Saturday, April 17, 2010

IPL- truck load of brands

“Break The Clutter”. One of the first things a client asks when an agency presents a concept for a TVC is whether the ad will stand out on its own by breaking the clutter of other brands on TV. Whether it has a recall factor by ways of a celebrity or a jingle or just a completely new way of dissipating information (ala zoozoos). Frequently we hear the agency saying that this ad breaks the clutter but it rarely does because when the agency presents the commercial to the client in the clients’ boardroom with all the speaker sound at its peak, complete silence and everyone in rapt attention focused on the screen. With so much attention, any averagely good ad would seem good. The real litmus test starts when the viewer has the remote in his hand with options available to change channels during program breaks.

IPL 3.0 currently being aired on TV has all the mass product/ service companies hopping on to the bandwagon showcasing their wares. The official sponsors of the event are DLF, Vodafone, Hero Honda, Fly Kingfisher, Citi, Karbonn Mobiles and Maxx Mobiles. Thus we have a sponsor name for each event in the match e.g. DLF Maximum, Citi Moment of success, Karbonn Kamaal catch, Maxx Mobile strategic timeout just like we have Hyderabadi Biryani and Kashmiri Pulav. The commentators use these phrases as if they are getting paid to mouth them as frequently as they can. Whenever the MRF blimp is shown, the commentators say a very uniform line which seems that they are given a script to read out. It goes like this “MRF blimp. At the forefront of technology. The first to get the blimp in India”. Thus there are 8 official sponsors.

SET MAX which broadcasts the tournament and has paid a mammoth amount for the telecast rights also has its own set advertisers. The cola Majors, Pepsi and Coca Cola, Consumer durable majors such as LG, Samsung, Videocon, Godrej, Sony, Whirlpool, telecom service providers Vodafone, Idea, DoCoMo, Aircel, Airtel and the latest entrant Videocon, Mobile handset manufacturers Videocon, Karbonn mobile, Maxx mobile and Micromax. Apart from these, some others such as Hyundai i10, Kent water purifiers, Vaseline, Metlife insurance and Havells. Whats more, now there are ads between balls compared to between overs earlier. There is no place in the stadium without ads plastered. The boundary roped, boundary boards, stadium walls, the playing field, the stumps, umpire’s attire, third umpire display board, the sight screen. The total tally thus is 21 plus 8 i.e. 29 With such a huge number how does one expect to break the clutter?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The zoozoos are back but the fizz is missing

IPL 2009 in South Africa was as much remembered for the miraculous comeback of Deccan Chargers to win the trophy as for the adorable cute looking Zoozoos. They took the advertising industry by storm. Everyone took notice and was the talk of the town. They were the ultimate examples of clutter breaking advertisements.

The zoozoos are back this time too during the IPL. However they don’t seem to have had an effect of a similar kind. The reasons are many. For one, the novelty factor has eroded. Last time, they were like a breath of fresh air. This time, they were expected. Secondly, there is viewer fatigue. Third but the most important reason which could have overcome the other reasons is the zoozoo creatives themselves. None of the ads this time have been outright funny. The only exception could be the ‘jobs on your mobile’ ad where one of the zoozoo acts as cannon gunpowder fired by other zoozoo who is the boss. People can relate to it because it is a real life situation where no subordinate likes his boss.

Judging from the type of work on display with regards to the creatives, I can presume that Ogilvy did not want to continue with the zoozoos. Knowing the high standards of creativity, they would have wanted to come up with something new. The client Vodafone though would have insisted to continue with zoozoos to leverage on their popularity. This is again an example of the power the client has over the agency. If the best advertising agency in the country has to submit to the pressures of the client, you can guess what the situation must be for other agencies.