Simple narratives, great impact

The Great Khali powered Ambuja Cement to glory earlier this month; last week it was Shiseido winning the Internet hands down.

Shiseido’s High School Girl? is a delightful film about a good old beauty brand that taps into Japan’s popular culture to create a film that makes the brand super cool. Unlike most beauty brands, it doesn’t drown the viewer in scientific mumbo-jumbo or complicated product demonstrations or even a cleverly written base line. There is a clever little twist in the film, which if you have seen you will get it, so I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t watched it. In the beauty category, the twist is neither new nor surprising. What works is the way the twist has been woven into the narrative. Much like the earlier Great Khali TVC, the final brand baseline is simple: “Anyone Can Be Cute”.

The brand is not telling the tales of transgender or cross dressing, it’s a simple demonstration of what ‘transformation’ is all about and how gender fluidity is becoming a part of pop culture. At almost 6 million views in less than a week, Shiseido has been winning the world over.

I want to contrast the Shiseido effort with two TVCs that were all over my timeline this week – one brand new TVC from Tanishq and other, a year-old TVC from Dabur Honey.

Tanishq’s new Diwali TVC featuring Deepika and Prakash Padukone is for a range called Divyam. Divyam by Tanishq is about a good start to the New Year, as the brand promise suggests. The narrative is all about how the family is going about celebrating Diwali like it goes about every year. Like every year, they clean, cook, wish and gift new things to each other and to loved ones. It builds a routine till the daughter talks about the gift she gets. It is then that the narrative changes, it is not mundane, it is happy and melodramatic. Was Deepika surprised about the gift or was she expecting the gift to be Tanishq all the time? Does the father-daughter bond go up many notches because of an expensive gift? Tanishq has done much better than this. Somehow the twist in the ad is more mundane then the entire sequence the TVC builds up to.

Dabur Honey’s TVC is a year old by its date of upload on YouTube, but the MissMalini.com review of the ad is fairly recent. Either way, the TVC is stuck in the 70s in its narrative. It’s a good thing to position honey as beauty food, not many food brands have been able to do that, but to build the brand in such a stereotypical way is completely out of sync with today’s times. Even advertising which is not the most progressive when it comes to gender portrayal has done much better than this. What if it had kept the narrative simple? What if the effect of attractive wife was the husband trying to get fitter and leave being glued to his laptop or whatever he was trying to come to grips with on his desk?

Brands win when they keep the narratives simple. Brands win when the narrative doesn’t dumb down the audience. That’s why more power to Ambuja and Shiseido.

Original published here http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2015/10/adstand-simple-narratives-great-impact/

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s