Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Smiling your way to Tax Office

Madam, what on earth are you doing ?

Can't you see ? I am posing for the camera

You are in the kitchen all right, why do you do need a laptop there ?

I don't know. The Agency asked me to hold a knife in the right hand and a mouse in the left.

Oh ! that's why you are smiling so wide. I only hope that you don't mess around with the Laptop !

No yaar! that one is a dummy laptop.

So what did you think when the Agency asked you to pose like that ?

I thought I am supposed to make a new recipe watching a demo through the laptop.

But you were supposed to pay taxes........

What tax? they paid me peanuts for that Ad after deducting all taxes.

Ah ah ah ahhaaaaaa


Jokes apart, the SBI e-Tax AD leaves a sense of disappointment with regard to the copy and the visuals. The communication lacks appropriateness to the context.

The thought process in making the advertisement seem to run like this:

They wish to convey that e- tax payments are made easy.

To connote "easy" they wished to use a lady handling the issue. A common understanding is that women don't take much interest in tax matters.

With a lady in the visual the reader is "bound" to believe that it has been made easy :))

Having decided to use a lady the backdrop, naturally, must be a kitchen.

Kitchen means- scatter an assortment of vegetables, hang a pan spout etc on the wall, and an out of focus shelves, the kitchen is ready

Now the role of the copy writer starts. Oh its a kitchen !!!!. Then there must be a reference to a "recipe".

See with what difficulty the word recipe has been incorporated to justify the visuals

"My recipe to save tax payment hassles and time ?"

Did they write the Copy for visuals or created the visual for the Copy, I still wonder.

Chicken and Egg syndrome !!

An educative AD like this needs a simple straight forward message.They do not have to rely on models or play of words to capture the attention of readers.

A visual of thronging crowd at the Tax collection Centre with an inset picture of a person holding a laptop -at the comfort of his/her home- showing the SBI-eTax browser page prominently would have been more appropriate.

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Jhangora said...

Nice blog Kabeer and a great initiative to highlight best Indian blog posts. Keep up the good work!


Thanks Jhangora

Yes. The blog ring is indeed meant to highlight the best post of any individual blogger. Thanks for your encouragement.

SM said...

about sbi tax ad is aimed at higher middle class ,as common man do not use or do online transactions in india, 2nd is this advt, is aimed at working dominating females also. so its not very bad advt.


Thanks sm
I welcome your views.
My intention is to point out the absurdity of keeping the laptop on the kitchen table and a very unconvincing copy to match the context.

"My recipe to save tax payment hassles and time ?"

Don't you feel the word 'recipe' here is rather artificial. My 'answer' or 'solution' or 'approach' all can effectively replace the word "recipe"

I do agree that higher middle class women can handle their tax payments on-line. I wish that it could have been conveyed in a more convincing way.