Lay’s Wavy TVC campaign, a hot flame gone cold

With around 2 million views on YouTube, the new Lay’s Wavy TVC has just got over 100 likes. The flame is not hot enough to make any sort of impact. The huge fan following of Fahad Mustafa and Aima Baig put together was not enough. Apart from the YouTube numbers, the ad overall is not convincing. Something seems to be missing. Is the concept too obvious or the idea too obscure to get the message across?  

The route taken to establish the hotness of Lay’s Wavy Flamin’ Hot flavor is ‘Analogy’. Though the method is one of the most used techniques in advertising, yet it is not without merits if used effectively. The idea is to find situations or persons analogous to the product, which is apparently ‘hot’. There are many connotations of the word hot. Not all of them can meaningfully appear on-screen within the duration of less than a minute.

The viral video of a reporter trying to complete his first sentence is too old to be made much use of. Everyone has seen the video many times over. But, this is not the point. The point is that anger is a dangerous thing, an emotion that is disturbing and disruptive at the same time. Why would a brand say that its product is more disastrous than the anger of an extremely frustrated individual? The first analogy is the weak link in the ad and the others that follow are the weakest. 

New TVC campaign Lay's Wavy Flamin' Hot.

It is not possible to show the hottest news or breaking news without actually telling the news. As a result, the sequence of ‘Es breaking news sey bhi ziada hot’ does not create the desired impact. Gossip on the other hand is not without negativity. It is no doubt a bad habit to develop. I do not think it is a good idea to relate your product with something that is considered a bad thing. Consequently, the gossip situation doesn’t excite the audience.

A person who likes to dance and has a happy-go-lucky persona is a cool person. If you watch such a person doing trendy dance moves, the first word of appreciation that you are likely to utter is COOL not ‘Hot’. So, hot dance moves don’t count.

None of the analogies used in the Lay’s Wavy ad are enticing. The one that could be exciting is more cool than hot. When you say ‘hot’, there should come a feeling of positive excitement. Take for example the hottest trends in fashion. If something is hotter than the trendiest fashion that something must be good. Every women gossip but no one would admit to the fact. So, instead of showing women gossip the ad could have shown them embracing the latest fashion.

The most common connotation of ‘hot’ is sexy. Our young generation that has grown up under the influence of Bollywood/Hollywood knows what to expect when someone or something is ‘hot’. Indians could have spun a very interesting story around the concept of hot/sexy. Due to our socio-religious constraints, we always have to be very discreet.

Lay’s Wavy TVC campaign is disappointing. The idea has potential but it is not developed as thoughtfully as it must have been. Only the screen presence of Fahad Mustafa and Aima Baig make the ad bearable. PepsiCo is one of the biggest advertisers in Pakistan. The company spends millions of rupees monthly to consolidate its market share. It is alarming to see creatives as thoughtless as Lay’s Wavy Flamin’ Hot from a company that employs the best marketing brains and a few multinational advertising agencies.