Of Ramesh, Suresh and advertising characters

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The quirky ‘Ramesh, Suresh’ characters are back not just on the TV screens but also through an YouTube channel. In an interesting use of the channel [another recent one being Airtel] we have a movie called, ‘The Date Fillum‘ in episodic form – the story can be taken forward by clicking on one of the two options at the end of every video.

The first video [The Adventure Begins Here] has over 300,000 views as of date – a pretty healthy number. The other videos may no thane barn-burning numbers yet but overall the series, thanks to its episodic form seems to have some traction [as they say in conference rooms].  There is an element of predictability in the format [where you know that the protagonist is likely to have temporary amnesia in a situation] but the twist or the unexpectedness of what follows keeps the viewer going. Some of the videos may be just a tad dragging but overall a great initiative to go beyond the 30-second TVCs.

As an aside, I was thinking of the longevity of  advertising characters created for a campaign [as against created for a brand]. The list of American Advertising Characters [created mainly for the brand not just a campaign], includes some which have lasted for decades. In contrast, characters created for a campaign seem to last a few years. The Mac vs. PC campaign ran from 2006 to 2009 – it was mighty effective earning the Grand Effie in 2007. But it was more of a tactical move from Apple to create dissonance among PC users. Back home, the Asian Paints ‘brothers’ characters have been on air for a bit now – again to promote the guide book. Nestle ran the ‘neighbors’ campaign in the UK for a bit [adapted through the Deepika-Purab ads here]. I am sure there are more such ‘campaign characters’ which I have missed out. Many years ago, Trikaya Advertising created the character of a coolie for Aristocrat Luggage. An actor, Harish Patel was cast as the coolie. But within months the campaign had to be re-thought because the actor had put on so much weight that he was unrecognizable. Issues like this crop up when it comes to campaign characters. Who knows Ramesh-Suresh may have to be re-cast in a few years from now.

Any other good use of advertising characters for a campaign? Do comment in.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi!

    Love the article. A certain character that came to my mind was the old lady in the 'Himalaya Ayurvedic Concepts' ads. I had then very strongly felt that the use of an evolved well informed elderly lady, a lady who along with 'old wisdom' also was updated and progressive was a good strategy used by the brand to educate/inform consumers. Then i think the advertising stopped all together. Not sure, i may b wrong.

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