Campaign: Bob is Back
Agency: Scarecrow Communications
The film begins with actor Saswata Chatterjee (who plays the role of the nondescript contract killer Bob Biswas in the thriller Kahaani) in his trademark specs, seated in a cafe, sipping a soft drink and observing people around him. As expected, there is a buzz of activity at the cafe and guests are going about their business quite unmindful of Biswas. He then stands up and strips to his vest and brief and stands on the table to catch the crowd’s attention. He announces that he has an apartment he wants to rent out and then lists its various features, and then asks if anyone’s interested. However, nobody’s too excited. Then a man cheekily replies, “Quikr.com ko missed call maar na”. (Give a missed call to Quikr). Then a voice-over says that be it a car or a house, for buying, selling and renting just give a missed call to Quikr. Biswas then makes the missed call and is immediately mobbed by people eager to take his apartment on rent.
What a waste! That’s the first thought that hits you when you watch this TV commercial. It’s long enough, detailed enough, boasts of quite a unique actor and character—so much promise but it hardly delivers the goods. First things first, while as an actor Saswata Chatterjee (actor who played Bob Biswas in Kahaani) does his job, the problem lies with the concept itself. We see Biswas in the ad, but we don’t see the Bob we saw in the flick. His character as portrayed in the movie was that of a frighteningly calm and cold hitman with a very suburban look and feel, while the Quikr ad makes him a tame, meek and desperate landlord resorting to the bizarre. While they transported the actor and his look to this commercial, the character was conveniently ignored and the ad lacks the character’s integration with the script. In fact, it has an effect to the contrary. This makes the ad somewhat of a compromise – it’s neither as comic as it seeks to be, nor as exciting as it could have been. But we don’t rate ads on their could-have-been potential.
The earlier Quikr campaigns that introduced the brand, while not very impressive, were at least able to create some initial buzz regarding the website. But other players in the Indian online marketplace