Lifestyle Awards 2013
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Have you learnt your lesson?
Posted By: Samara Chopra
Remember the ‘Little Boxes’ ad for the Maruti Zen Estilo? You know what I’m talking about – “Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky….little boxes all the same”.
I remember it because I had that song stuck in my head for quite a while and because I’d randomly start singing it without realising.
For the uninitiated, the ‘Little Boxes’ jingle plays through the commercial in which people move and drive around, enclosed in little card board boxes implying monotony and boredom. And in the end a bright red Zen Estillo drives by amidst the boxes, which is supposed to leave you feeling that there is something unique and special about the Estillo.
Maruti took it off the air because they didn’t get a good response and apparently the ad left people confused. Some weren’t entirely sure what the ad was about; some got it after viewing it a couple of times and were apparently frustrated at their initial inability to understand.
I know a lot of research goes into these things so they must know what they are talking about, but personally I don’t understand the confusion. It wasn’t the usual glorified car commercial.
It didn’t have what they call ‘beauty shots’ or ‘product shots’. But that’s what made it different. I’m not saying that it was a great commercial. It was also a rip-off from the title sequence of the TV show ‘Weeds’, (www.youtube.com).
I even began by saying that it was the jingle that got stuck in my head and not necessarily the car. Never-the –less, it caught my attention.
I realized that the ‘Little Boxes’ ad had been taken off the air when Picture Perfect was invited to Ooty to watch the filming of the new Maruti Zen Estillo commercial. I didn’t quite understand why it was being replaced by such a plain story.
The new ad, which I am sure you’ll see if you haven’t already, is about a boy and a girl who manage to elope in none other than the Zen Estilo. The girl’s father, who is so taken in by the many features of the car that he doesn’t realise what his daughter is up to.
Television advertisements are used so widely to interrupt TV shows that everyone, at some point, has wished that they could do away with them entirely.
One typically views them in passing, possibly on the way to the bathroom or to the kitchen for a snack. My point is that when more often than not commercials are viewed as intrusions, a viewer is more likely to stay and watch the ‘Little Boxes’ ad, but would probably take the bathroom break over the new one.
Of course the new ad does fit all the criteria for a successful commercial. The car was in almost every shot, the story was easy to understand and told you everything that the manufacturer wanted you to know about the car.
But the only reason I would stay and watch the new commercial is because I was there while it was being filmed. It was a really memorable experience for me. But will I remember the ad?
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