Ok, the two Khans are together again after Kal Ho Na Ho in a 60-second advert for Seagram’s Royal Stag. If last year, Royal Stag focused solely on SRK-driven ad (remember the one where he casually jogs, visibly concealing his face), this time they have got the original Royal to add to the stag from last year. Sorry, SRK, you are doing far better than Saif, but he is the one with blue blood between the two of you, so you’ll be the stag in this case! My poor joke apart, the new ad has caught my eye for the sheer amount of money Seagram’s would have doled our to get two megastars in one ad! Come to think of it, how many brands do it? I can’t recall any recent ad apart from Bru  (ok, I know Shahid Kapoor is a shadow of his past self) with two heftily-paid superstars sharing the screen space (that is metaphorical because SRK-Saif do not share the screen space for a single shot in the ad film).

Moving forward, I can’t really figure out if the ad is good, bad or outright ugly. I have watched it about 10 consecutive times on YouTube to get a hang of the copy and concept, and I did not get bored (like with so many other TVCs), mainly because Saif-SRK do bring their charisma to the TVC. SRK, admittedly with a wholesome hair and younger look, compared to Saif’s receding hairline and ever-growing stubble line, makes a more appealing character. Even his voice is far more commanding, and a bit drunk (as it should be even though the ad is about Royal Stag music; do you even where to buy it from?) that finishes off the advert. Both the dudes are portrayed as achievers who still want to do go up the ladder. The ‘make it large’ theme is evident in the dialogues: “Main Rukta Nahin. Na Kabhi thakaan Hoti hai & Main Sota Nahin Meri Aankh Hamesha Khuli Rehti Hain.” That sounds like men obsessed. They look sophisticated, the visuals are almost psychedelic, especially with the shot of a clown-like figure juggling balls. In the end, the bath tub and sink are set on fire, to portray the passion in the two men. The Batman-like visuals make it a riveting watch but the buck stops right there because the TVC doesn’t end on a high, but almost on the same pitch that it started which for me is a letdown, because with two brilliant actors there could have been more. The parallel stories could have intersected, the two protagonists could have up the ante. There could have been a wow factor in the end. Nevertheless, the TVC is nicely but not exceptionally scripted and the two actors do a decent job. Perhaps, the only confusion would be regarding the positioning of Royal Stag which one of the basic whiskies from Seagram’s and the TVC that exudes sophistication of a premium segment.  Somewhere it doesn’t strike a chord.

If there’s a sequel to the advert, then I am super-excited. If there’s not, this will be another come-and-go TVC.

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