An adman breaks down the various types of Diwali ads. Brace yourself for a national outbreak of lump-in-the-throat-itis.
It's the time of the year when you can redeem 365 days of douchebaggery with a single act of kindness, compassion, humanity, decency, generosity, or whatever is most in line with the client's brand key. Or pyramid, or cube, or circle, or dodecahedron. We, in advertising, call it Diwali.
It's the time of the year for a national outbreak of lump-in-the-throat-itis. Fortunately, the condition lasts only a few seconds, and is not known to have any debilitating side-effects, apart from disruptions in TOM awareness. The condition, however, is known to spread rapidly through WhatsApp forwards tagged with messages like 'the real meaning of Diwali'.
It's the time of the year when creatives will rummage through their rejected scripts folder to repurpose ideas that didn't make it to the production floor. Diwali is a great leveller. Ideas can cross over categories with the slightest tweaking. Change 'cup of tea' to 'glass of mineral water' (wink, wink), or ST bus to airline, or visually impaired to hearing disabled, or lesbian to transgender.
It's the time of the year to tell stories. With a hashtag. And airdrop them with a fervent prayer that it triggers a million forwards. Diwali, after all, is the perfect backdrop for stories to happen. So, let the tear glands burst.
It's the time of the year when a psychopath of a neighbour will acknowledge a box of sweets with, you won't believe it, a smile. He may well revert to his despicable ways soon after, till next Diwali. But we will never know. And of course, Tinnu Anand will play the part.
It's the time of the year when an infernal kid brother will melt his sister's heart with a mere soupcon of thoughtfulness. Like buying her a cola so that he can scan the prize winning QR code on the label. That would give him sanction to be an unreachable itch in his sister's back the rest of the year.
It's the time of the year when a hated harridan will return a tennis ball to a window breaking Rishabh Pant emulator. Along with a motichur laddu. The ad film maker will be chuffed that he thought of a paddle scoop instead of the cliched slog over midwicket.
It's the time of the year when a bigoted adherent of faith X will have an epiphanic change of heart that will make him share a 'moment' with a follower of faith Y (X and Y to be decided based on an analysis of benefit vs backlash).
It's the time of the year when fairy lights will be switched on in orphanages, old age homes, shelters for the homeless, and pandemic-stricken businesses by spreaders of lump-in-the-throat-itis. The ad at the shoot will really enjoy saying, 'Camera... Action.... Lights'. The DoP knows that this is the 'money shot' of the film. He and his gaffers spent hours designing the lighting.
It's the time of the year when a stone-hearted patriarch will buy a lehenga for his son who identifies as his daughter. The brand manager ticks a box in her KRAs. She has many more boxes to tick. Next stop, Valentine's Day. Or maybe, even Christmas. Damn, she had to let Children's Day go this year. Why did it have to come so close to Diwali?
It's the time of the year when a little boy/girl with Mom/Dad's help will use compassion and technology (phone+facebook+printer+
google) to rescue an abandoned puppy and find a loving home for it. What better day than Diwali for a dog to find a home?
It's the time of the year when a desi tucking into a taco from a food truck in San Diego, suddenly pines for his mother's flaky mathris. She always makes them for the gaggle of gambling guests who gather for Diwali. Casting can get enough foreigners for the food truck shot, and the location manager knows the perfect place to set it up.
It's also the time of the year for some creative team to sidestep the cliches, rise above the formula, dig deep into their skills, and pull out a classic for all times. Capturing the spirit of the festival in a way that only true artists can.
D Ramakrishna is founder and creative director at Cartwheel.
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(Edited by : Aditi Gautam)
First Published: IST