McDowell’s has taken a dig on the Royal Stag punchline – ‘Make it Large’. They have released a spoof of the ad by Royal Stag featuring Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh. Watch the original ad and its spoof below:
The Original (from Royal Stag, featuring Harbhajan Singh)
The Spoof (from McDowell’s, featuring MS Dhoni and a Harbhajan Singh lookalike)
After seeing the spoof, only one question lingers in my mind – Is it worth it?
In a country like India, where direct advertisement of liquor is banned, every alcoholic beverages maker is going in a roundabout way to advertise for their brand (Read my post on this style of Surrogate Marketing here) Add to that the complication of a spoof, and the message becomes ever more indirect and confusing. It is going to be especially confusing for a layman, who does not really connect the Harbhajan Singh lookalike to the Royal Stag advertisement. They can only see this ad as an independent, humorous clip, nothing more.
I believe that – a) people who are working in the alcoholic beverages industry, and b) people who are marketing enthusiasts and watch ads with interest – are the only ones who would realize the significance of the ad, and define it as a spoof on Royal Stag’s campaign. And that’s the reason I think the ad is merely a strong statement made internally from McDowell’s to Royal Stag. The customer doesn’t really seem to be the target audience of the ad. And that is what I have a problem with – you are making a 31 second ad, telecast at prime time across major channels, and the only purpose it is serving is to give you an ego-boost in front of your competitors, and is not talking at all to the customer !!
They sure have egos which are expensive to assuage!
Hence, my suggestion is – if you do end up making a spoof on someone, make sure the customer who sees the ad is being communicated to, and the spoof talks more about the qualities of your product than your competitor’s. And frankly, a spoof in the liquor industry, with its indicative and indirect advertising only talking through punchlines of Make it Large and Keep it Different, is a pretty lousy idea at best.
Note: A veiled attack was also made in an earlier campaign for McDowell’s where Dhoni mentioned that in the T20 World Cup final, he picked up Joginder Singh to deliver the last over instead of the ‘ace spinner’ (alluding to Harbhajan)
- Market Size (Indian Liquor Market) ; 234.4 million cases (9 litres each)
- Market Growth Rate: 16.6 % YoY in 2010
Source: Business Standard