Seagram’s Men Will Be Men, courtesy an all-women team!

UPDATE (October 13, 2020): The 18th episode is out, today.

As usual, by Ogilvy India. And, as always, it’s terribly amusing to see Pernod Ricard selling “Superhits Music CDs” as a surrogate advertising tactic when we have all moved to streaming music πŸ™‚


The 17th episode in Seagram’s Imperial Blue Music CDs series is out! Here it is.

And here’s a playlist of all the videos in the series – there are 17 films that I could find online. I don’t know if there are more. The series started in 1999, as far as I know.

The 17 films, in the order they play in the playlist are:

01- Elevator 1 (Up and down)
02- Elevator 2 (Breathe in)
03- TV Remote
04- Blue Rose
05- Anniversary
06- Office
07- Store
08- Elevator 3
09- Car 1
10- Tick Tock
11- Lucky Seat
12- Car 2
13- Home Drop
14- Shoelace
15- Bike
16- Gym
17- Heartbeat

Film No.12 (Car 2) features Kartik Aryan, by the way. And Film No.2 (Elevator 2) features Disha Patani!

Which are your favorites? Mine are: 01, 02, 05, 11 and 14. Some of these films are utterly predictable too, like 05 (Anniversary), 11 (Lucky Seat) or 16 (Gym), but the fact that they still bring a smile to your face says a lot about how predictable men are, in general πŸ™‚

There are several interesting background things in this series that are worth observing.

1/ Ogilvy India is the agency behind this series right from day 1. Ajay Gahlaut, former Ogilvy creative head, famously said in 2017, “Only a man can write the best Imperial Blue film. Not because they (women) are not talented enough but because they are women and they don’t think like men”. This is hugely interesting because Ajay has moved on from Ogilvy (he is in Publicis now) and the latest episode (that you see/saw above, at the beginning of this post) is by an all-women team at Ogilvy headed by Ritu Sarda, chief creative officer, Ogilvy North!

I personally feel this team has captured the essence of the series, even as it enters a slightly surreal territory too, beyond the totally realistic zones occupied by the earlier films.

2/ The ghazal that plays in the background of several ads in the series (some of them don’t have this ghazal too!) is a non-existent, made-for-this-ad 2-liner! It is the brainchild of former Ogilvy Creative Head Ajay Gahlaut. Here is Ajay himself explaining the origin of this incredibly catchy 2-line ghazal!

Ajay later announced that he is going to finish writing that ghazal.

And that he was recording that ghazal with a singer named Mangal Mishra.

As far as I know, that version is yet to be out! There is another version, by a guy named Vinayak Dubey out there, though! Vinayak took it upon himself to complete the ghazal and sing it too!

3/ For an alcohol brand that is already indulging in surrogate advertising by promoting a music CD series, you’d expect that darn song showcased in the ad film series to be available in those very CDs. But that’s not the case, ironically πŸ™‚

4/ Two related previous posts:
Sequential storytelling in marketing communication
Media size doesn’t matter. Consistency does. The story of Bandor!

5/ ‘Men will be men’ is a pretty loaded phrase. Removed from this ad series’ context, it is broadly used to justify generally terrible and uncouth behavior by men. But the success of this campaign is in toning down the toxicity of that phrase and consistently keeping it in the tongue-in-cheek + harmless zone. Not all ads are about women, there is at least one about a bike. But even otherwise, even with most of them being about how men behave in front of/with/near women, the tone constantly aims to highlight what men do to attract the attention of the opposite sex, and many a time, quite stupidly in a goofy way.

6/ The same phrase, when brought down in age – ‘boys will be boys’ – gets a really dark and dangerous tone as KFC is finding out in Australia now. One of KFC’s ads in Australia is in the eye of a storm because it reinforces the ‘boys will be boys’ trope.



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