Ubaid Zargar

Vadilal Ice Cream wants you to celebrate happiness with its Ice Creams; Pepsodent might disagree

The two brands have unveiled campaigns that are almost the same but different. Take a look.

In the ad world, where creativity runs supreme, what are the chances of brands launching campaigns that inadvertently seem to engage in a dialogue with each other, albeit from opposing viewpoints?

Two brands have emerged as unlikely protagonists in a tale of contrasting narratives. Vadilal, the ice cream brand, and Pepsodent, the toothpaste manufacturer, have unveiled campaigns so divergent that they run parallel but lead to vastly different outcomes.

Vadilal's latest campaign, dubbed Wah Wali News, is a symphony of joyous moments amplified by the mere presence of ice cream. With three ad films, the brand weaves a narrative where the consumption of their ice creams becomes the quintessential mode of celebration, surpassing even the most extraordinary achievements.

In one vignette, set in a gynaecology hospital, the arrival of a newborn baby boy, already an IIT prodigy, fails to stir much excitement until Vadilal ice creams make their entrance, transforming the atmosphere into a jubilant fiesta. Similarly, a group of scientists working on a space program remain nonchalant about the discovery of alien life on Mars until the news is coupled with the delightful offering of Vadilal's frozen delights.

In the last ad film from the brand a father reading his newspaper is completely unfazed by the arrival of his long-lost son, who is now rich and married to an English princess, until his daughter delivers the same message with ice creams.

Contrastingly, Pepsodent's latest ad film takes a satirical jab at the conventional notion of celebrations, highlighting the detrimental effects of sugary indulgences on dental health. Aptly titled as Strange Rewards, the ad film showcases numerous instances of a child's achievements, from academic triumphs to personal milestones, all greeted with sugary treats that symbolise the slow decay of dental hygiene.

The sugary treats in the film are replaced by screwdrivers, depicting how while celebrating a child's success with these edibles, we're drilling holes into their teeth- a metaphor for cavities.

The juxtaposition of these two campaigns elicits not just amusement but also a deeper reflection on the versatility of advertising narratives. Despite promoting products from entirely different categories, both Vadilal and Pepsodent employ a similar paradigm – the celebration of success – albeit with polar opposite outcomes.

What makes this dichotomy even more amusing is the sheer audacity with which each brand commits to its narrative, unfazed by the irony of their counterparts' campaign. While Vadilal showers its audiences with moments of unbridled joy, Pepsodent serves as a bitter pill of reality, reminding us of the hidden costs behind every sugary indulgence.

Yet, amidst the laughter and contemplation, one cannot help but assess the outcome of the campaigns. The brands, seemingly standing diametrically opposed to one another (likely unbeknownst to each other), could very well complement each other. You see, while Vadilal is serving you ice creams, Pepsodent isn’t opposed to the idea, as long as you cleanse your teeth with proper oral care. The visuals of dropping screws in the washbasin imply that the threat of dental problems can be dealt with.

However, as consumers, we find ourselves caught in the crossfire of these competing narratives, torn between the allure of indulgence and the cautionary insinuations of moderation. But perhaps therein lies the beauty of advertising – it holds up a mirror to society, reflecting our values, desires, and contradictions in equal measure.

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