Aamir charms, tops The Brand Reporter poll with Sherpa act

By , agencyfaqs!, na | In Advertising | June 02, 2005
The Bihari, the Punjabi farmer, the Mumbaiya Tapori and Manno Bhabhi follow the Sherpa in popularity stakes

TBR News Bureau

Coca-Cola may still not mean 'thanda' for everyone, but 'thanda matlab' has come to be synonymous with Coke. & #BANNER1 & # It is undoubtedly one of the most popular advertising campaigns in recent times. Thanks to a good idea, brilliant execution and, of course, Aamir Khan. Ever since he first appeared as the Mumbaiya 'tapori' in 2002, Khan has consistently entertained audiences in each of his eight avtaars.

We took a poll to decide which was the most popular avtaar and the results were declared in The Brand Reporter, June 1-15. As it turns out, it is the Nepali guide who is the winner.

"I'm surprised!" says Praveen Kenneth, managing director, St Luke's. "My favourite was the Bihari." Kenneth, however, goes on to rationalise why the Nepali sherpa was the most popular: "The Nepali guide was likable as a character and anyone who's neutral (that is, a Punjabi not voting for the Punjabi farmer or someone from Hyderabad not voting for the Hyderabadi) would vote for him."

A total of 1,144 votes were cast. The Nepali sherpa got 254 votes, the Bihari followed with 226, while the Punjabi farmer raked in 196 votes. Even Manno Bhabhi managed to secure 137 votes just behind the Tapori (157 votes). The Bengali (84 votes) and the Hyderabadi (73 votes) followed next. Dinu Kaka didn't fare well at all: only 17 people voted for him, though to be fair to him, it's hardly been a month since that ad went on air.

AG Krishnamurthy, brand consultant and former managing director of Mudra Communications, says the result is on expected lines. "The Nepali guide was the most lovable character. And, Aamir Khan acted very well. Liking or not liking a character depends on the script, characterisation and acting, and Aamir Khan carried this off brilliantly," he says. Krishnamurthy adds he would have rated the Bengali and the Punjabi farmer second and third, respectively.

Prasoon Joshi - regional creative director, South & South East Asia, McCann-Erickson, the man who created the award-winning campaign - says his favourite ad in the series is the Bihari one, followed by the Nepali guide and the Punjabi farmer, in that order. He says, "I thought the Bihari 'paanch' commercial was a big hit." He is not surprised by the results of the poll.

"All the ads are like my babies. The Nepali guide advert is close to me. It was a layered commercial with a funny storyline." He remembers that the commercial had a slow build-up. "People used to say the Nepali guide was not as funny as the previous Bihari one. But it gradually picked up."

"I am happy with the results," he says. "Especially because it means that I was able to correctly feel the pulse of the people," Joshi beams. 2005 agencyfaqs!