Selling more than just a product: Reliving nostalgia, one ad at a time

  • Sneha Bengani, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 13, 2016 19:43 IST
Lately, there have been a few ads on television and cyber space that merit attention, a little time, and a smile. (YouTube grab)

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.

Read: How the Airtel 4G girl came to win over trolls by laughing at herself

Read: This Women’s Day we count down the 5 most sexist ads still playing on TV

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.

Google: Reunion

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.

Paper Boat

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.

also read

Game of Thrones: New leaked images tease showdown we’ve all been waiting for
Show comments