Why is Amitabh Bachchan upset with his wife in the new Dr Fixit ad?

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | August 18, 2016
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The humorous ad conceptualised by Ogilvy India shows Bachchan's daydreams shattered by Dr Fixit.

How would one feel when his dreams are shattered? That's what happens to the protagonist in the recently released TV commercial for Pidilite Industries' waterproofing solutions brand Dr Fixit.

The ad, conceptualised by Ogilvy India and directed by the Mumbai-based Corcoise Films, went on air on August 15, 2016.

The TVC starts with Bollywood's legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, the protagonist in the ad, deliver a Bollywood-style monologue (read verse), while fantasising about his beautiful female neighbours across the damp walls of his house. Set against some pretty nice poetry, and using the leakage metaphorically, he reminisces how each time the ladies showered, or watered their plants across the walls and water from their apartments leaked into his home and wore off the plaster from the walls and the roof, there would be a whiff of passion on his side of the wall, too. Bachchan sighs at the thought of what could have been if... his wife had not waterproofed the house with Dr Fixit during its construction. She had ensured that Bachchan's fantasies remain just that - fantasies, thanks to Dr Fixit's water-proofing.

Vivek Sharma

Piyush Pandey

Vivek Sharma, chief marketing officer, Pidilite Industries, says in a press release, "Dr Fixit is the market leader in the water-proofing segment and it continues to play the role of creating the market for modern water-proofing methods. This involves changing the behaviour of people through messages that are relevant, persuasive, and delivered in a memorable way. And, who other than Mr Bachchan could deliver this more convincingly, as he is not just admired, but has immense credibility."

Commenting on the campaign, Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director, South Asia, Ogilvy India, says in a press release, "No matter what section of society one comes from, when your home leaks, you feel helpless. The campaign uses this insight and says it in an entertaining manner."

He adds, "Dr Fixit is the leader in the category like Mr Bachchan is in the world of cinema. It's a perfect 'jodi'. (Prasoon) Pandey has put together this story in a beautiful and persuasive manner, making the communication watchable again and again."

We asked our experts about the execution of the ad and this is what they had to say.

Sambit Mohanty

Madhura Haldipur

Sambit Mohanty, creative head, DDB Mudra North, says, "It's so refreshing to watch Amitabh Bachchan put his acting chops to good use in something other than a public service ad. And, his cheeky, witty soliloquy for Dr Fixit makes you want to watch it again and again. That, to my mind, is an awesome achievement."

Madhura Haldipur, creative lead, copy, DigitasLBI, a digital agency from the house of Publicis.Sapient, says, "If you look at 'home solutions' as a category, it faces the problem of fighting for consumers' attention against products they use every day. Well, did the ad fix it? Somewhat, thanks to Mr Bachchan. As a persona, he rarely has trouble connecting with the audience. But, the fact that he lords over the screen may not actually do much for the product."

According to Haldipur, Pidilite has a history of producing some great ads with its quintessential style of silly-but-clever humour. "As for the execution of this particular ad, unfortunately, this was more of a laugh-inward-silently kind of ad, and one which tried too hard to live up to the others," she says.

When asked if the brand could have done something different with Bachchan, she says, "The poster boy for angry, young men has now become a poster man for docile, old grandfathers. And, as if to remind us, the fantasy takes a rather geriatric turn. Funny? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely not."

She adds, "Of course, his love affair with poetry has been used (and abused) to synergise the humour and the features of the product. But, the fact that we can't discuss the advertisement without discussing Amitabh Bachchan says a lot about how much justice the brand has done to its offering."

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