On adverts

Humour is 90% timing. So is it time for Cadbury's India to do a rerun of the hunger strike advert promoting Perk, now that Narendra Modi is on a 51 hour humbug, sorry - hunger strike?

After a year of bohomie, Coke and Pepsi seem to be at it again, Sprite taking the mickey out of the 'Pepsi TV' commercial, followed by Pepsi derailing Coke's "Thande ka Tadka". How ridiculous is the catchphrase 'Thande ka Tadka'? With due respect to Coke's new marketing head, I think they seem to be seriously out of ideas with that Fanta 'Chatkara' (whatever) advert. It seems to be a concentrated effort towards coming up with catchphrases that are in 'Hinglish', and not one that has been executed with finesse. Pepsi have always beaten Coke at punchlines, except for the 'Thanda matlab Coca Cola', which was brilliant from both an advertising and marketing perspective. And lest you forget - at the end of the day the advertising cola wars are only intended to increase awareness and recall. The real battle is in distribution.

The one advertisement that really really irritates me is the new Voltas advert with the little girl. There are three adverts, two of which have been repeated often during cricket matches. The little girl stands in front of a window AC and says 'Voltas. India ka AC. A Tata product' in one ad, and 'Voltas. India ka AC. Korea ka nahih!' in the other. The problems:

They're trying to imply that because you're an Indian you must buy India, without paying much to quality and features of the product. Secondly, if it's a Tata product, it must be GREAT. Well, we know how that worked out for those who bought Tata Indica V 1.0. A clear case of a fallacious 'Appeal to Emotions'.

The second advert is even more irritating. LG is the most popular consumer brand when it comes to AC's, and is a Korean company. So is Samsung, and this is a direct attack on these companies. I find that rather ridiculous. LG became popular because they provided a great value product - they cut prices, improved product quality and service and have captured a large chunk of the urban consumer market. I have two LG AC's in my house, and haven't had any problems with them for the last three years. As a consumer, I don't give a rats ass if LG is from Korea and Voltas from India, as long as I get value for money. Instead of doing the hard work and taking time to build a credible word of mouth and talk about features and benefits, like LG have done, the Tata's are still trying the 50 year old swadeshi advertising model. Nothing sells like a combination of a value product and great service in the Indian market - Nokia is the quintessential case in point, and there is no quick fix that lasts. For a group that is aggressively eyeing overseas markets for their commercial vehicles business, this is certainly a myopic strategy.

Addendum: See this print ad.

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5 Comments:
Blogger Straight Curves said...

Pepsi have always beaten Coke at punchlines....blah

speaking strictly for the current scenario:

what?? WHAT??

Chumma Chaata dhoom dhadaka?? ok, not the catchline and pray what that be? The kick of Cola with the kiss of Coffee? (Pepsi Cafechino)

oh! and Mirinda's wonderful 'Mouth ka karo good use'?! creative AND not offensive! 'Brain ka karo KUCH use' would be my advice to them.

I cannot agree more with that horrid little Voltas commercial though. Though I have to say that I prolly hate it just a little more coz it was used the over change ad during the Eng-Ind matchges and so I had to watch it that many more times!

ps: have a whole list of things I mean to post about and the latest Pepsi-Coke advertisements were in that too. :)

April 16, 2006 3:03 AM  
Blogger Nikhil Pahwa said...

Oh, I thought Pepsi lost it with the 'Oye Bubbly' campaign, though everyone else seemed to love it. I don't mind the Pepsi TV 'Bada hi Bubbly channel hain' catchphrase, which is fantastic for a teaser campaign.

Thande ka tadka doesn't mean anything, and is stupid in comparison.

Hated the Pepsi Cafechino mistake. Also didn't like the advertisement. What did Coke do, in comparison? 'Vakao'. Kiss of cola, kick of coffee is better, in comparison.

Heh...I quite like the naughty 'Mouth ka karo good use' line, even though it is ridiculous. Beats the crap out of 'chataaza'.

Coke ran another tagline in the middle, before the Thande ka Tadka which seemed to be a variant of their 'eat cricket, sleep cricket, drink only coca cola', but that died a fortunately quick death.

But seriously, apart from 'Thanda matlab Coca Cola' and the Sprite taglines, Coke's clearly been worse than Pepsi. Several Pepsi taglines have made it into colloquial usage - dil maange more, Zor ka jhatka dheere se lage, nothing official about it...

Your turn to blog. :D

April 16, 2006 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

me thinks 'mouth ka karo good use' is pretty interesting but a tad forced for a soft drink. however, it beats the 'p k bose' nonsense anyday.

anyone noticed the new limca campaign? this new spin might just work. wasn't there a short lived spot with that padukone chick?

and the plain ridiculous 'naamumkin kiye jaa, tufaan ko piye jaa' spot for thums up (my favorite brand, incidentally).

the catch of the season has to be the new sherawat promoted extra curvy 7up bottle.

ps: i liked the 'oye bubbly' campaign.

April 16, 2006 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was me.

~ harneet

April 16, 2006 10:49 AM  
Blogger Rishe said...

Seems Voltas does thing buying an AC is a matter of National Pride. Or is it?

April 17, 2006 1:57 AM  

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