Thums Up’s Olympics spot #PalatDe has the power to move the Bharat audience

Creative writing and Ravi Kishan’s voice-over give it a charming authenticity, industry opines

e4m by Mansi Sharma
Updated: Jul 12, 2021 12:30 PM
thumbs up

The first-ever Indian origin beverage brand to partner with Olympics at a global level -- interestingly in the 100th year of India’s participation at the sporting extravaganza -- Thumbs Up recently launched a beautiful campaign to celebrate and salute Indian athletes who overcame tremendous odds to win medals for India. Titled ‘Toofan wahi jo sab palat de’, the campaign is created by Ogilvy India and is drawing widespread praises from its industry counterparts for being thoughtful, creative and the usage of an earthy narrative.

Samsika Marketing Consultants MD Jagdeep Kapoor says, “I will give a big thumbs up to the campaign for its ingenuity. The whole aspect of wanting to change how the world looks at India is a powerful theme. Added to it, the way they have shown how it is not necessary to play in the teams of 11 to gain success; each sportsperson, individually, is a part of team India, traversing the boundaries of what is thought of as a popular sport, is interesting. Also, it fits so well with the intrinsic brand message of ‘aaj kuch toofani karte hain’.”

He adds that the visual impact of the ad is enchanting and the usage of Ravi Kishan’s earthy voice makes it a well-crafted piece.

Grapes Digital National Business Head Rajeesh Rajagopalan quips, “The campaign is interesting. It is a good evolution from ‘toofani’ to real heroes for the brand. Thumbs Up has been associated with sports events in the past also, so it is a natural progression. Olympics generate huge interest and buzz amongst the audience in the country. The audience will resonate with the brand and the film. The concept of ‘palat de’ is interesting and the execution is bang on. I personally love the mnemonic of the inverted bottle that also denotes thumbs down on social media platforms. I am sure the brand team has some social media activities on the inverted bottle mnemonic.”

Logicserve Digital SVP - Creative, Social, PR, Marcom Manesh Swamy, adds, “Once in four years, the other sportstars (apart from cricketers) of the country get some attention from brands. So yes, it’s good to see some deserving athletes in the ad. This piece looks like an experiment to ride on the Olympics trend. Normally, the brand mostly goes with Bollywood superstars, so it’s refreshing to see them trying to woo the ‘Bharat’ audience. The regional Hindi touch will help amplify the message.”

Almond Branding Founder Director Shashwat Das expands, “It’s a welcome change to see a campaign that celebrates the achievements of real heroes who struggled their way up to win laurels as compared to portraying Bollywood stars. That makes the campaign more relatable and approachable. The messaging is bang on – turn the conversation upside down on the face of all naysayers. This goes much beyond an Olympics campaign. It’s about turning things around against any challenge that we face in our day-to-day life. That brings in the mass appeal to the communication. I would have preferred a better voice-over though.”

The Shutter Cast Founder Amol Roy feels that the advertisement is one of the most iconic, patriotic and pride infusing pieces created by Ogilvy. “It’s a little different from what we usually see on the television or on social media. The narration, writing and voice over by Kavi Kishan is perfectly fit with the concept, it gives more weightage to the campaign. Overall, the concept has the capacity to resonate with the TG because of its strong message.”

But he thinks that using sportspersons to promote fizzy drinks is slightly offbeat. “The only thing which is offbeat and that is the fizzy drinks. Usually, sportspeople avoid such fizzy drinks because it is unhealthy for their fitness.”

Swamy agrees, “That was my discomfort as well. A lot of sports athletes are being more vocal about not endorsing fizzy beverages. Till the time they started gulping the drink, the film was going on a high for me.”

However, he is positive that the spot might generate some good conversations on social media.

BC Web Wise Sr. Creative Director Saurabh Tiwari adds, “#PalatDe by ThumsUp is strikingly similar to Anurag Kashyap's 2017 movie Mukkabaaz. The premise, the writing, the narration, even the voiceover by Ravi Kishan - every bit of this content seems inspired by the movie and fails to offer anything fresh. Moreover, after the recent Ronaldo and Coke moment, this film may not cut much ice with the audience. However, Olympics mein India ki pehchaan #PalatDe is a very strong message.”

While most of the people loved the concept and the campaign, industry veteran and Nihilent Ltd Global CCO KV Sridhar (Pops) feel that the spot fails to do justice to the core brand DNA of Thums Up. “I liked the copywriting and the use of athletes in the narrative. But the core brand DNA, which is thrill, excitement, and the adrenaline rush is missing. Thums Up is not a brand that would ask you to think intellectually but would prompt you to do ‘toofani’ things. Just using the word ‘toofani’ in the ad fails to justify what it literally stood for the brand for several years. I think the brand will learn this lesson.”

However, Das concludes, “While fizzy drinks are likely to face the brunt after the Ronaldo saga, I believe the TG of Thums Up doesn’t care much about health. It’s the unique taste of Thums Up that keeps its fans loyal and a campaign as upbeat and energetic as this, it's definitely going to make its mark.”

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