Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bajrangi and the case for "brand security"

Have you watched the new television ad for Center Fresh gum? The ad shows a bank being robbed. When the thief takes off, the staff starts screaming for security. To their surprise, the thief runs back in. He is the security guard, Bajrangi (see below).

I thought the ad by O&M was funny, clever, and so typical of Center Fresh. I was surprised, therefore, to read the comments by advertising expert Prathap Suthan in Mint. Suthan, who features regularly in the newspaper's Spot Light column, says if he had seen this film years ago, he would have "fallen down, broken my crown and come tumbling after".

He continues:

The production’s all right. The cast’s all right. And the acting, direction, grading, lighting and music is at par. It made me smile. But that was it. It didn’t make me ooze laughter. And it didn’t make me watch it online till I got sick.

And then he makes an important point, a point that should be noted by all those aspiring to an ad career:

I personally have an issue with crime as a brand core. Especially when crime is north-bound. Kidnappings. Heists. Scams. At a deeper level, it corrodes the brand from inside. Innocent fun is one thing. Making crass cool is arsenic. Of course, I’m not the defined target audience. But I happen to be more than a moron who watches television.

Suthan also elaborates on whether this particular strategy works for the brand and he explains how a brand can stand out in such a crowded segment. Read his views here.