the flavour of the season, but we at agencyfaqs! like to be different. So we chose instead to look back at 2007 and get the top national creative directors (NCDs) in the country to compile for us a list of their Top 5 television commercials (TVCs) of the year gone by. Seven NCDs from various agencies listed out five choices each. At the end, we had a list of 20 brands. Eight agencies have worked on one or more of these brands. Interestingly, Ogilvy and Lowe got the most nominations. The Vodafone, Airtel, MotoRokr and Idea TVCs won the most votes.
JWT NCD Agnello Dias says the task was easy. His choices are elegant and he says he has picked "plain, old, simple good work". It does not matter if the campaigns win any awards or not, Dias simply likes them. His Top 5 are: the I-pill TVC from Network Advertising; the Airtel campaign, 'Border', from Rediffusion DY&R; Vodafone's 'Alert' TVC from Ogilvy; the Reliance Infocomm TVC from Mudra; and the VIP briefs TVC, 'Adjust', from Lowe.
"The Airtel 'Border' film, on the other hand, takes a category cliche and relates it in a completely refreshing manner. A pointed indicator is the fact that despite the massively humungous media spend, it still doesn't grate on the nerves beyond a point. A test which some of the best films have often failed to pass," he says.
Dias says that Vodafone's 'Alert' campaign is special and tempts you to pause in whatever you are doing. He says he likes it because it is a nice campaign with nice tones attached to it. In the Reliance Infocomm campaign, the simple presentation and the unusual way used to approach a soft corporate position is what grabbed his attention. In the VIP briefs TVC, 'Adjust', an embarrassing male problem has been brought to light in a clever, light-hearted manner, he says.
Satbir Singh, chief creative officer, Euro RSCG, also picks the Airtel 'Border' campaign for his list. He says it is a delightful film and should be shown anywhere where there's strife. The two little boys who couldn't care less for minor irritants like a barbed wire fence steal your heart, he says. Another Airtel TVC, the Indiana Jones meets Google Search, Hollywood trailer clone film, also finds place on his list. Singh says, "It is the most worthy answer to Hutch's Eskimos."
Singh chose not to speak of his agency's commercials, though he reserved fifth place for a couple of Euro RSCG campaigns. Happydent and Motorokr are his other two choices. Singh explains, "My best use of a celebrity award would go to Motorola's Abhishek Bachchan starrer, Motorokr. If you could see me writing this, you'd notice a faint movement of my head. Contagious. Entertaining."
Prathap Suthan, national creative director, Cheil Communications, has some different TVCs on his list. Only the Motorokr ad finds place here. The other TVCs Suthan has chosen are Tanishq 'Diamonds' by Lowe; Havells 'Shock Proof' by Lowe; ABN Amro One 'Transparent Credit Card' by Publicis; and Madhya Pradesh Tourism by Ogilvy.
Suthan wonders whether the industry had a better harvest in 2007 than in 2006. He says, "Something tells me no. There really haven't been new ideas or breakthrough executions. Most of them again have been in the realm of the expected. I doubt whether we'll have a Happydent year at the shows."
Suthan explains his choices. He says the use of Nafisa Ali in the Tanishq TVC was compelling. He particularly liked the chemistry between the son-in-law and the mother-in-law, which was something new and certainly an unused dimension. The Hindi film song that played through the TVC, Badan pe Sitare, was again a super choice. Suthan doubts if the campaign will win any metal, but he sincerely thinks it to be a good wholesome commercial.
He is also full of praise for the Madhya Pradesh Tourism TVC. He says, "I really wish I had done this ad. Everything about it turned out right. Once again, how I wish I had the linguistic repertoire to write the lyrics of that song, India Ka Dil dekho. The idea was perfectly executed and delivered. Full marks to this. This is a fiver! Who cares if Cannes doesn't award it?"
Bobby Pawar, national creative director, Mudra, lists just two TVCs as the best of 2007: Neo Sports 'T20' from Ogilvy and the Idea TVC from Lowe. He says, "I have been scratching my head for a few minutes now and there are only two TVCs that keep coming up. Maybe I should watch more television, pay more attention what my competition is doing, or maybe the work just has to get better. I am not sure."
Pawar liked the Neo Sports campaign played prior to the Twenty20 cricket matches because of the bright idea and the strong presentation. According to him, the TVC is loaded with thrill and suspense, keeping you on the edge of your seat, much like the T20 tournament itself. The Idea TVC, on the other hand, sends out a social message and makes a wonderful comment on the caste system in India, the reason why Pawar loved the TVC.
Josy Paul, chairman and national creative director, BBDO India, lists the Bingo launch campaign by Ogilvy on the top of his list. He likes the completely mad and off the beaten track ad and says it won the brand instant top of mind recall.
The other TVCs that make it to his list are Tata Tea 'Jaago' by Lowe; Nike's street cricket TVC from JWT; Neo Sports; and the Idea campaign. The Tata Tea campaign gets a high ranking from Paul. He explains, "Advertising that breaks into the political and social consciousness is a big turn-on for me personally. The film for Tata Tea handles the issue rather irreverently. Both the idea and the performances are good. There's something fresh about the thought. It's great when old categories like tea can create a new sound."
Priti Nair, national creative director, Grey Worldwide, picked two TVCs from Lowe, Surf Excel's traffic fight and Greenply's courtroom TVC. Also on her list are Tata Sky's 'Einstein' campaign by Rediffusion DY&R; Airtel's 'Border' TVC; and a new entry in the form of the latest in the Fevikwik series.
Explains Nair, "The Fevikwik set of TVCs takes you a while to understand (like a well told joke), but once you get it, you realise it's fantastic. That's the power of a brand that has been built solely through its communication and creative leaps."
In the Tata Sky TVC, Nair liked the superbly made, clutter breaking track and the visual interpretation of whiz kids. She counts the Surf Excel's traffic fight as a personal favorite because it successfully delivers the philosophy that dirt is good and widens its scope to deliver fuller, richer communication that is real and equally charming.
R Balakrishnan, chairman and chief creative officer, Lowe, is in sync with the general choices. Three of his four choices are work done by Lowe. The Idea TVC, Tata Tea and Havells 'Shock Proof' make it to the top of his list. All these belong to Lowe. The TVC for Center Fruit from Ogilvy is his fourth choice.