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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Oh, Yes, Abhi, JWT must hire a genuine creative team for Pepsi.

With due respect to Sharon Stone and her cross legs, one cannot help but think – in case he or she can think – that Basic Instinct is no pro bono. Instead, it IS a (bad) quality or trait which suits animals the most. However, to be precise, that doesn’t even suit the animals like Tigers, Lions, Elephants, etc. who belong to the upper echelon of the animal kingdom and use their brains to get a job done – be it hunting for food, or fighting against an enemy to survive, or simply to protect themselves or the clan.  

This underlines the fact that in order to react and act, productively, one needs to think first. And no such thinking is possible unless one has some patience in him or her to do that.

It’s often believed and tried to establish that THE YOUTH cannot be patient. Rather they are expected to be impatient, always.

Does that mean, THE YOUTH are not even animals of the higher class, so are not entitled or qualified to think thanks to their IMPATIENCE before a reaction and/or an action?

The answer is, a BIG and EMPHATIC “NO”, right? Then what’s the ulterior motive and vested interest of an Iconic Youth Brand like Pepsi to thrive on the BIG IDEA: IMPATIENCE (in the Youth of India) by rolling out a TVC and the entire campaign called: Oh, Yes, Abhi (Oh, Yes, Right Now)?

Had it been any other Brand but Pepsi then a benefit of doubt could have been offered, buying into the logic that the said Brand doesn’t have much idea of Human Psychology and Behaviour.

Whereas that logic doesn’t really work as an alibi for Pepsi, which is neither a new entrant in India nor naïve about things like: consumer insight, cultural change and social impact.  

For that, it automatically becomes hard to believe that Pepsi didn’t or doesn’t understand the Lifecycle of IMPATIENCE in one's life that flows – irrespective of geography or demography – like this: Impatience in Baby = Cuteness > Impatience in Child = Activity > Impatience in Kid = Inattentiveness > Impatience in YOUTH = STUPIDITY > Impatience in Elder = Immaturity > Impatience in Old = Insanity.

In fact, it needs NO rocket science or rocket scientist... so as to realise, ‘glory, success, achievements, accomplishment, etc.’ have NEVER been, nor can ever be the manifestation of one's IMPATIENCE.

That’s why; while Deepika Warrier, VP - Marketing, beverages, PepsiCo India, explained that 'Oh, Yes, Abhi' translated into 'Live for the present as tomorrow is too late', it rather spoke volumes for the hollowness – quite palpable in the thought process.

Surjo Dutt, ECD – JWT India (the creative agency that crafted this campaign), may also defend the idea for over 1000 times, if not more, by quoting, "Pepsi is not a guru; it's a mirror. It mirrors what the youth are feeling already. The youth feel the way they feel; for them, impatience is already a virtue. Brands that can catch onto what they are feeling are the ones that connect with the youth." But then, he probably has NO idea that a mirror hardly reflects a truth.

Being an advertising professional for ages and being an ECD – Executive Creative Director, he should’ve had the PATIENCE, not IMPATIENCE, to understand that in a mirror, one gets to see his/her left hand as the right hand; means an EXTREME OPPOSITE to the reality.

Plus, if IMPATIENCE in the YOUTH is already a ‘virtue’, THE virtue should ideally NEVER have been projected and presented in a TVC – having three super stars: Priyanka Chopra, Ranbir Kapoor and Mahendra Singh Dhoni – just to showcase an impromptu zig towards a dance floor to get into the groove, or  a new haircut on a girl, or a tattoo in making, or a mad rush braving an unnerving traffic jam for some junk food, or hitting a sixer to dance on field...

Effervescence, fizz and coolness of Pepsi doesn’t really boil down to doing something as mindless as shown in the ‘Oh, Yes, Abhi’ TVC… being zombies to impulses or sudden rush of blood i.e. IMPATIENCE. Not to mention, that rush of blood is already a taken positioning and overused by the rival camp’s Thums Up in the same product category.

However, if Pepsi was really serious about exploiting IMPATIENCE... “the trait turned virtue” in line with JWT’s claim, the Brand would’ve done a far, far, far better job than the current, not even mediocre, TVC. And to do so, IMPATIENCE could have jolly well been used as: Impatience to negotiate > Impatience to care > Impatience to solve > Impatience to lead > Impatience to accomplish... duly complementing the YOUTH of India’s real aspirations today that seek BIGGER ROLES.

Otherwise, not only Coca-Cola will beat Pepsi again in the race of India's most trusted Brand in Aerated Soft drinks but also some Nimbu Paani might do the same, if commonsense prevails and the YOUTH of India deny to act as puppets of consumerism anymore.

So, “Oh, Yes, Abhi, JWT must hire a genuine creative team to handle Pepsi.”

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