No, I’m not talking about television ads that add a URL or an email ID in the end. How many of us remember to visit the URL later? Unless there’s something compelling, we just may not – and completely forget that small effort by the brand to go social through a paid advertising spot.

There are exceptions.

An engine oil/ automobile lubricant brand (damn, I don’t recall the brand name! Max? Mak?) has a bizarre ad that shows a school kid whistling at a girl in class, only to be animatedly reprimanded with a tiny piece of chalk (or was it a small paper ball?) by the teacher. Next shot – a college kid whistles at a girl going with another guy, and gets a cold stare from the guy. Last shot – an old man whistles at a woman in the park. Frankly, I do not get the connection between the whistle (across ages!) and the lubricant in question. If you do, kindly let me know! But, what caught my attention is the phone number that was splashed for a few cursory seconds at the end of this ad and it actually said (to the effect), ‘If you like this whistle jingle and want it as your caller tune/ ring tone, call this number’.

Wow! It was a 2 line whistle thingy, not even very tuneful. I don’t even feel like whistling it back. And to think the brand bought someone’s story that this could make their ad, hmmm…for the lack of a better word, ‘viral? Wow, again!

On the other extreme, we’ve the Close-up jingle. There are no phone numbers, email IDs or URLs, but whoever I meet these days has something very good to say about this jingle that goes, ‘Paas aao na’. I’ve seen its variants in Tamil and Telugu and it sounds just as sweet. Its unfortunate for Close-up that I assumed its an ad for Colgate, till I researched about it for this post!

Now, this jingle is so damn popular that its all over YouTube and people are asking for its full version to just listen or to use it as a ring tone in myriad internet forums. Heck, someone’s even made an extended remix of this jingle! If Close-up’s brand folks were indeed ‘listening’ to what the internet chatterati is buzzing, they would have found a way to milk this opportunity. That is not to be.

However, this song, sung by Indipop singer, Sona Mohapatra and composed by her husband, Ram Sampath, on behalf of their music production house, The Mint, will have its own life soon. The other Mint, the financial daily, has a neat story on this jingle and its evolution into a stand alone song, soon to be featured in Sona’s second album.

So the Close-up jingle story is a reverse – Sona trying to spread the word about her new, unreleased song, through a jingle for Close-up, which incidentally was looking for a neat tune. But, imagine the possibilities for the brand (Close-up) now! Given the popularity of the jingle right now, they could have gone to town (the online town, that is) by extending the use of this jingle.

Let me be helpful and list a few ideas.

  • The obvious – a ring tone. The online world is craving for it and they’re making one on their own through the YouTube videos. Tie-up with a mobile service provider…and you’re talking revenues!
  • Caller tune. I hate them. But others don’t seem to. More money making opportunities.
  • Get Sona and Ram on a chat/ twitter and interact with people who like this tune. You can find many such people if you care to search the net tactfully.
  • Displays at malls/ multiplexes that play this jingle if you get ‘too close’ to the display figurines.

All they may end up doing is perhaps add the Close-up logo when Sony BMG releases Sona’s second album CD later this year. Sad, huh?



5 thoughts on “Indian TV spots going social?

  1. Personally, no. I’m not offended. But I’m sure there are many families that may be, since most of these spots are aired on prime time.

    But, going by news reports, the ring tone from this BBC-backed ad is a huge hit.

    Smart thinking!

  2. Hey what about the Jingle for ‘Limca’, it’s damn good! and the full version is played on MTV and [V]!

    Any info on whose the MD of that?! and may be where I can dwnld the song?!


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