Saleskids of The Year

A couple is standing near a counter debating what to buy. Husband wishes for a camera, while the wife is adamant on getting a laptop. The verbal duel goes on till the wife threatens to cancel his Thailand trip, and subsequently the husband gives in to his wife’s demand and orders a laptop.
Seems to be a usual household banter, but it is anything but usual. The couple shown are kids who belong the transitional phase between childhood and teenage. The lady takes up mock anger with perfection and the man sports a fake moustache. The counter is of Flipkart.com, one of India’s largest online consumer goods store.

Welcome to a world that has gone smaller to appeal to a larger number of people. From the Flipkart advertisements which regularly features small kids acting as adults (which is very sweet to watch) to the Oreo advertisements, Allahabad Bank, McDonalds and to the latest commercial spot for ICICI Bank, everyone seems to be looking up the small kids. This trend of using little wonders to sell big numbers isn’t new. In fact, it has been present since the advent of advertising itself. Some little brand ambassadors who became synonymous with the brand are the Murphy Baby (from the Murphy Radio advertisement), the Dhara boy who leaves home in sadness and comes back with the offer of “Jalebi!” and the Parle-G girl who has been our companion during most of the tea-and-snack hours.
By presenting children in advertisements the brands usually want to establish a quick connection with the audience. And they are very much successful in this attempt of theirs. I have seen people flipping through channels to skip advertisement, but they pause to watch if the screen gets filled with the innocence of some kids. And personally I act similarly too.

Following is a list of recent advertisements which I enjoy watching and going by the YouTube numbers, I am sure so do many others. Check them out.


ICICI Bank Rewards Program


This is a sweet 1 minute 20 seconds tale of a little girl, who starts running as soon the school gets over, crosses a small river bridge, jumps through a broken wall and moves at a brisk pace until she sees a solitary building standing on a hill. It is a shop, from which she buys herself a toffee after much deliberation over which one to buy. She returns again the other day with a younger boy who tags along on the magical journey which will reward him with a candy. On reaching the candy shop, the girl discovers that her pocket is torn and she has lost her money. Unable to get the candies, she and the little boy get visibly upset and start to leave the shop when the shopkeeper calls and gives them both a candy, with a smile. And all this while a beautiful Kashmiri poem, “Hukus bukus telli wann che kus”rings in the background in a cute voice, apparently of a girl. The poem, which translates to ‘Who are you and who am I, and tell us who is the creator that permeates through both you and I’, was penned by Lal Ded, one of the greatest poet-saint of 14th century Kashmir. The advertisement sweetly informs about the bank’s rewards program with “Accha lagta hai, jab mile kuchh unexpected” (It feels good when you get awarded something unexpected) and the cute kids drive home the message with ease.


McDonalds

McDonalds has always been very popular with the kids and grown-ups alike. With the onset of inflation and subsequently declining number of people opting to eat-out, McDonalds brought out its Happy Price Menu. Happy Price Menus are either deals on meals or discounted meals in ‘Happy Hours’. And both the steps have been successful in keeping the restaurants crowded and demands sustained. To promote the friendly prices, McD has been regularly releasing advertisements with kids in focus. One of the advertisements which came some months back featured a little girl sitting with a boy his same age. She asks him if she is they are girlfriend-boyfriend? The boy replies in negative and reasons that girlfriends are too demanding. The girl replies that she only wants McAloo Tikki. The boy ponders for a moment, checks his pocket, then smiles and says ‘Okay then’. The next shot shows the ‘couple’ sitting cosily and the girl plants a kiss on the boy’s cheek and then the McD rhetoric “I’m lovin’ it” follows.
Another of the advertisement came around Dushhera, which shows a small boy sitting in the costume of the mythological character Raavan and laughing heartily, very loudly as he scoops through twelve desserts one by one. He is sitting with his father in a McDonalds and the happiness is both expressed through the boy and his father. McDonalds has experimented in advertisements with other adults but needless to say they have failed to make this much of an impact.


Oreo

Open Karo. Lick Karo. And Dunk karo. This is the lesson which the kids in Oreo’s commercials impart, which tells the best way to enjoy Oreo. There have been a series of Oreo advts. in which little kids impart the valuable teaching to relish Oreos it its full essence. There is this advt in particular where a sweet little girl dresses up as a lady in salwar-kurta et al and brings milk and Oreos for his dad who is just back from his office. She teaches him the ‘correct way’ of having the biscuits. And before the man could go for his last step, the girl snatches it away and eats it with a clever grin. The advertisement plays on the childish-naughtiness and through a playful description establishes the biscuit as a ‘kids-favourite’ product.


Flipkart.com

Now these advertisements have won me over completely. A series of them are out on air. And they all have children acting as adults. In the opening paragraph I have already spoken about one of the advertisements in the series. And for the rest I will be posting links, as they are much better to be seen than to be written about.
For me personally, Flipkart has ceased to be a chosen medium of online shopping as the products are usually costlier than competitive websites. But these advertorial spots keep me glued to this brand. I watch them on TV, find them on YouTube and these never fail to tickle my funny bone, or any other part of my anatomy for that matter. The way Flipkart has used children tells about how a child’s play it is to use and order from their website. And in most of their advertisements, there is an in-home Flipkart counter where the family members order the product of their choice. This setting further underlines the ease of ordering and getting the products delivered, all from your home. Flipkart has got all the chords right in this advertorial series.

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