. Sandeep Goyal, Brand Expert and Chief Mentor, IIHB doesn't see much brand messaging in the ad. Goyal observed that it just throws in a lot of celebrities with no real role, in fact fleeting split second screen presence. “The narrative also is not very lucid. But then I have always been a believer that liquor ads don’t need to have any logic. They exist just to make the brand visible. And sportsmen in liquor ads set a bad example... Rohit Sharma or Jasprit Bumrah have no reason to be in the ad, except the endorsement fees. To me it is a piece of creative I neither fully comprehend nor empathise with,” he remarked.

In the past too, the brand has featured world class cricketers like South Africa’s Faf du Plessis, England’s Ben Stokes, India’s KL Rahul, West Indies’ Andre Russel, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, Australia’s Mitchell Starc and Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews in its ad.

Ajit Devraj, Managing Partner, dentsu Impact feels that the spot seems quite inadequate and in a cluttered and fragmented market such as packaged water. “At some point you will need to say why your product i.e. packaged water is good or the health benefits of that. It’s like there is nothing great about the product so they have stuck to their old formula of using celebrities and thrown in the "make it large" line. Clear product differentiators and quality aspect should come out, which is not the case in this commercial,” Devraj noted. He opined that the product in the end could have been anything that relates to high performance - somehow the product connect was totally missing and just having celebrities for eyeballs comes off as a poor marketing gimmick.

The company has been betting big on cricket and had inked a five-year endorsement deal with the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2018.

Imran Khan of Infectious Advertising feels that the ad offers the perfect motivational juice people need right now. “Make it large - has been an inspiring force for people of all ages. The idea of pushing beyond the ordinary and never settling for 'small', has urged people to reach for greater possibilities and achieve large feats. And I believe it's even more relevant in today's scenario. People need to look beyond the grey clouds of uncertainty. And that's exactly what their latest commercial does - it reminds us of the infinite possibilities still waiting to be claimed, and helps us snap out of the lockdown blues. Plus, the faces of our favourite stars from cinema and sports really drives the message home,” Khan remarked.

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