Archive for Pepsi

Citi Zen

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India with tags , , on May 2, 2008 by manuscrypts

There are a couple of Citibank ads that started appearing late last year. I haven’t been able to find it anywhere on the net, finally got one of the storyboards here.

This one shows a ‘home’ scenario where a woman complains to her husband about how his brother (Amar) has brought his financial planner to meet their father. The husband is very happy that his brother has become responsible, but the wife feels that the brother is eyeing their business. Later, the father says that since Amar has become smart in finance, and should handle their new factory. While the brother is happy with it, his wife is shown fuming.

There’s another office scenario where a junior is shown to become smarter and is offered a new project, while a colleague warns his senior that he is trying to leap over him. The ads are only meant to convey that after using Citibank’s services, a person becomes smarter in his finance. I’ve seen a few comments on the net which don’t appreciate the execution/storyline of the ads, but i have a different view of it.

Set in the context of a corporate/domestic life that has an abundance of back biting and ‘success at any cost’ mantras, and product and brand communication that has no qualms about accepting it that way and portraying it too, it shows a person who’s confident enough about his own skills to not feel threatened and is magnanimous enough to be happy about another person’s growth. To me, that’s a value statement in itself, and a refreshing one at that. I really don’ t know if it is by design, even if it is not, I (also) read it that way.

until next time, efficacity

Meanwhile, the cola wars are back, its Youngistan vs Thums up. Catch the video here (courtesy this)

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Youngistunned

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India with tags , , , on March 26, 2008 by manuscrypts

Remember the fun we used to have with the Sprite vs Mountain Dew which used to be so entertaining –  the ‘I want to do’ version that Sprite did in response to ‘do the dew’, in addition to the various fwds it had spawned from ‘Mount and Do’ to ‘Brokeback Mountain – Do the Dude’? We also had the Cola wars with SRK taking shots at Hrithik. Guess what, we have more fun coming our way.

This blog has already written about Youngistan. Allow me to introduce to you the latest entrant in the Cola-Uncola TVC wars, the all clear Sprite. (thanks to the tip from Balu)

I think Sprite has gauged the public response to the Pepsi ad before taking such a step. I’ve not heard too many good comments about them, online or offline, and this must be a big factor in reviving the ad wars. I guess some agencies are in for sleepless nights trying to outwit each other. In fact these cola wars actually remind me of those UCB-Spring collection type stuff, this summer like the last couple of summers, we have the Pepsi/Coke – Summer 08 ad collection.

Long before i was made aware of dental problems and pesticides, i used to be a Pepsi guy more than a Coke guy. During the first round of cola wars, I always wondered why Pepsico chooses Mountain Dew to do battle with the Coke products. Pepsi has a perfect weapon in its hand, if only they knew how to use it. What am i talking about? Remember this cool pencil thin character we used to love, he lived ‘cool’ long before cool became cool. These days he’s wasted sitting on elephants or jamming with Mallika Sherawat or relegated to taglines. He’s called Fido Dido. Research apparently says his ads don’t make sense anymore (thats because of the ads silly, not him), and when he does battle against ‘Clear Hain’, I’d want front row seats.

until next time, youngistan main jashn mana le, clear hain?

Stan is young

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India with tags on February 20, 2008 by manuscrypts

Does that make sense? At least as much sense as Youngistan? Unless you’ve been living in outer space, you couldn’t have missed Pepsi’s latest TVC featuring *hold your breath* *Bhansali meets Farah* a combo package of Bollywood’s latest finds – D Pad and R Kap. Hey, ain’t i allowed to use youth lingo? :D. In fact, if you’ve been in outer space, there are better chances of catching the resident of Youngistan.

This blog has been a fan of Pepsi, and the blogger had a huge attack of guilt followed by remorse when he equated the earlier work of Pepsi (My can, featuring John and SRK) to some customisable toilet devised by Pepsi. He couldn’t even blog about it till now. But we digress.

That Pepsi has managed a casting coup of sorts is a no-brainer. But have they been used well? I think not. While Youngistan has a catchy twang to it, the ad per se has a very ‘leave your brains at home’ feel to it. That too would have worked fine, if Pepsi had decided to do a combo spoof on both the movies starring the trio. A sort of ‘Spy Hard/ Hot Shots’ approach to Bollywood. IMHO, its exactly the kind of ad that’ll make the ‘youth’ go ‘Phooey’. I know I am not exactly youth anymore, but hey, remember the Pepsi ’18 till i Die’ commercial, with Amrish Puri? The ad, me thinks, falls in that huge space between the stools.

So Pepsi, Youngistan sounds cool, can we have a better storyboard please? Apparently, some 30 scripts were rejected before this one, and the idea was to show the ideas that the youth come up with when they improvise on the spot. If this idea is a representative, i fear for the country. Meanwhile, wrt my last post, maybe, just maybe Tata Sky could’ve been co-branded in this ad? 😉

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pic courtesy : agencyfaqs

until next time, yeh dil maange more

Impositioning

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India with tags , , on January 30, 2008 by manuscrypts

No, thats not an opposite, more a reminder of the days in school when we were made to write a spelling or a multiplication table multiple times in a bid to make us memorise it. Can’t remember if it worked, though the Bart Simpson version of imposition during the Simpsons titles works for me 🙂

But we aren’t a sitcom blog, so the blog title refers to the stance taken by a lot of brands as far as positioning goes. While i do not even contest the importance of positioning during the launch of a product, i definitely argue on hanging on to a positioning, especially if it is in the form of a tagline. This is an era in which brands are being forced to re-consider their existence strategy on the face of a changing media and user landscape, and to carry on a love affair with a tagline might be absolute harakiri.

My favourite examples of  brands which have reinvented itself consistenctly, and been succesful at it would be Pepsi and MTV. Pepsi was cool when they made iconic lines like ‘Yehi hain right choice baby’, ‘Yeh Dil Maange More’ , ‘Nothing Official about it’, and they’re still cool when they make Shah Rukh an ‘uncle’, even though some people refer to it unfairly as an ad for SRK’s and John’s toilets. MTV was hot when Nonie (sigh) used to be around, and still is er, with Cyrus ;). The difference between the two youth brands is that while pepsi could not change the product, and has to resort to positioning and packaging and other innocations like say, gaming to keep being cool, MTV had the liberty to change content to suit a changing young generation, but both have done a commendable job without hanging on to lines for too long.

Look around, and you’ll see taglines which are redundant, and ones which cause more harm than good. This is a case in point. I wish the energy and time spent on evolving catchy taglines would also be spent on making better products and delivering better service. Rather than trying to impose a certain point of view on the audience’s mind by repeating catch phrases for years, wouldn’t it be much better to deliver a good product/service and communicate it effectively in the right context?

And yes, the reason Bart’s imposition works for me is because he changes it in every episode and still keeps it funny. He evolves.