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BW Businessworld

Web Exclusive: Dew's Advantage

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Some of you would have watched the telecast of the movie, Players, on Zee Cinema, last week. Those viewers, who grew up when television meant Doordarshan, would have also instantly related the frozen frame during the movie telecast to the "sorry for the interruption" message, when DD ruled the airwaves.

But this time the more-than-pregnant-pause on screen, especially when the film's hero Abhishek Bachchan's close up was on air, had a commercial ring to it — as it was the cue for beverage brand Mountain Dew to play its commercial voice-over, by pausing the junior Bachchan on screen.

The innovative way of delivering an advertisement definitely caught the attention of many a consumer. But was it an attempt to circumvent the rulebook? After all, channels running ads as scrollers on the screen during the duration of the programme, have often run into rough weather with advertisers who lock horns with broadcasters since they have paid hefty amounts to telecast commercials during the actual commercial break.

Did the ad run the risk of irritating the consumer by intruding into his entertainment space? "An ad should not detract from the content for which the consumer is there in the first place," says Ashish Bhasin, chairman India and CEO South East Asia at Aegis Media. Other industry experts such as Punitha Arumugam of Madison Media add that, while a brand needs to be disruptive to engage with consumers, at the same time one has to be careful to ensure that the brand message is relevant to the context in which it is shown. Did Mountain Dew play by these rules? Or did it throw the rule book away, staying true to its brand philosophy of 'who dares wins.'