The Best and Worst Tech Ads of 2017
Five that rocked, three that sunk
2017 was a busy year for tech. Which of course, meant that it was a busy year as well for tech advertisements – how else would you expect people even to know that tech existed, eh? But just as all tech products did not exactly set the market on fire, neither did every tech ad hit the right communication note. So as the year draws to an end, here’s our look at five tech ads that worked. And three that did not.
High Five: Five Ads which added up perfectly
Samsung: Gear That Gives You Wings
How would you make an ostrich fly? Some might suggest giving it Red Bull, but Samsung took a different approach. The Samsung Gear VR ad featured a Samsung Galaxy S8 and had a very unusual ambassador – a bird that could not fly. And guess what Samsung did? A simple (or rather complex) session with Gear VR suddenly convinced an ostrich that it could fly. Ornithologists would be shocked at the notion, but we were too busy going “awwwwwsome!” (Read our detailed analysis here.)
Airtel: The Smartphone Network
What’s the easiest recipe for a good Airtel ad? Take a bunch of super cute kids, get them to talk about the product in super cute and easy terms, and keep the annoying 4G Girl (we are so sorry, but she does get a little tiring) out of it. With its smartphone network ad, Airtel ticked all those three boxes. It had the kids, it was informative and simple, outrageously cute, and well, it did not have Mademoiselle 4G. We could not have asked for more. (Read our detailed analysis here)
Moto Z2 Play: Up Upgrade
Even as two cats fought, the monkey took the cake. Well, this was pretty much happened with Motorola actually stealing the thunder from the Samsung Apple ad wars. As the world talked about Samsung’s insanely entertaining and critical iPhone-lampooning ad (remember the guy with the notch haircut) and advised iPhone fans to ‘grow up’ and upgrade to a Samsung Galaxy, Motorola gatecrashed the party and actually asked the world to not just upgrade but “up upgrade” to a Moto Z2 Play. Clever move, Moto. (Read our detailed analysis here)
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: The City
Two people. One city… and a phone that empties – well, trust Apple to put all that together and create one of the best ads of the year. One of the most talked features of the iPhone 7 Plus was its Portrait mode, which kept the subject in focus and blurred out everything else. Now, thread revolves around a couple roaming in the city of Shanghai, taking pictures. And whenever they take a picture, the crowd around them magically disappears. All this with Walter Martin crooning Sing to Me in the background. Typically minimalistic, uncomplicated…and Apple. (read our detailed analysis here)
Google Pixel 2: A Day Out With The Lads
Celebrity brand ambassadors can be a double-edged sword – they can attract attention to the product or totally overshadow it (which is often the case). In Rahul Dravid, however, Google found the perfect brand ambassador. The ad used the values that Dravid is identified with (stability, humility, and consistency) even while drawing parallels with the Google Pixel 2. The ad brilliantly celebrates the USPs of the product, which go hand in glove with its brand ambassador. What Apple could not do with Dwayne Rock Johnson, Google did with Siri. (Read our detailed analysis here)
The worst: Three ads that went minus
Oppo F3: The Best Diwali Gift
Diwali is one of the most important festivals in India. Companies often try to come with Diwali-themed ads to leverage this festival. While some succeed, some manage to mess matters up. And a mess is what this ad was – it had four notable Indian cricket team stars (included Virat Kohli), mythos, time travel, ancient sages, and well, even dragon tears. It might sound like an interesting combination to some, but trust us when we say this, we spent 6 minutes, 44 seconds, watching the video and we still are not sure what it was about!
OnePlus 3T: Who Do You Love?
For most people, smartphones are mainly for apps, social networking, browsing the web, messaging and oh, of course, making calls (it is so easy to forget these days), but the folks at OnePlus clearly think differently (and in a very Un-Cupertino manner). Released to coincide with Valentine’s Day, the ad showed the OnePlus 3T being licked, kissed and referred to in a manner that we can only call highly explicit. Yes, it did have shock value. But we are not sure whether it had any sales value – it was definitely about doing everything with a phone other than buying it. (Read our detailed analysis and comparison here)
Gionee: Welcome to Alia’s Selfiestan With Gionee
Remember what we said about celebrity endorsements being a double-edged sword? Well, while Google used a celebrity (Rahul Dravid) effectively, Gionee, unfortunately, went down the wrong lane with Alia Bhatt. The ‘Selfiestan’ featured Alia Bhatt dancing and singing about a nation of people who love taking selfies, called, well, Selfiestan. The ad had some very odd terms – pout waali pelfie, butt waali belfie and cool waali coolfie, among others. What it had not had was information about the product or its USPs. A ticket to Selfiestan? We would rather pass. (Read our detailed analysis and comparison here)
This article was co-written by Nimish Dubey.