It’s natural that businesses love the festive season – be it in India or elsewhere. Every region has a season where consumer spends increase – be it Christmas or the Chinese New Year. In India, Diwali ads aim to capitalise on the consumer sentiment of celebrations, auspiciousness and traditions. Christmas-themed advertising is usually anchored on shopping, gifting, relationships and travel. Such ads have a strong dose of ‘do-good’ factor in them and mostly trigger positive sentiment.
Diwali, on the other had is not just about shopping for new clothes – it is seen as a traditional festival suitable for new beginnings as it has associations of Hindu religion and auspiciousness. People shop for clothes, jewellery, gadgets, sweets and more. So many category brands sees it as a great opportunity to get into the consideration set of consumers. My weekly compilation of clutter-breaking ads includes these from the recent past, many of which are based on Diwali.
In Hindi, ‘Sabhyata’ can be translated as culture. That name for an ethnic wear brand opens up possibilities for creative ideas that cue positive aspects of a tradition. It’s another matter that there’s nothing differentiated about the product from a feature perspective and any affinity towards the brand has to be built by the story in advertising. A new Diwali-themed ad for the brand does a great job thanks to an interesting twist in the plot and some superb acting all around.
Aside from the acting what worked for me was the empathy the central plot generates across gender and age groups in the corporate world. Moreover, the brand stayed away from preachy messages and stuck to creating a feel-good factor which is so important for festival ads.
Production House: P Se Picture
HP: Diwali ad 2022
Following up on their last year’s Diwali ad, HP creates another ad anchored on ‘do good for the less privileged’. In such plot lines, there’s a chance that the product is sidelined or plays an incidental role. But here, the HP printers are central to the ‘solution’. While the story arc can be predicted it still makes for some compelling viewing.
Muthoot: put gold to use
Personification of an object or even a concept (as with allergy in an ad for Flonase nasal spray) is a creative route which can be memorable. In this ad for Muthoot Finance, gold is personified as a person who can be ‘put to use’ (i.e. get a loan) instead of it being idle at home. The casting of the right actors in Malayalam and other South Indian languages adds to the humour and drives home the point.
Reliance Digital: Diwali ad 2022
Another feel-good Diwali which is carried on the strengths of the acting and emotions we associate with the festival. The reason why the protagonists take the trouble of learning English can be guessed and the role of the brand in enabling it is not central to the plot. Yet, I found the ad to be touching and ticking the right boxes for a festival ad.
WhatsApp: 3D billboard
Outdoor is no longer just a vinyl skin pasted on to a panel. Thanks to technology we’ve seen some show-stopping 3D billboards of late. While many aim to wow the viewer through eye-popping graphics, a new billboard for WhatsApp integrates the proposition of secure messaging wonderfully, with finesse.
Future Generali Health Insurance: ‘every day’ health insurance
‘Does it pass the toothbrush test?’ is a question asked of apps, questioning if it provides a reason to be used at least twice a day. Even if we don’t take it literally, the intent is to see regular usage of an app. In that context, it is natural that a health insurance app will be used occasionally – when the need arises. Even at the time of renewal of a policy it can be done through website or other means and does not require a native app to do so. A new initiative from Future Generali attempts to get users to check their app more often by providing content that can be ‘useful’ everyday.
Agency: Mullen Lintas
Milkbasket: short film series
This series of short films, released in September have a funny take on reasons to order groceries from Milkbasket. I liked how everyday situations such as anxiety over a child’s exam preparations or change of plans are woven into functionalities of the app.
CEAT: stars on the road
‘Because there are idiots out there‘ has been a consistent position of CEAT tyres cueing that it’s the vehicle drivers who need to take precautions when on the roads. As drivers we often wonder about the cocky attitude of those who violate traffic rules of don’t follow basic etiquette. The ‘idiots out there’ are portrayed as those with rock star vibes in this funny spot which drives home the point.
TrueCaller: red alert
The buildup and the cinematic effect in this ad dramatises a simple feature on the Truecaller app – when known fraudsters and spammers call, the screen has a red background.
Agency: The Womb
Tourism Australia: G’day
I thought there is a lot to learn for’ country as brands’ in this marketing effort from Tourism Australia. Firstly, it’s a story told through a brand ambassador Ruby, a lovable animated kangaroo and its interactions with Louie, a toy unicorn. ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia‘ is a platform which aims to present the country as a unique experience. While a handful of countries can claim to be so, the brand has to live up to it. I feel its a credible position for Australia given its diverse attractions for tourists. ‘Come and Say G’day‘ has a nice invitation ring to it (much needed after the pandemic related restrictions are over) and is ‘ownable’ by Australia alone. The film also visually reinforces imagery that helps in brand association – be it the Uluru, Sydney Opera House or the Great Barrier Reef.
Agency: M&C Saatchi Sydney
CANAL+: the lurkers
The tendency to not pay for premium service yet enjoy its content is common – as seen by the sharing of one Netflix account among many. In France, CANAL+ anchors a couple of ads on such mindsets showing ‘lurkers’ who aim to catch their favourite sports shows with some pretext. The neighbour one is a great mix of creepy behaviour and trying to be too clever by half.
Volvo: Recharge your car, and recharge yourself
This is a great use of the classic outdoor and good old smart media planning. One of the barriers of EV adoption or maybe an irritant to current electric vehicle owners is the waiting time to charge the car batteries. Few and far between charging points (or at least the perception) can also be negatives associated with electric cars. Volvo put up billboards in London which direct people to nearby faster charging points and create awareness about a local activity to enjoy while they wait.
Apple Watch Ultra: call to the wild
Ernest Shackleton’s famous advert (probably in 1914) is known for its sharp, pithy copy (which was suited fro classified ads):
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.Source
That quote forms an apt voice for the Apple Watch Ultra which is positioned as a super-premium variant for those who take outdoor, extreme endurance sport seriously.
Magicpin: take revenge
‘Revenge shopping’ is the term used for those who splurge with a vengeance after two years of COVID-related restrictions. Its usually used in the context of choosing to spend on premium experiences as a justification for being unable to spend on travel, in-mall shopping and other such ‘luxuries’ during the pandemic. A new ad from Magicpin takes potshots at some the irritants we all had to put up – such as being home bound, ‘tolerating’ video call snafus and such like.
Which on was your favourite?