2011 was not a great year for the advertisement industry in terms of its creative contents. Ad gurus agree that though the ads were not brilliantly creative last year, they were likable. Talking to Business Standard, K V Sridhar, the National Creative Director at Leo Burnett India said, “The bar has been raised as far as average creative work is concerned, which is why the likeability factor of campaigns is growing. Though creative people will have to work harder to raise the bar even further, it is a good sign.” The year seemed to have increased the frequency of popular campaigns.
The campaigns that stood out in 2011 are the ones that scored on popularity, innovation, brilliance of idea and technical finesse. The rankings as per Business Standard are given below:
Airtel’s har ek friend zaroori hota hai: This line became popular among the youth and did the rounds on social networking sites as well. It struck a chord with the youngsters while it left the rest reminiscing about their college days. Agnello Dias, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Taproot India, the agency behind the campaign says “We found that most people have different types of friends. And quite a few enjoy their varied lot. We felt playing this up would be interesting.” He said that the best way to reach out to the youth was to tap into something they understood well: friendship. He also added that the insight of all friends being important came after numerous conversations with youngsters; Har Friend inevitably scores high on the likeability factor.
Pepsi’s change the game: The beverage major-Pepsi and cricket have always gone hand in hand. Pepsi was also the official sponsor of the 2011 tournament which gave the campaign an edge. The campaign became a definite hit in the nation, especially among the cricket fans. Taproot, the agency behind the campaign came up with the idea of getting lay people to teach cricketers some of their popular shots and bowling actions. Then the TV commercials were rightly backed by an outdoor campaign that showed cricketers in body paint. Santosh Padhi, the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Taproot says “The idea was to be irreverent, since Pepsi is about irreverence.” He also says “As a cricket-crazy nation, we simply love giving advice on how the game should be played. We drew on this insight.”
Vodafone blue: This campaign saw a unique execution. Broadway style theatre was used to drive home the point that Vodafone had launched a phone for Facebook lovers. The interesting concept and the flawless execution caught the eyes of the viewers. Vodafone along with the ad agency, Ogilvy have always managed to have a ‘surprise’ factor in their commercials. Add production house Nirvana adds to this team. Nirvana was the one behind the egg-headed Zoozoos in 2009 and has worked on this campaign as well. Vodafone Blue is also noted to be the second commercial after BlackBerry Boys which has been rendered in the form of a musical.
KBC’s koi bhi insaan chhota nahin hota hai: The advertising for the fifth season of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) on Sony Entertainment channel, known for being anchored by Amitabh Bachchan, took off from where the commercials for the fourth season left off. While the fourth season had the theme of how no question was small (Koi Bhi Sawaal Chhota Nahin Hota Hai), the fifth season was centered on the theme no individual is small (Koi Bhi Insaan Chhota Nahin Hota Hai). Ad agency Leo Burnett used this concept smartly to drive home the point that no one is too small to make money. The idea of using everyday situations and people, from the charming senior citizen Bhatia to the government official Mr Shukla and the ‘Romeo’ Praful among others, communicated the point that KBC could help ordinary men and women make money. K V Sridhar says “The idea went well with the overall theme of the fifth season which was all about the common man and how he could achieve his dreams on the show.”
Saffola World Heart Day: Every year Marico’s edible oil brand Saffola, on World Heart Day (September 29) has been championing the cause of heart care through the Saffolalife initiative. The print campaigns on this occasion have been particularly notable, which have been done by the ad agency - McCann-Erickson. Seven editions of the Times of India in the last year were designed to look like a kid’s drawing book to prove the point of being Young At Heart. Marico also gifted free copies of TOI in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore on World Heart Day. These editions looked like a gift, with a front page jacket in bright pink resembling a gift wrapper and the content inside spoke about ways to manage the heart. Prasoon Joshi, executive chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup India said the endeavor was to be impactful with the campaign.