Ever since Realme stepped into the Indian smartphone market, the brand has been a real pain for its competition. For a company so young, the brand already has a big chunk of market share and is well ahead of some very well known brands. And it has done this by following a very Xiaomi-like strategy of bundling relatively high-end specs with competitive price tags. But unlike Xiaomi that did not invest in traditional means of marketing (read “ads”) for a while, Realme seems less averse to the joys of advertising. To mark the launch of the Realme 5 series, the company has released an ad on its YouTube channel, highlighting the features of the smartphones.

A minute of dance and rap…

A little over a minute long, the ad titled “Realme 5 series” starts with four girls dancing on an upbeat tune after which a guy in his early 20s comes in the frame holding a Realme 5 series phone and says “we are the real5quad (that’s how they spell real squad because it is the 5 series), we are the realme”. He then starts rapping about the phone, in which he highlights how there are a number of features in the phone, which includes a 48-megapixel quad-camera setup with ultra-clear, wide-angle, macro and bokeh like features. While the protagonist is rapping about the great features and how amazing the phone is, girls and boys keep dancing, around and about him.

The ad also has a few glimpses of the Realme smartphones in the middle of all this. The rap and music fade to the same line, “We are the real5quad, We are the realme”. It ends with a photo of Realme 5 and the Realme 5 Pro on screen followed by the logo of the brand.

…and not the greatest ad sense

Most of the brands want to lure “millennials” nowadays – the term they use to describe anyone in their late teens to the mid-twenties. And Realme has made no secret of wanting to be seen as a cool, happening, young smartphone brand that can keep up with the youngsters – the brand has even held events in college campuses. So it is hardly surprising that its ad wants to attract the same target audience. While there is nothing wrong with that, the approach that has been used in this ad seems to come from another era, to put it mildly.

[tech ad-ons] realme 5 series: not really there... - realme 5 ad 1

Everything, right from the core idea to the execution of the ad is outdated. Yes, the ad did feature the smartphones and the rap did highlight the features that they come with but other than that, it really seems like one of those ads from a couple of decades ago and am not sure one that you would not want to see twice – the ones where a cool dude becomes hot because of a product he is using.

The idea of having “cool looking” girls and guys dancing around while a guy raps about how great the phones are, in itself is a little too simplistic. And it is not very well executed either. Yes, the ad has very upbeat music to which people were dancing and rapping, but it all seemed a little forced and contrived. It is not as if we have not seen ads with music and dance before – Apple created an ad for the first-generation AirPods featuring dancer Lil Buck dancing on the song “Down” by Marian Hill. It remains one of our favorite tech ads but this one was nothing like it. Even the rap with the phone features was not really catchy. We know this is the TikTok generation but one cannot just pass off anything in the name of song and dance under the guise of following trends.

Oh me, this is “real”ly disappointing

What really struck a jarring note for us was the picture it tries to paint of the “millennials” or the “cool young crowd.” The extremely bright colors, the girls and guys dancing to rap, is not something too many relate to, right now – no, not even the target segment. We have seen Motorola use bright and vivid colors too for its Moto G series, but it managed to do so in a manner that was, well, classy. Even the production values of the ad seemed a little off at times.

[tech ad-ons] realme 5 series: not really there... - realme 5 ad 4

While the complete rap in the ad was about the phone, it somehow did not get the center stage. With all those people dancing and the super bright yellows and oranges, the phones literally got lost.

Over the years, we have had our share of less than memorable ads from various tech brands, and this one by Realme goes right into that list. The ad adheres to stereotypes about millennials and youngsters, and while it tries to make the smartphones the hero, it actually gets lost in all the singing and dancing. Which is a pity because as our reviews of the Realme 5 series show, the phones are excellent value for money. Realme’s products might be giving the competitor sleepless nights, but its ads have some way to go before they can do the same. The silver lining is that there is a good chance that things can only get better from here.

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