I was quite intrigued to see the new ads for eBay India on TV. They stood out from the clutter and actually made me stop my magazine reading-web surfing-channel surfing-routine. Yes, the format is different and helps break clutter. But is ‘let’s do a spoof of the good old Doordarshan days’ an idea by itself? I think not.
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, India.
The rest of the ads in the series are here. The trick in such formats – a ‘send up’, a parody- is that the self-deprecating manner must come through clear & loud. And it must be er… funny? I don’t know if you recall, in the good old days when MTV India used to play only English music, they used to run a lot of their firang promos. One of the promos was a parody of 1950’s advertising, done in black & white. It shows a couple in a doctor’s chamber complaining of some ailment. And the doctor recommends MTV – and brings forth a Horlicks shaped bottle with an MTV label. All done in mock seriousness and slightly over the top. That kind of humour worked in some of the ads for Aaj Tak where they spoofed old Hindi films. The delivery and the execution doesn’t have that biting humour.
The choice of ‘actors’ – Dr. Narottam Puri and Komal G B Singh – maybe driven by the fact that India’s No.1 e-Commerce hub is ‘the Delhi’. They are unlikely to be recognized South of the Vindhyas, especially among the youth. In an interesting census done by eBay India, Delhi came up trumps. And their Top 5 purchases: Loose Gemstones-Diamond, USB Drives, British Indian Coins, Indian Stamps and Fashion-Wrist Watches for Women.
The ads communicate the message – shopping on eBay gives you discounts, is safe and offers variety. But are they engaging, funny and convert the fence sitters into shoppers? Do comment.