No doubt Raghuvir Yadav
was outstanding in the much talked about Hutch Delhi Half Marathon TVC, but much of the credit also goes to the language in which he speaks the voiceover - Hindi. One can say that because the same TVC in English fails to create a similar impact.
This is not the sole example of a Hindi advert having a better impact than an English one. There are many examples.
Even V Mahesh, senior creative director, Ogilvy & Mather (O&M), the creative brain behind the latest Hutch TVC, agrees that the Hindi ad has clicked much better than the English one. He says, "It's because there are certain nuances that come through effectively only when one uses Hindi."
Does this mean that Hindi has become the preferred language for Indian creative professionals? So much so that even an English newspaper such as 'Hindustan Times' needs to reach out to its readers through a TVC in Hindi?
Priti Nair Chakravarthy, executive creative director, Lowe, is quite upfront in saying that she favours Hindi. She says, "Hindi rocks because it has the capacity to touch the pulse of the nation. When one uses Hindi or any other local lingo, one can add a lot more insight that is intrinsically Indian."
Chakravarthy cites an interesting example: 'Enjoy Coca-Cola' is insipid when compared to 'Thanda Matlab Coca-Cola'.
Or, take the Domino's pizza TVC with Paresh Rawal, which goes, 'Tana na na re, o pizza aaye free.' The English translation certainly could never have had the same appeal.
Prasoon Joshi, regional creative director for South and South East Asia, McCann-Erickson and the adman who came up with the Thanda tagline, explains why he supports Hindi vis-à-vis English. He says, "Attitudes are best expressed in Hindi as people understand and immediately connect with the language. Hindi is our street language and it delivers the punch that is required when communicating with the masses. In comparison, English, for most of us, is still a very formal language. It is not a street language like it is in New York."
Milind Dhaimade, executive creative director, Everest, concurs with this opinion. He says, "Culturally, it is easy to express oneself in Hindi. One can actually play with words as the repository for Hindi is very rich."
But does this mean the English TVC is now passé in India? Not exactly. There are some ads in which English still works.
As Chakravarthy of Lowe says, "Each product or brand has its own need. For instance, for a brand such as Axe, one cannot think in Hindi. In fact, Hindi would have seemed ludicrous there."
Even Mahesh of O&M says, "Each idea has its own language, so segregating ads on the basis of language would be wrong."
Mahesh cites the example of the Hutch TVC, which says, 'Wherever you go, our network follows', featuring a young boy and his pug. The commercial is in English, but has managed to click nevertheless.
In fact, when asked about an English commercial that has had a lasting impression, most ad professionals come up with the Hutch TVC. Naming any other TVC that has clicked in English leaves most of them delving deep into their memories.
Then there are some who think that it's the idea that is more important than the language used. Ravi Deshpande, chief creative officer, Contract Advertising, says, "The emphasis should be more on a strong idea told in a simple way, where the need for language is minimal. The quality of work should be such that it should overrule any language barrier."
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