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  • Shabbir Akhtar

The Masters of Shock and Awe - Fevicol Ads

I start my mornings with a one-hour YouTube session, where I go through video on topics of my interest. In one such session I came across an ad by RC Cola, which reminded me of some great Indian ads from the 90s and 00s, which treaded this path of shocking the audience to get their eyeballs glued to the television. With the advent of digital media, the need for grabbing the audiences' attention had reached new levels.



There is one company from India that has consistently done this well over decades - Pidilite India, which produces adhesives. The challenge the brand faced was to communicate a core competence of its product - its adhesives do work even under water. With several adhesive brands in the market, Pidilite India and its agency, Ogilvy & Mather, needed to come up with campaigns that talks about the features of an adhesive (something that we all know), yet makes it a fun experience to sit through and watch.


To communicate the launch of a new product in the 90s - Feviquick - Pidilite India's and Ogilvy & Mather came up with a weird idea, using humor (Pathos) as the main driver of the content to give strong evidence of the features (Logos), with the legacy of the brand acting as the spokesperson (Ethos). The campaign worked wonders for the brand - it still holds near monopoly in the market and the ad is considered one of the best ads ever run in India.



And, in Season 3 of the Creative Indians series on Netflix (https://www.netflix.com/title/81014811), Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative director, South Asia, Ogilvy & Mather, explained how he used a Feviquick, a pencil and a glass of water in the pitch meeting with Pidilite to get their buy-in on the weird concept of the ad. It was a fun and interesting watch to know about the though behind the concept, directly from the person who came up with it.


Recently, in 2018, Pidilite India wanted to recreate this same effect for another brand of theirs - Fevicol Marine. The ad, again created by Ogilvy & Mather, promotes Fevicol Marine’s strong bond in water (Logos), through humor (Pathos) with the legacy of the brand being the spokesperson (Ethos) and highlighting the tagline ‘Asli Waterproof Adhesive’ (Real Waterproof Adhesive).



Talking on the recent ad, Piyush Pandey said, “The campaign keeps in mind that currently most consumers cannot differentiate on wood adhesives performance and technology. The idea was to present the differentiation in an easy and humorous manner. Like all Fevicol ads, this TVC also borrows from India and captures the spirit of India." You can read more about the latest ad at: https://bestmediainfo.com/2018/03/fevicol-marine-tvc-shows-technological-prowess-in-a-witty-way/


All the ads of Pidilite India (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3_l3w7o8vR_O9YiOvgPVsw) are unique, communicate the features of a very basic product in interesting manners and creates effective top-of-mind recall through humor, which has allowed the brand to be a market leader for over 60 years now.

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