by Swapan Seth
As middle age sets in, it asks the rush for awards to get up and leave the room. And beckons insights to sit beside it.
This past one year, while one has seen some compelling award-winning advertising, I have, child-like, admired the insights that some of our finest minds have mined and created outstanding communication with it.
Kersy Katrak once famously said, "The raw-material of advertising is life".
I do not watch television at all.
But on Twitter, there are lifeguards of loveliness.
Roopak Saluja is one of them. He spots the stunning.
This summer he pointed me towards the Bournvita Race commercial.
I saw it. I was mesmerized. Every word of the script was a nuance. Every expression, masterful. The way the boy snaps at his mother in the beginning. Right down to her loving smile at him in the car.
"Mere bete ko jeet ki adat tab lagegi jab woh mujhe harayega. Tab nahi jab mein usey jeetney doongi"
The intimidating, competing mother?
Whatever happened to #haimerabaccha?
"Aakhir aadatein na ek din mein banti hain, na aasaani se."
How ruthless is she?
"Aur yeh baccho ko ghar bithaye nahi sikhayaa jaata."
To me, this was a significant punctuation mark in the sentence of motherhood in this country.
Parenting, in one single swoop had morphed into mentoring.
I wondered who she was? Single mother?
Preparing her son for the fiercest war called life?
I do not know. But I saw so many of my single lady friends and parents in her eyes.
In 30 seconds, Bournvita has taken the trials and tribulation of single parenting and made a triumph out of it.
If my unreliable memory serves me right, I saw this in March this year.
That night, I made it my ring tone.
It still is.
And then some months ago I saw a Mother Dairy commercial where while having dinner, the wife tells the husband how she accidently broke his precious trophy.
What followed was the rage of the husband. His sheer fury.
The lout that each one of us sometimes is with our wives was finally on national television.
I did not care about the mother taking the rap for the son. That to me is the stereotype of the story. I saw the bastard that each of us can be. That was the insight. Civility was hurled out of the closet.
Another magical moment for advertising.
And finally late last night, Twitter was heaving with the new Tanishq commercial.
My first reaction? No giggling, simpering bride? Dusky? Whatever happened to Fair & Lovely? No, she can't have a daughter. Remarrying? Must be to an old rich fart?
And then the mother bride sashays into the mandap with her daughter. Dripping with pride and ease.
The absolutely stunning new Indian woman. Pregnant with panache. With her troubled pasteffortlessly flung over her sari like a pallu.
It was historic.
Great brands do not belong to companies and consumers. They belong to society.
They are the tears of the troubled. They are the smiles of the satisfied. They show the broken. And the mended. For that really is what life is all about.
They are meticulously planted fillings in the cavities of every culture. And they have a duty to perform. They must be the bugles that announce the change.
2013 for me was unarguably Indian advertising's finest year.
Author, copywriter, columnist, blogger, art, book, music film and wine collector, Swapan Seth does several things. In his spare time, he runs Equus.
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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2014 04:33:40 IST