Creative Picks | 20 April 2020 | Advertisements | Vodafone, Surf Excel, Government of India

Ritwika Gupta, April 20, 2020

This week, Ritwika Gupta reviews ads by Vodafone, Surf Excel and a public service announcement by the Government of India.

This week’s ads are all about fighting the coronavirus – be it wearing masks, washing hands or simply staying home. On one hand, Vodafone India has brought back the ZooZoos to reiterate critical messages on safety and on the other hand, Surf Excel has tweaked their popular tagline “Daag Acche Hain” to “Daag Ghar Pe Rahenge”, emphasizing the need to stay indoors. Finally, the Government of India has launched a ‘Mask Force’ campaign, urging everyone to wear a mask when they are stepping out. Take a look at this week’s ads reviewed by Ritwika Gupta.

1. Vodafone

Just when I thought Vodafone India’s ads could not get any cuter after they brought back their adorable pug last week, the brand has now returned with the ZooZoos this time, to convey critical messages on safety. By leveraging their best icons like the pug and the ZooZoos, Vodafone India clearly wants to create a sense of familiarity and an instant connect with consumers, in these uncertain times. There are three ads in the latest campaign featuring the brand’s popular characters. While the ads touch on serious issues like fake news, social distancing and hygiene, the ZooZoos reinforce the ideas in a funny and endearing manner. I was smiling throughout while watching the ads! Campaigns featuring the ZooZoos always had simple scripts and messaging. Likewise, even for this spot, the brand has maintained the simplicity in the overall execution. The ZooZoos were first created way back in 2009, during the second season of IPL, to promote various value-added services of Vodafone. Over time, these white creatures with ballooned bodies and egg heads became symbols of happiness. They continued their run for many years and are still strongly etched in public memory. Therefore, it is very clever for the brand to utitlise their classic mascots and stand out, at a time when every other brand is asking people to stay home and stay safe.

Campaign: #Stay HomeStay Safe
Agency: Ogilvy India

2. Surf Excel

Many of us miss the outside world during this lockdown period. Perhaps, it is nostalgia for the stuff we took for granted earlier and the daily pleasures of pre-quarantine life! Keeping this sentiment in mind, Surf Excel has unveiled a new ad that tells us that these tough times will pass soon. Titled #DaagGharPeRahenge, the ad opens with a seven-year-old kid’s narration. We see an empty swing in the playground, a cricket bat and stumps without any players, a cycle in the park, small toys in a muddy play area and a school uniform hanging off a rack. The ad tells us that all our favourite outdoor activities are waiting for us outside. However, we and all the stains we bring, will have to stay home, albeit temporarily. Given the number of ‘shot at home’ ads we are seeing these days, this one is refreshing as it only uses still shots to capture the theme of staying at home. Surf Excel has also tweaked their popular tagline “Daag Acche Hain” to “Daag Ghar Pe Rahenge”, which I think is a smart way to keep the brand relevant among consumers. Created by Lowe Lintas, the fifty-second spot stands out for its fresh approach. I think it is a feel-good and optimistic ad. At a time when no one really knows for sure when we will get to step out next, visit places, take cabs or maybe lie down on the beach again, the ad comes as a positive reminder that things will get better!

Campaign: “Daag Ghar Pe Rahenge”
Agency: Lowe Lintas

3. The Government of India

A couple of weeks back, we saw the nationally integrated ad film titled ‘Family’, starring actors from all over India, coming together to spread awareness about the importance of staying home during the coronavirus pandemic. Well, yet again, the pandemic has brought together some of India’s most loved and celebrated cricketers from across the country, talking to the nation about the importance of wearing a mask. Created by Ogilvy India for the Government of India, this campaign is titled ‘Mask Force’. It features Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, Smriti Mandhana, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Harmanpreet Kaur, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid and Mithali Raj. The ad shows video messages from all the cricketers, urging people to become a part of ‘Team Mask Force’ by wearing masks in public places. Each cricketer leads the way by pulling up their unique mask after inspiring the country to do the same. Well, the ad certainly caught my attention. I really like the term ‘Mask Force’. It involves the whole country, emphasizes that we are all in this together and we should be all on the same team! Even though it is a public service announcement, the ad has been executed in an enjoyable way. As you can tell, the one-minute-forty-two-second spot has been produced remotely. Each cricketer in the compilation filmed their own parts separately. The ad also kept the transitions pretty simple, where each one of them simply turns and looks to the left to give a feeling that they are all next to each other. Cricket is immensely popular in India and cricketers have a large influence over Indians who follow them. Therefore, there is a high chance that people will actually listen to their messages and understand the importance of putting on a mask when stepping out. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was instrumental in getting together the cricketers required for the campaign.

Campaign: ‘Mask Force’
Agency: Ogilvy India