Dishonest Advertising

On last Sunday within few hours, I noticed that on my Facebook Wall a particular post was shared by my three different FB friends and I got glued to the caption of it which said: “THE COMMERCIAL THAT’s GOING TO WIN ALL THE AWARDS.” It struck me on the face, as it came across as “Dishonest Advertising” to me. I curiously clicked the link which took me to a blog “The Ad Woman.” The 6 lines blog post talks about a 4 minute+ Video/ TV commercial created for Fortune Oil (an Adani Wilmer product) by Piyush Pandey.


With the aggressive web promotion of the video, Advani Wilmer is able to create more than 8.6 lac views within 7 days of the release of this video on YouTube. However, the blog title “The Commercial That’s going to Win All the Awards” raising few questions in my mind:

1) Does advertising agencies make advertisements to win AWARDS or to SELL clients products? Is this video repeat of Ford or Kurlon case? Though I doubt so in this case.

2) Can above-said advertisement which reveals product name in the end that too in a small font, be able to build enough AI (Awareness Index) or Persuade consumer to buy the product Fortune Oil? “I think this is a very good insight and executed well. It reminds me of the Jalebi Ad of Dhara which was hot in the early ’90s. If a brand has a taste as it’s positioning this works well”  Vineet Trakroo, CEO Evolution Strategy Advisors LLP says when asked opinion on this.

3) Has celebrity Ad Man Piyush Pandey done an honest job for his client or he has made an advertisement on the expense of client’s money to win AWARDS so that his agency can score more points to remain in the race?

I doubt that Piyush will ever place his reputation on the stake at this point of his career and create an Ad of Winning Award. Even Vineet Trakroo reacted that “In case of ads which are made to win awards they usually don’t really win. Having worked with Piyush 12 years ago and also being the client supervisor for Piyush’s 1st Cannes a bronze on Fevicol TVC, I can say the award was never intended during script stage as the client had rejected 3 scripts till we got it right.”

4) Even if one is able to justify the copy, what kind of Media Spent will be needed to achieve desired AI and Persuasion Levels by the client? I guess this expensive to produce TV ad copy of Fortune will require three to four times higher media spend to do the same job which an Rs. 20 to 30 lac worth production value TV ad can do with much lesser media spent. In tough current market conditions will the client be able to achieve the ROMI (return on marketing investment) with this type of advertising, remains a question?

6) Isn’t a copy of the video is too generic for the category and how it is associating with the brand? This type of ad copy is true for any brand of this category and there is no uniqueness – just replace the end banner of the client and its good for any food brand. Vineet Trakroo jokingly wrote to me when I shared this article content with him to seek his opinion “there is no oil used in making Dal so they should have used a different food product. It’s important to make connections between the functional benefit of the product and the emotional benefit in a good storytelling format.”

Certainly, this TVC of Piyush came across as dishonest advertising in a first instant due to Blog Publisher whos posts I saw on my FB Wall but is certainly is not the fact.

In the last decade with the emergence of Digital Media and advertising landscape has changed but appears advertising agencies and its old school of thought Ad Men are yet not prepared to tackle the change. They are forgetting advertising is the product of the times when there was no information available to consumers and advertising was the only exposure to them and therefore delivered sales effectively. The current consumer has access to the information and the kind of advertising which was used to deliver a decade back is no more be effective or efficient in the all-time high fragmented media environment. Customer no more trusts advertising which is bombarded by the manufacturers.

TV Advertising role has changed and it needs to tick more boxes of brand communication than ever. New TV advertising should be created keeping in mind that what complementary role it can play in the media mix?

Even Vineet Trakroo further added “Today digital has more views than TV and smart marketers should look at the digital medium to build an image of the brands. I don’t expect this film to run on the TV but it can surely be edited into a 30-40sec format. I wish more and more creative work crosses this benchmark, as I am saddened by a lot of advertising and communication strategy see today.”

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