Tata Sky Acting Adda: celebrity advertising done right

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I missed adding the new Tata Sky ads for its ‘Acting Adda‘ a channel dedicated to teaching acting in my latest weekly round up of creative ideas. These ads are good examples of celebrity advertising done right. What works?

– the use of Amitabh Bachchan as a character and not as a mere spokesperson. There are many ads which simply get him to speak a few lines on camera and point to the product. The products advertised range from cement to air-conditioners and viewers will be hard pressed to differentiate one from the other. Such ads do little more than make the brand managers happy with the thought that they have managed to get Amitabh Bachchan as a spokesperson.
– a story line which is anchored in the product. In these set of ads, the product is not incidental and added as an after thought but central to the idea
– the acting skills of Amitabh Bachchan. Need we say more?

Agency: Ogilvy

Working with celebrities has several constraints. Very often agencies get only a day or even a few hours to shoot with the celebrity. It could be mandated that the shooting must happen in a set or at location which the celebrity happens to be free in. So the script has to play out accordingly and ‘film opens on the celebrity doing a yoga pose in a snow capped mountain’ will have production challenges. Marketers will also be tempted to use the celebrity as a spokesperson, a lazy option, as it carries the perception of a ‘recommendation’. It could also lead to mismatch between the equity of the celebrity and the advertised product. Despite all this, the Tata Sky ads have managed to tick everything that is right with celebrity advertising.

As an aside, I am a Tata Sky subscriber and have not watched these ads on TV. I am a light TV viewer and that could be the reason. But it is interesting to get to know of new TV ads not through TV, but through social media and YouTube.

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