Take a look at this ad for Tata Capital Limited, a financial service company. Being bombarded on the Indian airwaves right now.
In case you were unable to make out the details in this video, the premise of this ad goes something like this – Two little girls, probably siblings discover an antiquated coin in the house. Taking the coin, they rush to the neighborhood streetside ice candy outlet and ask to purchase 2 candies for themselves. However owing to the antiquated nature of the coin, the stall owner refuses to sell them the candies, without realizing the true value of the coin.
A little while later appears another, slightly older kid who takes the coin and goes to an antique shop to exchange the coin for money that is in circulation. The boy goes back to candy outlet, buys two ice candies and hands them to the two sitting girls who are shown consuming it with relish.
The ad, prepared by the Indian arm of Leo Burnett Worldwide, looks cutesy and endearing. However any message of uprightness and judgement of Tata Capital they might have been trying to convey, IMO, was not achieved through this ad. If at all anything, it conveys a message to the contrary.
Consider this – the kid who takes the coin to the antique shop, is only able to sell it for enough money to buy 2 measly ice candies. In a world where antique anything is purchased by giving premium price, the kid’s deal reflected his poor judgement and lack of knowledge in matters pertaining to this field.
If the kid did indeed struck the right deal and chose to keep the rest of the money to himself, it shows his malicious intentions and devious nature.
Quite clearly the makers of this Ad intended the 2 little girls to symbolize the citizens like you and [not]me, who are looking to ensure the safe and profitable investment of their money. The older boy on the other hand stood for Tata Capital Limited who would manage the money for us. They were unable to draw up a correct analogy – maybe if they kid was shown to buy out the whole ice candy outlet for the girls it would have justified giving away the antique coin [though the concept would have been just as ludicrous].
I’ve always been an ardent fan of the Ads coming out of the Leo Burnett stable in India [though Ogilvy and McCann-Erickson comes second by a whisker for me]. However with this Ad Leo Burnett has handed the Tatas a lemon.