“Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK,” says the no-holds-barred ad man Don Draper from the hit TV series Mad Men. Every once in a while, there comes an ad which sells you that happiness; that makes you laugh a little (or a lot) and gives you a solution that you least expected to a problem that just won’t go away. And that is exactly what the latest Homage UPS Inverter ads are all about.
Produced by iDCreations, the first of the two Homage UPS ad opens with a woman weeping over the loss of her phone. She proceeds to tell us about the various functions of her forty five-thousand rupee brand new phone that she got as a wedding anniversary present – it had an impressive camera, a super-fast processor, screen size that would put every other handheld device to shame, built-in memory and the works. She then tells us her device met an untimely death because she charged it on a lowquality (sasta) UPS and then cries some more as her husband hands her more tissue paper to wipe her tears and the voiceover urges the audience to buy Homage UPS Inverter.
The second ad shows a man who drones on about diodes, conductors and electric current. only to reveal to the audience that he’s a doctor, not an engineer but thanks to the low-quality UPS that he had installed, he is now a makeshift engineer as well. The camera then pans out and shows him fixing something (presumably an appliance).
The Homage ad series are hilarious and insightful. They take a simple problem-solution approach but work well because the audience is able to relate to the problems presented. Every day consumers suffer long power outages and voltage issues that can fry their electronic devices, thus preventing them from leading a normal life (also the peg of the ad). It is this desire to live a ‘normal’ life that makes the ads so believable – a rare insight offered into the consumer’s mind that most production houses are unable to execute effectively. The characters are convincing and their woes strike a chord with the audience.
Original ideas are hard to come by in the ad world these days. Given the rampant conceptual plagiarism – the Dispirin ad featuring Mehwish Hayat is a case in point –, it is commendable to note there are people trying hard to put up original work out there.
Homage’s latest fare may not be outstanding but it works well because it picks up on a common problem and offers an obvious solution. Critics are quick to say the ad looks suspiciously like some Indian ads (more specifically certain OLX ads) but let’s be honest: a problemsolution approach forms the basis of any good ad so full points to iDcreations for taking an unconventional approach.