My 5 favouritests…

I’m told there was a time when you could watch your favourite show on television without it being interrupted every few scenes with advertisements that seem to take up more air time than the shows themselves. I can’t imagine watching television without them now. So, since there is no escaping them, this post is a tribute to my five favouritest ad campaigns in the recent past…these are ads that have actually made me halt, while I was busy switching channels, to watch them and smile….

In no particular order:

1. IDEA Cellular: What an idea Sirji!

This campaign has to be one of the best phone network campaigns ever! At least in India and according to me. From breaking language and caste barriers, to saving paper, the themes the ad creators picked have such great social significance. My personal favourites are, their telephone exchange series of ads and the one on how 3G could perhaps control our ever growing population. Such masterpieces! Plus, they roped in Abhishek Bachchan, who I don’t particularly like but, whose presence in the ads feels just perfect. Even their jingles are so memorable! I don’t know how many times I’ve suddenly found myself humming “You’re my honey bunny..toco toco…” while I was cooking dinner in the kitchen.  Speaking of which…

2. Dominos Pizza: Yeh hai rishton ka time

For all those times you just don’t want to cook, there is always Dominos! Delivered to your doorstep in thirty minutes or less….yummmm….I think I love pizza…but, that’s not the point. Their ad campaigns and this one in particular, are just so smart! “You may not remember what you ordered, but the memory of the good time you had will last” I don’t know about anyone else, but watching those ads, I felt like calling over my family and friends and ordering in….okay…so I don’t need much of an excuse…but still! Once upon a time, it wasn’t uncommon in India for families to sit down together and eat and spend quality time…but, over the years, things have changed and we have grown apart. With the sort of busy lives most people lead, evenings spent just leisurely relaxing in the company of family or friends have unfortunately become a thing of the past. So, in a world where we hardly have any time for any one, an ad campaign like this really struck home. Eating pizza = time for you to get closer to the people you love. I mean..WOW! What’s not to love? And while you’re eating your pizza…you need something to drink…which brings me to my next favourite…

3. Coca Cola: Happiness campaign

Again with a beautiful social message. So what if people think you’re crazy…if you’re doing something you believe will bring a smile to someone else’s face…who cares if anyone calls you crazy?!? We have become a selfish people….and coca cola, through these ads, makes it cool again to look out for other people. The ads where the characters order extra bottles of coca cola to give their waiter or the doorman or the guy who sits in the attic dropping down shoe boxes…beautiful. Encouraging random acts of kindness….good stuff. And, if that wasn’t enough, now they have the “Small World Machines.” India and Pakistan as countries don’t really get along…so what did Coca Cola do? They set up these hi-tech vending machines in Delhi and Lahore for people in both countries to have face to face emotional encounters  through them! People can even do fun activities together using these futuristic touchscreen gadgets. Amazing!! Maybe our two countries will never see eye-to-eye but initiatives like this make me hopeful. Bridging divides…absolutely phenomenal stuff….

4. Surf Excel: Agar Daag Lagne Se Kuch Acha Hota Hai Toh Daag Ache Hain

Another really sweet ad campaign. If getting dirty leads to something good, then dirt is good. Hmmm…it sounds a lot better in Hindi… But anyway, the ads had all these nice ideas of how it’s alright to get dirty if you can make someone happy. Never fear, Surf Excel is here to clean up the stains and make things sparkly again. Top of the mind recall is the television ad with the small boy who pretends to be a dog jumping in the mud to make his teacher who is mourning the loss of her pet, smile. I found that extremely sweet. There were quite a few others, and the idea behind them was great. Don’t be afraid to get dirty, our detergent will clean you up, and if you can make someone happy by doing it…excellent!

5. Havells fans: Hawa Badlegi

The winds of change are here. What a slogan! And it isn’t just any great slogan. They have such great ads to back them up. My favourite is the one about the couple who goes to adopt a set of parents.  There are others revolving around social themes like religion, taking on your wife’s name after marriage and treating your domestic help like family. Such unique ideas and concepts. The ads always leave me feeling happy. Honestly, they sort of remind me of the Tata Tea – Jaago Re ad campaign. Those too, were were smart, thought provoking ads.

So, that’s that. My list of my 5 favouritests…


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