Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pepsi Thi Pi Gaya

From the time Pepsi was introduced in India, as far as I can remember, their TV commercials have always featured celebrities. The very first TVC had singer Remo Fernandes and the ads which were released in the later years featured film and sports personalities. After seeing Pepsi advertising dominated by celebrities for years this new ad campaign comes as a refreshing change – there are no celebrities here but what we see are ordinary people; the ad features young men and women who happen to be Pepsi’s core target audience. The ad shows college students protesting and threatening to go on an indefinite hunger strike until their demands are met; one of the agitating students notices a bottle of Pepsi which he finds irresistible, he grabs the Pepsi bottle and drinks, thus causing great disappointment to his fellow agitating students, the Pepsi drinker reacts by coolly saying ‘Pepsi thi yaar, pi gaya’ and looks around with ‘I-drank-Pepsi-so-what-is-the-fuss-all-about?’ expression.

View the TV commercial below:

My immediate feeling on seeing this ad was that it was executed very well and I think using ordinary people for the ad and not any celebrity was a sensible idea, I believe that if you have a good creative idea you do not need celebrities; connecting with the target audience directly instead of going via celebrity was a wise decision. Cinematically speaking the ad was made very well. In the beginning of the ad we see the student leader threatening to go on an indefinite hunger strike if the demands are not met, the atmosphere is highly charged and we see that the student leader is clearly in control. After this we see a twist when one of the students sees a bottle of Pepsi and begins drinking from it, at this point the entire mood changes and we see the protest falling flat, it gets established that the leader has lost control. The attention shifts from the students’ protest to Pepsi. The principal actors, the student leader and the young man who drinks Pepsi, have acted very well; the contrast between these two characters is established beautifully. The young lady playing the TV journalist has effectively brought out the character of a typical sensationalist journalist. The credit goes to the director and those involved for showing the reactions and expressions beautifully.
From the marketing communications point of view the TVC creates the necessary impact and is very engaging, it establishes or reinforces the claim that Pepsi is simply irresistible no matter what the situation is. Since there is no celebrity in this ad the product Pepsi is clearly the hero.

One thing which I also noticed was the look of the ad, since most of the people in the ad wore black clothes it gave an overall dull look to the TVC, surely done intentionally to establish that the protest was a seriousness matter. 

Overall I quite like this ad; however what I found was that some students have reacted negatively to this ad. They feel it is insensitive and insulting to student movements and therefore is not in good taste. This negative reaction comes from a section of the very people Pepsi is trying to sell to; I wonder how this would impact the campaign. Now I am eager to see what will come next from Pepsi. To know more about this ad campaign please click the link below:  
Viewers call Pepsi’s new ad insensitive

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