TV Ads: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Watching a cricket match also means watching a lot of commercials. Some are good, most are okay and a few are downright stupid / offensive / bad.

Axis bank financial advisory services: With a lawyer reading out a will that leaves different bills to be paid by different people, this one ranges between okay and wtf.

Bheja fry? 7-Up try! This one with the chap in a commuter train falls into the okay category just because it’s a usual 7-Up ad. It’s fun and all, but blah.

For some reason, all ads for bikes and insurance seem to be really bad.

The Vodafone Magic Box ad with the old man in the commuter train station is brilliant. Unfortunately, I also had the misfortune of watching it in Tamil, where it failed miserably. The setting, the people, the music – everything works spectacularly if it’s Mumbai. Put it anywhere else in India and it is a horrible mistake.

The Chlor-Mint ad where a groom plays kabaddi with his bride on their wedding night is pathetic, especially considering that their earlier ads were pretty good.

The two Crabtree ads where the groom turns on and off the bride’s tears and the executive hits the mute button on the restaurant musicians: I liked both of them, though some people might find them tasteless.

I loved the Motorola ad where the son turns on the music to drown out his dad’s scolding. I’ve also heard it being decried as “promoting disrespect to elders.” Whatever lets you sleep at night, I say.

Airtel’s ads are usually very good. However, their latest Shah Rukh starrer “garv se bolo hello” is so sugary it’s dangerous for diabetics.

The mud-in-the-face Karizma ad leaves you with, well, a taste of mud in your mouth.

The HSBC ads with the mom who mends her daughter’s fashionably ripped jeans and the little boy whose new pet is the caterpillar that scared his mom – both of them are okay, but won’t convert me.

MCX has a weird ad with a baby and a male voice in the background. Why would anyone imagine this would help sell their product? Maybe it’s aimed at new dads, telling them, “Now that you’ve got the really tough thing out of the way, maybe it’s time you started planning how you’re going to finance it.” If that’s the thinking, the ad could use a little bit of fleshing out.

The Apache RTR 160 ad calims it’s about the ride, but fails to tell us why and how. If you pay a lot of attention, you can see the awards the bike has won being shown in easy-to-miss text at the bottom of the ad. Maybe the admakers can take a cue from the bike.

In direct contrast, the Wagon-R ad shows clearly what it’s celebrating – half a million cars on the road. The ad doesn’t tell you anything else though. But it still serves the purpose, given Maruti’s strong brand and the high level of awareness about it.

The Zen Estilo test drive ads are good old-fashioned comic sketches. The ads do have a very 80s feel to them though, but that’s just me.

The old man dancing in Hawaii in the Bharti Axa life insurance ad is so cliched it’s disgusting.

What’s it with the stupid ads for Thums Up? Akshay Kumar plays macho stupido, trying to balance a soft drink bottle on a narrow railing, and when it falls off, goes after it on a crazy chase, ending up in hospital with broken bones and a safe Thums Up bottle. What irks me is that it’s a fine drink almost killed by a series of stupid ads.

Hero Honda Passion Plus – stupid bike ad. Enough said.

Read Part 2 of TV ad reviews here

7 Replies to “TV Ads: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

  1. Nice take on the ads but I would say Bajaj’s bike ads have always been an exception according to me.
    They are always about the bike, no stupid celebrity, award claims etc.
    Remember Humara Bajaj, still gives a nice ring when I catch it on youtube.

  2. @Vijay: We were without a TV for the first 18 months. I can’t really say I missed a lot 🙂

    @Lakshmipathy Bhat: I actually liked the ad! Maybe it’s because it fixes SRK firmly in the (slightly) older guy segment 🙂

    @Sid: Yup – agree on the Hamara Bajaj bit. My quarrel with most (dare I say all?) two-wheeler ads is that they show driving that, if imitated, is dangerous for the rider and for others. Can we not find a way to advertise two wheelers in a more realistic way?

  3. the pepsi, youngistan ad is an idea of a brainless person. the ad not only gives a wrong message to the youngsters, but also says that it is koool enough to do things by fooling the elders.

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