No hard sell, great attention to detail: The two best Indian ads of 2013

As we come to the end of the year, as I have been doing over the past decade, I was tempted to write a list of the best advertising during the year gone by.

Surprisingly, 2013 has been a good year for Indian advertising. So good, in fact, that I thought it better to leave the curation of the best ads to betters - specifically to Piyush Pandey and R Balki. You can see their views on the best of 2013 here.

 No hard sell, great attention to detail: The two best Indian ads of 2013

A screengrab of the Google Reunion TVC.

While Piyush Pandey and Balki discuss the top ads with me, it struck me that there were two pieces of communication that stood head and shoulders above the rest - and that is what this post focuses on.

The two big winners of 2013, to my mind, were the Gondappa film for Lifebuoy by Lowe and the Google Reunion Search TVC by Oglivy.

There's little in common between the two pieces of communication.

The Gondappa film, once you've seen it, provokes the responses, "Wow. I didn't know that!" The Google Reunion film, on the other hand, gets one to exclaim, "Hey, I knew that!"

The Gondappa film says nothing about the product - Lifebuoy - at all. Not even for a second. The Google film shows the product - Google Search - during the entirety of the film.

So one film makes the viewer stop and think about something one knew nothing about and the other makes one stop and think about something one thought one knew everything about.

Both are long films, both over three minutes. What both achieve is that they entertain and captivate the viewer.

In both films, the casting is brilliant and the attention to detail fantastic.

Both films make little attempt to 'sell' the product. The Gondappa film indelibly stamps the importance if washing hands and of the need for personal hygiene in the viewer's mind without any hard sell; the Google search film underlines the all-pervasiveness of Google if you want to search for anything - but doesn't hard-sell either.

That's what's common to the two best ads of 2013. Forget about selling and focus, simply, on story-telling. The selling will happen on its own.

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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2014 04:39:09 IST