This is my response to the article that appeared in HT Café on the three worst ads during IPL. I believe the honourable critics are in a time warp. And it is my duty to correct them.
AN ADVERTISING LESSON FOR THE TWO CRITICS OF THE ADS
In a democracy, people have the freedom of speech. And advertising is a very evolved form of democracy. Everybody believes he is a guru on the subject. They say what they want, as if it is the last word on the subject. Two gentlemen, Prahlad Kakkar and Santosh Desai, the latter a good friend, did a review on the worst IPL ads. They did a scathing critique on two ads that I think are truly clutter busting and examples of good advertising. I believe that in a democracy, the right to criticise a critic is as important as the right to be a critic.
Especially if I, as a citizen, believe that the critic is wrong. It is important to reiterate to the students of advertising and other readers of such articles, that these articles are an individual’s point of view and, in no way, reflect the truth with consumers or even just the truth. So, here is my critique of the critics. Read it… don’t fall for it… make up your own mind.
THE MICROMAX AD
Prahlad and many others apparently feel it is irritating. I agree. It is meant to irritate them. Think, Prahlad and co… Can irritation be a new advertising weapon and one, if used cleverly, be a very potent one too? Let me explain. It is an Akshay ad. Remember Welcome? Singh Is Kinng? Any different? That’s what people love about Akshay. The brand of humour that is very irritating to some, mindless to most, but works like magic. We have taken Akshay… not Aamir. So the ad needs to cash in on what people love about him. The laughter, I’m sure, is ringing like a devil in people’s dreams. And again, Micromax is not the title sponsor of the IPL to hog the show. It gets a few spots. And hugely noticeable with far less cash. Very salient today, because of this ‘irritation’. Irritating to learn after years of commentating, I am sure!
Then, Prahlad and co feel that Akshay overpowers the brand. Silly. How did so many say that Micromax was an irritating ad? Jokes apart, this is a very stupid argument. If people like what you do with a celebrity (Akshay), they like your brand… that’s why you sign on celebrities because they are larger brands than most. We pay them to borrow their stardom for the brand. A celebrity ad that gets noticed gets visibility for the brand. I’m sure a lot of people love Akshay in films and therefore Micromax, else its gaming phones wouldn’t be selling like they were going out of fashion. Maybe people wanted to understand the commercial by buying the phone…
Lovely marketing technique then! Or they are buying phones in a tearing hurry, so that Micromax stops irritating them! Just want to end with a simple thought… there is no one way to sell. When you see a way that goes against everything you know… pause… think… there may be a lesson in it. Else... hey, go ahead. It is always wonderful to know that some people don’t know.