Deepveer’s first ad a damp squib;  namo near ubiquitous

It was an ad with lots of expectations loaded onto it.

Published: 07th April 2019 10:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th April 2019 10:26 AM   |  A+A-

It was an ad with lots of expectations loaded onto it. After all Deepika Padukone and newly wedded husband Ranveer Singh were going to be paired for the first time in an advertising campaign. The least one expected was to see the phenomenal chemistry between them that has been witnessed earlier on the big screen in ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’, ‘Bajirao Mastani’ and ‘Padmaavat’. In fact more love, more mush-mush, more togetherness — now that they are man and wife. All that the ad did was disappoint.

Lloyd air-conditioners released their new campaign with DeepVeer last week. The TV film shows the couple in conversation at their new marital home. Singh is thankful that they’re now married:  so he doesn’t need to act like a ‘boyfriend’ anymore. He claims that as a husband he doesn’t need to buy his new wife a gift every time they go out on a date, or wear good clothes, or text her every detail of his daily life. Padukone replies by irritably walking away to her bedroom. As she walks in she’s surprised by the air conditioner coming on. Showing his caring side, Singh uses his phone to put on the air conditioner and tells her that he’ll always be by her side to take care of her. Khayal Rakhenge, Khush Rakhenge. 

The sad thing about the new ad is that it is just so prosaic, so listless, so boring… the script has no story, no smiles, no surprises. Just a very flat, fizz-less narration. If switching on an air-conditioner with a phone as the remote was all that Lloyd needed to communicate, then DeepVeer were actually not required. In contrast, the very first ad of Virushka for Manyavar just before they got married was full of romance, full of interesting dialogues, full of playfulness and full of happiness. The ad oozed love. The ad oozed togetherness. And showed the protagonists in beautiful light. The Lloyd ad is just a big yaaawn. Sad for DeepVeer. Bad for Lloyd.

Both Deepika and Ranveer are such brilliant actors. And together they are such a good-looking pair. Mullen Lintas, the ad agency, just doesn’t seem to have gotten any worthwhile value from the star couple, more so since their coming together for the first time in an ad had generated so much public interest. A great opportunity wasted.

Last week’s ‘advertising’ was dominated mostly by NaMo. First came the web series Modi - Journey of a Common Man on OTT platform Eros Now. A 10-episode show highlighting pivotal events in Narendra Modi’s life that led him to become the prime minister. There is a line in the series, of course said in a different context, which actually sums up why this new form of ‘advertising’ has surfaced to promote PM Modi, “If we don’t promote Narendra now, the nation will be upset with the BJP”! 

Well, the BJP is doing a wonderful job of growing the Modi legend, surely with content such as this. 
Meanwhile the biggest surprise of the week was the launch of NaMo TV which sparked a raging debate over what the new channel really was. Initially Tata Sky, through a tweet, had called NaMo TV a “Hindi news service which provides the latest breaking news on national politics”.

But by evening of Friday Tata Sky had done a volte-face saying the channel is a “special service” and its content comes from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The debate continued to rage over allegations that the channel violates the model code of conduct in place for the general elections, while the I&B Ministry reportedly went on record to say that NaMo TV is an advertisement channel which does not require prior permission and it is being run on certain DTH channels on payment made by the BJP.

The one major promotional event that came a cropper for the Modi juggernaut this last week however was the ‘indefinite’ postponement of the release of the biopic ‘PM Narendra Modi’ as the censor board was still in ‘examination’ mode. Nevertheless, a two-and-half minute trailer of the biopic garnered over a million views in just a few hours after being released online. 

The Modi campaign is redefining all norms of political advertising. NaMo is being promoted like never before. As an advertising professional, I don’t want to comment on the politics: the communication itself is innovative, intriguing and impactful. (The writer is an advertising and media industry veteran)

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