A new commercial released by Surf Excel Pakistan has made waves in India and its neighbouring country for all the right reasons.
The ad has beautifully made use of a bunch of boys, an old samosa vendor and the ongoing month of Ramzan to give a message of peace while promoting a washing powder. It has struck a chord with audiences, irrespective of the religion they practice.
But Surf Excel is not the first brand to cash in on emotions to sell a product.
With rising competition among the makers of everyday consumer products, the focus of ads has steadily shifted from telling audiences what they should buy to why they should buy it.
As a result, advertisements have started to use abstract qualities and emotions such as childhood memories, love, kindness, peace and friendship to sell goods that seemingly have nothing to do with them.
These ads may or may not have compelled us to buy the products they endorse, but they surely have made us have faith in the good old virtues we have grown up believing in. Here, we list a few ads that still make us smile a little brighter every time we see them.
Airtel: Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai
It has stuck with the youth of a new India since its launch in 2001. Aptly depicting the many friendships that the smartphone-using Indian youth of today needs, it redefined friendship for an entire generation.
An old man reminisces about a childhood friend lost due to the India-Pakistan partition in front of his granddaughter, who helps them reunite. How? Through Google, of course. Fantastic ad pitch, isn’t it?
Parachute: Khulke Khelo Holi
Our bodies age with time, not our hearts. Shot in an old-age home, the ad — that was released this Holi — explores this thought beautifully and makes you view senior citizens in a new light.
Coca Cola: Ummeedon Waali Dhoop
Who does not want to believe in the idea of a better world, especially when it is a bunch of children singing as they urge you to do so?
Tanishq: Diwali with Deepika Padukone and her parents
Almost all Diwalis are the same – we do the same things with the same people – but it is still special each year because of the emotions and festivities it brings along. No other ad does it better than this one with Deepika Padukone and her parents.
Want to evoke childhood nostalgia? Trust Paper Boat to do a fantastic job. In this one, celebrated poet-lyricist Gulzar holds your finger and takes you through those years of innocence, one memory at a time.
The writer tweets at @sneha_bengani.