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My Favourite Prakash Varma Commercials

This is another in the globally popular ACES series of featuring commercial film directors that I admire for bringing creative concepts and storylines to filmic life that enthrall viewers.

Advertising Communication industry acknowledgements of their exemplary filmmaking craftsmanship with accolades and international awards, are hard-won and well deserved.

Prakash Varma

In 2001 Film Director Prakash Varma, and Film Producer Sneha Iype, established Nirvana Films in Bangalore, India. Since then, the filmmaking duo, have won Cannes, D&AD, London International, and Indian Advertising Industry awards.

Prakash is particularly well known for his distinctive storytelling skills of portraying simple human truths with nuanced performances from a meticulously chosen cast. His filmic depictions have garnered appreciative audiences from around the world.

1. West Bengal Tourism, The Sweetest Part of India

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Kolkata, India

Featuring Darjeeling’s majestic valleys, Mandarmani’s picturesque coastline and beach, the architectural wonders of Bishnupur’s temples, the quaint streets of old Calcutta, and the famed cuisine and hospitality of local residents, all make for alluring viewing.

The commercial rewardingly promotes West Bengal, as a ‘sweet spot’ for tourists, wishing to savour some of the best travel delights India has to offer.

Directed by Prakash Varma, the scenic journey ends with West Bengal Tourism’s ‘brand ambassador’ and multi-talented Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, on a Kolkata tram serenading a young female tourist with an old Tagore song about a Bideshini. (Lady From a Distant Land)

2. Nestle, Share Your Goodness

Advertising Agency: McCann Erickson, Mumbai, India

This charming commercial about the emotive bonding between an insecure young boy and his warm-hearted, newly adopted little sister, not only took India by storm, it also reverberated globally.

Directed by Prakash Varma this is storytelling at its best with remarkable performances by the adorable young stars.

3. Vodafone 3G, The Haircut

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Kolkata, India

This amusing commercial directed with great human insight by Prakash Varma, tells the story of a young lad’s deep distress about the haircut his Mum chose for him.

Fortunately, with the help of Vodafone 3G’s superfast network, his sympathetic Dad manages to find a quick way to save the day.

4. Vodafone RED Postpaid, The Musician

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Kolkata, India

‘The Musician’ commercial is part of Vodafone India’s integrated campaign to promote its postpaid offerings of increased volumes of voice and family sharing data across multiple devices.

The ‘one man band’ analogy is not an original idea by any means, but with the skillful direction of Prakash Varma and Director of Photography Kartik Vijay, the story filmically highlights Vodafone Red’s consumer benefits with an effective, fresh take of a familiar theme, that is entertaining to behold.

5. Vodafone RED Postpaid, The Traveller

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Kolkata, India

‘The Traveller’ is a scenic commercial component of Vodafone India’s integrated campaign to promote its postpaid offerings.

Directed by Prakash Varma, the analogy between a backpacker being welcomed by the inhabitants of a village and treated like a celebrity, and Vodafone Red’s mobile services, is amusingly effective in communicating the ‘good-feel-factor’ of their free-to-roam product offering.

6. Cadbury Gems, Museum

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, Mumbai, India

The ‘Museum’ commercial is part of Cadbury India’s ‘Raho Umarless’ integrated advertising campaign about having ageless fun with their colourful little candy-coated, chocolate ‘gems’.

Directed by Prakash Varma, this story about a man who cannot resist a childlike impulse to steal his favourite Gem hue from an art installation is highly amusing.

7. Cinthol Original Soap, Alive is Awesome

Advertising Agency: Creativeland Asia, Mumbai, India

Soap brand commercials seldom warrant my attention. The Cinthol ‘Alive is Awesome’ commercial however, was directed by Prakash Varma with such vibrancy, that it literally brought the soap advertising category to life for me with renewed interest.

The simple Cinthol premise of feeling ‘alive’ after a good wash is an insightful human truth with a celebratory execution that is refreshingly resonant.