India Insight

TOI’s Volkswagen ad: the new convergence?

On Tuesday morning, when readers of The Times of India opened the newspaper, they were in for a surprise.

The supplement of the main paper carried a ‘talking’ advertisement of Volkswagen, which plays a recorded voice when a reader opens the page.

It came as a surprise to many and soon Twitter and Facebook were full of comments, from awe at something so “innovative” to despair at a “lame” attempt.

While it reminded some of the musical greeting cards by Archies — a craze in India in the early years of this decade, others felt the commercial ridiculed the experience of reading a newspaper.

But, whatever feedback the advertisers and the newspaper get from readers, it surely signifies a new era in Indian advertising — one in which companies have realised India’s potential as a lucrative fast-growth story, leading them to innovate and lavishly spend on advertising.

All’s not fair in fairness cream advertising

Priyanka ChopraA new ad campaign featuring Bollywood stars Saif Ali Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Neha Dhupia has viewers’ curiosity piqued with its almost soap opera feel, with each advert dealing with a new episode in their love triangle.

The story so far: Chopra and Khan were once together, and Chopra still carries a flame for him, and half a heart-shaped locket. Khan, who has the other half of the locket, is about to propose to Dhupia, but also still has feelings for Chopra. Incensed  Dhupia dumps Khan, and in the latest episode Chopra was looking for Khan at the airport.

So here’s the $1 million question: What was keeping them apart? You’ll never guess: Chopra’s dark complexion that lost out to fairer-skinned Dhupia.

Sachin – not the right choice any more?

PepsiCo hassachin.jpg ended a 10-year relationship with Sachin Tendulkar, reportedly because the beverage giant felt the master batsman, at 35 and in indifferent form, is not as big a youth magnet as he used to be.

Also, at 40-50 million rupees a year (about $1 million), he was a tad pricey.

Pepsi, which recently also parted ways with former captains Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly, has signed on such young cricketers as Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma for its “youngistan” campaign, targeted at a younger demographic in a country where half the population is below the age of 25 years.

At least one ad in the new campaign features Shah Rukh Khan, the 42-year old super star, although in the role of an older — the glasses are the giveaway — guardian to the young actor Deepika Padukone and beau Ranbir Kapoor.