Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review of the latest Cadbury Ad

Its 2 in the night… the girl was coiled up in the bed, fast asleep… it was all silent and dull…until the door bell rings. The girl wakes up and looks around…everything seemed fine and she thinks that she must have been only dreaming. She decides to go back but the bell rings again… she looks at the table clock and wonders who can come at this hour...she gets a little scared. She then musters a lot of courage and proceeds towards the door… meanwhile the bell keeps ringing mad... she then takes a deep breath and opens the door…and…and… There comes the break!

The viewers were also at the edge of their seats but the story has been disrupted but do not think that the Ads do not get their share of attention. The 30 second documentary is not just a technique of increasing the curiosity of the viewers…its not even just a promotion of a brand…its much much more. Advertisements reflect and contribute to the popular mentalities. Jean Kilbourne’s Killing us softly tell us about the impact of advertisements on our sub-conscious. Advertisements, thus, can be used as an important social tool. But interestingly, Advertisements are also a part of our memories. I often watch the advertisements of the 90s on Youtube and feel nostalgic. One of my favorite Advertisement brand has been Cadbury. Cadbury came in India in the 90s with the liberalization. I was born around the same time and so I and Cadbury India have actually started our journey together. I have grown up watching all the Ads and needless to say, but I still sing their jingle “kuch khaas hai zindagi mei…”. The Cadbury Ads have always tried to capture the “Indian-ness” – they have always revolved around and celebrated relationships. Some of them have been beautiful...they used to leave us with a smile on our face or having us do an “awwwww”. Some Ads,infact, have been really special to me. But then with Amitabh Bachchan, there came a break. The “kuch meetha ho jaaye” series was not that appealing…Cadbury was losing its touch. But the latest Ads, I am afraid, have been even more disappointing.

The latest Ad still shows a joint family. They are having their dinner and this little girl is making faces as it’s not her favourite dish. Her grandmother then tries to cheer her up by asking her mother what’s in the sweet dish. The girl immediately hides the Cadbury chocolate. Her grandmother starts teasing her by claiming the chocolate, making her cry. The mother then brings in another chocolate bar and the atmosphere becomes light and happy again.

Most of the people didn’t like the ad, and I am one of them. Some find the ad to be very illogical, others think the girl is ill-mannered. But I feel that this is the death of the Cadbury appeal. Cadbury Ads, as I stated above, celebrates the beauty and selflessness of relationships. Our society is based on a network of relationships. Though in the confused capitalist transition, relationships are taking a backseat. But the Indian society still credits relationships over money. Our society is trying to struggle with this social ‘crisis’ and in this regard, respect for elders, mutual respect in all relationships is still considered essential. This ad has actually captured this undesirable and unfortunate reality where relationships are breaking down. The little girl is shown to be this stubborn, self-centered kid. The girl is not very good to her grandmother but she is not corrected by anyone. Infact, her grandmother apologized! They had all give in to her demand. The ending is pathetic. It kills all hopes. An ideal ending could have been to have the girl share her chocolate with everyone or atleast apologise to her grandmother! Earlier, the Chocolate bar was just ‘in the scene’...they would celebrate their joy through the bar. But now the bar would create the peace and lead to happiness. The brand that had once touched our hearts has become just too commercialized. It has lost its magic…

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