Google India’s latest ad showcases 75 years of progress, in under two minutes.
Google India’s latest ad is the story of #Indiakiudaan. The one-minute-50-second-long ad attempts to capture the progress India has made over the years. Some of the glimpses of progress include video clips of the first Indian to go to space, the first round of economic reforms, the Green Revolution, the White Revolution, etc. The ad has been made by the independent agency Toaster.
With a voice-over by Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar, the video references India's multiple milestones in its course of progress, since it achieved Independence. These includes search queries about the first Indian to go to space, the first one to win an Oscar award, and the first Indian cricket team to win a World Cup - in 1983.
Apart from heavily publicised media events, the video also makes references to major milestones that India has achieved as a nation, including polio eradication, the passing of the Right to Education Act, and the introduction of Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
Olympic athletes Mary Kom and Neeraj Chopra also make an appearance in the video.
Titus Upputuru, of the Titus Upputuru company, points out that the execution of the ad is a harmonious marriage of the footage and Akhtar’s voice. “The search going on at the heart of the ad, was quite nice. Using Farhan Akhtar’s voice was a good idea. His husky voice resonates and dials back to the cinema he has done, like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, which was quite a remarkable movie from India context.”
Abhik Santara, director and CEO, ^atom network, explains that it was a regular feel good execution and a predictable storyline. “There was nothing outstanding, or bad about it. As a viewer, does it make me proud? Yes. Does it move me? Not that much. I also got a little lost, following the story. Do I look at the past achievements, or feel inspired for the future?”
Soumitra Patnekar, strategy lead at Enormous Brands, says that the film's execution is similar to what Google advertising has always been about. "I think 75 years of Independence is such a milestone that no matter how you communicate it, living up to the occasion is a tough ask. Yet, no one is placed better than Google to take us through this journey, and the search terms do a good job of reminding us of our progress."
"While the narrative arc covers the right themes - that of a nation finding its own feet and becoming self sufficient, while making a mark on the world stage - the execution leaves you feeling a little underwhelmed," adds Patnekar.
Upputuru adds that Google search throughout the ad, was a good idea, since it has a good recall brand value. Sometimes, you have a terribly good story, but you tend to forget the brand. That way, this is unmistakably Google, he says.
Santara agrees that Akhtar’s voice and narration made the whole video more watchful and impactful. “Without the voice-over, the AV would have fallen flat. The corresponding visuals of the search queries, are also executed in usual ways - that’s how most Independence Day videos are.”
According to Patnekar, what stood out the most was the ‘Saare Jahan Se Achha’ response by Rakesh Sharma. "It captured the 75th Independence Day feeling more than others. The idea that even at the height of one’s personal achievement, the feeling of a nation being supreme/above everything else, matters most. It's a feeling I would have liked to be reminded more of, especially today."
Patnekar adds that while there is a lot of focus on marking those seminal moments and showcasing our collective achievements, it says very little of how has all of this, transformed/changed the mentality/psyche of us, at an individual level.
"Are we more open, confident, comfortable, sure-footed about ourselves than before? I would have liked to see that going into the 76th year, than just a 1.4 billion populace looking to fulfill their dreams," he concludes.