After Britannia, Mirinda takes on Hutch's 'beautiful world'

MUMBAI: While Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) is basking in the glory of the innumerable awards (14 to be precise) that it bagged for the 'boy and the loyal pug' Hutch campaign at this year's Abby Awards, it appears that two big agencies (read Lowe and JWT) have spun off campaigns piggy-backing on the ad's success.



Britannia Little Hearts' (orange flavour) outdoor campaign and more recently, soft drink Mirinda (again orange flavoured) both took off on the Hutch ad concept.

While Lowe came out with the Britannia Little Hearts outdoor campaign earlier this year, the recent one to rock the television screens is the Mirinda television commercial (TVC). The agency has cut-pasted the Hutch campaign but in the end transformed the loyal pug into a treacherous beast who is hungry for the Mirinda!

You and I, in this beautiful world... green grass, blue skies and a few followers!!!!

The brains behind the Hutch ads are O&M senior creative directors Mahesh V and Rajeev Rao who were earlier in the Mumbai office but have recently been moved to the agency's Bangalore office. Speaking to on the issue, the euphoric Mahesh who is presently celebrating his Abby successes in Mumbai, said, "The recent Mirinda ad is stupid. It is like a parasite who is trying to drink from our very successful campaign. Usually bad ads are spoofed rather than good ones. But anyway, this one has worked in our favour. We were at one point planning to send a champagne bottle to the agency that made the ad!" (laughs).

As such there are no copyright infringement laws that come into the picture here, but the code of ethics do. "If the Mirinda ad had done justice to our Hutch campaign then it would have been a good spoof but in this case it has turned out to be a bad ad. And more surprising is the fact that big brands are doing something like this. First it was Britannia and now Mirinda," said a peeved Mahesh.

While everyone unanimously appreciates the Amul hoardings which are spoofs on topical events; this one on Mirinda by JWT (Delhi) doesn't seem to be getting a lot of appreciation as it piggy back rides on the lil doggie and the kid's popularity.

JWT senior creative director and associate vice-president Anuja Chauhan Alva has an altogether different perspective to offer however. Alva said, "We've been making the 'character phislaa jaye' ads for Mirinda for a while now. We've shown a mother - son, lovers', brothers' relationship going sour because of Mirinda, so when we saw the Hutch ad with the infinite loyalty and love between the dog and the kid, we went on to make a spoof on it too." Unlike what Mahesh said, Alva said that spoofs are not usually made on bad ads. "One of the Sprite ads was a spoof on the Pepsi ad starring Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar. That was not a bad ad. So it's not true that only bad ads are spoofed."

When asked if the latest Mirinda ad would have more brand recall for Hutch rather than Mirinda, Alva was quick to defend her stance. "I don't think so. At the end of the day it doesn't matter to us how many cell phone subscribers Hutch has as long they are drinking the correct soft drink! Mirinda piyo, Hutch pe baat karo, (Drink Mirinda, speak on Hutch)," she said.

Talking about the ethics involved here, Alva said, "It is all about the ethics of the public. As long we are not offending the viewers in any way, it is ok." Alva also pointed out that her anti-smoking ad won a Cannes award last year which was a take off on one of the Marlboro cigarettes ads. Point taken.

From an ad man's perspective and that too one who is not in any way connected to any of the ads in question here, Euro RSCG's vice president and creative director Ashok Karnik offered his views, "I don't think there is any copyright issue here. The Mirinda ad is a take off on the popularity of the original commercial. And as long as the spoofs are not derogatory to the original campaign, it is ok. The Hutch campaign is so good, any amount of spoofing won't affect it."

Whether ethical or not, Britannia and Mirinda have become a topic of conversation due to their resemblance to the Hutch ad. Whether it works in their favour or Hutch's is an issue open for debate.

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