This is not about the mega budget dance and song extravaganzas which appear from time to time in Hollywood (and strangely is the description given to any Indian, or should I say Bollywood, movie in the western media). This is about the ones which last for barely a minute and appear on TV. Of late there have been quite a few commercials which have depended almost entirely on their music, to succeed. Two such which stand out and I guess this qualifies as success are strangely from the same field, mobile service providers: Airtel and Vodafone.
When, AR Rahman whose initial works include some memorable ad jingles, Leo coffee being one of them, signed up as brand ambassador for Airtel after having refused to enter the ad market till then, it caused a flutter in the industry. The question being raised was whether he was still in touch with the world of commercials to be able to churn out one more hit. He answered it in style with his theme for Airtel which , 3 or 4 years after its introduction, still creates an impact each time its on air. The sheer range of visuals it has accompanied and the perfect changes (though slight) made to the original to suit the mood, and yet not diluting the flavor of the original bears testimony to the brilliance of the composition.
Vodafone, from the Hutch days, though not boasting of a high profile composer ( at least not one I am aware of) has relied on its music to add immense value to its ads and has come out trumps. The "you and I" track remains one of the most hummable ad tunes in recent times , though sadly it is currently "out of circulation". The latest series of ads from Vodafone. on the additional services, are an absolute revelation. Highly imaginative and touching a chord with the common man in terms of the situations portrayed and yet managing to add on such a wonderful comic layer to it, is something not too many ads can boast of, certainly not those without any dialogues. This is where the accompanying music has played an amazing role, in the Art of Living ad more than the rest. The jingles manage to create a humor effect that has never been experienced before in such ads and with stupendous success.
If one were to draw a comparison between the advertisements of these two then one would have to say that while the Airtel jingle adds grandeur to majestic and moving visuals, the Vodafone ones create magic with, and not despite, their simplicity.