Hari Sadu is back

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | January 25, 2010
Welcoming the optimism in the air after the world begins to put the recession behind it, job portal Naukri.com brings back Hari Sadu, the boss everyone loves to hate, in its latest commercial that says, 'Jobs are back'

It is ok to call your boss names again!

Does 'H' for 'Hitler, 'A' for 'Arrogant', 'R' for 'Rascal', 'I' for 'Idiot' ring a bell? It is rather likely that it would. Hari Sadu, the boss Naukri.com made an example of, is back with the job portal's new television commercial and he has the choicest of adjectives thrown at him this time as well.

& #BANNER1 & #The new TVC does not feature the boss or his disgruntled employees in person. However, it shows Sadu's door and numerous hands doodling and scribbling around his nameplate some hilarious and some outright inane words such as 'anaconda', 'acidity', 'in-laws' and 'swine flu', among others.

The ad ends with the message 'Jobs are Back' and 'Bye Bye Recession. Hello New Year'. The commercial, created by DraftFCB Ulka, has been directed by Vishal Gellani. The production house is Keroscene.

"The tides are changing. We are witnessing more job listings on the site. While it is not the best of the situation, it is definitely improving," says Sumeet Singh, national head, marketing and strategic alliances, Info Edge India.

The web site conducts what it calls the 'Naukri Hiring Outlook Survey' every six months. The survey, Singh says, indicates that about 72 per cent of recruiters are of the view that new jobs are being created.

According to Singh, sectors such as banking, information technology and related sectors, and construction are beginning to hire again.

On the new TVC, Singh says, "This is a tactical campaign to welcome the New Year and bid farewell to the recession."

The commercial was first released on YouTube and went on air over the weekend. On YouTube, the ad has already registered close to 60,000 views in a week.

"Traditionally, everyone releases commercials on television first. However, our target group is obviously the ones online and since online video is getting so popular, we decided to release it on YouTube first," Singh says.

Talking to afaqs!, Sanjay Sharma, creative director, DraftFCB Ulka, says, "We were looking to use a property that is already popular to welcome the good times. We played on the fact that people never leave jobs but leave difficult bosses.

"It is not a thematic campaign. It is not merely to convey what the brand offers but to celebrate the changing times," he adds.

However, does the ad bank too much on the success of the previous campaign that was launched way back in 2006?

"Hari Sadu has become synonymous with an unreasonable boss. It connected well with the audience. Although we launched the last TVC in 2006, we have been airing it quite a few times. Hence the connect was always there," Singh explains.

Sharma agrees as he says that Hari Sadu has become a cult figure and everyone has a fair idea about him.

The campaign will use the Internet and television extensively. Info Edge India is contemplating other options to add to the media mix. Singh, however, says that it is still early to comment on the same.

O for Opinions

Who would not like getting the better of a difficult boss? While the TVC works on the same premise as the first one, it evokes wisecracks, laughter and nods of appreciation.

Comments on the YouTube thread show how viewers already love the commercial.

Ryan Menezes, executive creative director, McCann Erickson joins the gang. "It is a great second ad. It is not an obvious sequel as many would expect, yet it has all the qualities that made the original so popular. It is naughty, wicked and roots for the underdog. The previous Hari Sadu was successful and so there is no harm in capitalising on that and milking it for all it is worth," Menezes says.

He thinks the ad could lead to an "epidemic of disgruntled employees doing the same exercise with their boss' names".

While Adrian Mendonza, national creative director, Dentsu Marcom thinks it is a "nice attempt", he cannot help but draw comparisons with the first ad and finds the current one falling short of expectations.

"It looks like it has been very hurriedly put together. While a lot of TVCs are hurriedly done, it should not be evident. They have of course stuck to the theme of an 'irritating boss' which is good, but while us ad guys will recall Hari Sadu, a lot of youngsters who are the portal's target audience might not track advertisements that closely," he says.

"It is not in the same class as the first ad," he remarks.