Let not objectivity be stumped by creativity

The Ericsson cellphone commercial that made its rounds in 1996 is a typical example of creativity with the brand forgotten. In the commercial, a not-too- senior citizen was shown seated in a restaurant. His eyes fall on a young woman who’s conversation seemed to ‘invite’ him. Too hard to resist, the man, leaves his seat to meet the woman. Upon reaching her table, the woman says; “One black coffee please”, mistaking him to be the waiter. It was then that the man realized that the woman was actually speaking on her cell phone that she held closely to her ear. The cell phone was so small in size that her conversation appeared to ‘invite’ the man. The small size of the cell phone was its USP. Many television viewers distinctly remembered the commercial but the moment they were asked to recall the brand, they fell silent.

In complete contrast to this was the Parag saree commercial which was aired during the same time. The commercial kept hammering the brand ‘Parag saree’ with sub zero creativity. However, the brand recall was noteworthy.

Most ads. which win awards for their creativity often flop at the cash counter. Adding a different spice to a pulao is about being creative but in the guise of creativity, a bowl of payasam (Kheer) if garnished with lemon can be disruptive. Winning creative awards can make an ad agency feel proud but the aftermath of a possibly poor RoI can be disheartening for the client. Unless of course the client allocates a budget to create ads to win awards.

The seesaw of awards and accolades at one end and the generation of sales at the other has to be balanced.

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