When the first generation diversified firm goes TV way, focusing on real estate capabilities with a dreamy A-list star being mesmerized by the rapid development around him, with a Gladiator soundtrack in the background, I am confused. And disappointed. It doesn’t give me goose bumps. It was supposed to. Clearly, the ad is made with that objective. It’s not a farce either. It’s trying to do too much. It’s a ubiquitous problem. I don’t know if brands try to do that or agencies are hellbent on making the most of the 10 seconds of fame. I hope they acquired the rights to play the Gladiator soundtrack, even if it’s a misfit. Who wants to hear Greek-Roman tunes when you are talking about development in India? Even as an experiment, it fails to strike the chord. Saif Ali Khan, the royal, who is supposed to look awed, looks artificially bemused. More so, the visuals appear to be second grade flash tricks.

A few years back Indiabulls did a series of ‘Manmeet Singh’ TVCs which focused on smart investment and business loans. Humorous and purposeful, the TVC focused on one aspect. At the close of Saif Ali Khan ad you have a tagline: “Three Businesses. A United Vision.” However, the ad focuses only on its real estate development side.

I think Gladiator soundtrack and Saif Ali Khan could have made a better combination than this. As for Indiabulls, even if the TVC is not convincing, they are getting some eyeballs now.

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