Tuesday, April 29, 2008

BBF: Ad critique 1 : Meril Fresh Gel

Recently Bangladesh Brand Forum magazine was launched. And starting from issue two I've got a column in there critiquing ads that appear in Bangladesh. Here is the first one reproduced.

I hope those involved will take it in the spirit it was intended - to better the game for all!

Meril Fresh Gel

I did not know what to make of the ad when I first saw it. The TVC, while interesting, lacked quite a bit on finesse. Based on the insight that a bad mouth needs cleaning as well, the premise was very simple; Fresh Gel cleans your mouth. Of course exaggerated to say that it would clean even the filthiest of mouth.

In my mind it was a strong creative idea. Unfortunately the production value of the ad had a lot to be desired. It, in the end game, let the whole brand down. It left a very “cheap” after taste. But I should not single out and only blame Fresh Gel’s owners Square. It is a common problem I have seen in Bangladesh. Client’s often in a fit of being astute with their wallets balk on paying top takas for a well-produced ad. This is so counter productive. Does no justice for the idea or the brand. If you squeeze the producer on his budget, corners will be cut and TVC will look haggard. I can bet you my copy of the Gunn reel that this is what has happened in this case. Shame.

Specially so if you look at the work Square’s oral has been making over the last few years. Magic toothpowder’s “Amar naam Mofiz” ad reached iconic status. (I however will be quite interested to see how effective it was!) Their strong teeth propositioned ads specially on press and on billboard was well executed. And who can not agree with the ad with the dog. Their use of humour brought in a re-freshing change from the drabness of the ads created by oral market leaders.

Oh before I forget. Another aspect that bugs me to no ends – why do we still need “freight sections”? That is the little computer graphic based sequence in the middle that “proved” the rational reason to buy the product. This DOES NOT HELP! Don’t think the consumers are not intelligent enough to make the connect between the toothpaste and fresh mouth. The TVC would have worked better without that reason why!

On a more positive note I quite like the consumer promotion that Square has spun off from the TVC. It is to clean the country of corruption and band ideas. A very potent idea though I am not sure if they are doing it enough justice. Through a more holistic approach that they are endeavouring, the brand will start building a powerful brand essence. Given the potential of campaignibility of this idea, I hope in the future to see more executions in the route.

Over all I’ll give it a 4 out of 10. (It lost 2 points on production value!)

Nazim Farhan Choudhury is the chief mattobbor in Adcomm Limited. Spending 14 years pretending to be in advertising, he now thinks that he can critique works that others have spent many nights (and in some cases even 5 minutes) trying to come up with. To his utter surprise he notices that most of the brands that he has worked on have become quite powerful in the market. He would love to come up with a Cannes Lion winning idea but unfortunately his “dimak key batti” is on a permanent load-shedding schedule. You can send angry emails to him at farhan@adcommad.com or visit his blog http://nazimfarhan.blogspot.com.