The commercial celebrating 60 years of Fevicol was mailed to me and, as I am wont to do, I saw it about ten times to allow the story to seep into my brain. And once it did, I linked the salient aspects of the commercial to all the conventional marketing wisdom and general trends floating around to try and assess whether the film would work or fail.
The film will fail.
Here are five reasons why:
- The commercial is far too long. Attend any conference or seminar on advertising and marketing and you will hear experts tell you that the average consumer has an attention span less than that of a goldfish. This 90 second commercial is longer than the combined attention span of 10 goldfish. What were Ogilvy, Piyush Pandey, Corcoise, Prasoon Pandey, Bharat Puri and Pidilite thinking, then? Did they miss the attention span memo?
- There is no celebrity in the TVC. Switch on your TV set and watch any program on any channel. Virat, Deepika, MSD, Alia Bhatt, Ranveer, Ranbir, etc, are in commercials hawking cars, two-wheelers, drinks, banks, supplements, fantasy leagues, garments, soaps, shampoos, real estate, jewellery, food, whatever. Do Bharat Puri and the team that created this ad believe that Pidilite and Fevicol are so superior that consumers will care to bother about a celebrity-less TVC?
- The brand name is not mentioned even once in this 90 second extravagance. The creators expect the consumer to do the heavy lifting and make a connection to the brand. Did they not notice that all other ads mention the brand at least once and often multiple times? What gives Pidilite the sense of arrogance to believe that they can get away with this omission?
- This could well be reason 2a, but I feel it deserves a bullet point of its own. The powers that be saw no reason to inject a feel of optimism, opulence and luxury into the TVC, something that we see across product categories on TV. There is no foreign locale, which means no Eiffel Tower, no London taxi or bus, no Sydney Harbour bridge, no Golden Gate bridge, no superfast European train, no green meadows from the European countryside, no Paris café, no wine, no champagne, no cigar, no five-star hotel, no limousine, no sunglasses, no diamonds, no airport, no in-plane shot, no bikinis on beaches, no foreigner. You don’t even see a high-speed elevator in a high-rise modern Mumbai building. So many of these elements could have been fitted seamlessly into 90 seconds, yet you felt no need to use any. This is ridiculous.
- No call to action. Having taken the nonsensical and profligate luxury of the 90-second duration, nowhere in the film is the consumer asked to go and buy the product. Even in the last frames, all the consumer is told is, “ab byah karaye ya na karaye, sofa toh hum dil se banaye”, which loosely translates to “whether or not we get married, let us make a sofa with love.” Why couldn’t you say it direct: “Use Fevicol when you make your next sofa”?
And then I took a deep breath and thought about why the Pidilite team ignored all the conventional wisdom. Here’s one reason:
- The consumer will love the film.
And watch it again and again. As I did. And smile each time he or she watches it. As I did. And talk about it and share it. As I did. And remember the name Fevicol. As I did. And reminisce about older Fevicol films. As I did. And watch a few of them again. As I did.
Brilliantly done, Fevicol.