Should More North American TV Commercials Get The Bollywood Treatment?

Should More North American TV Commercials Get The Bollywood Treatment?

Or maybe the question is this: Are we maximizing the use of A-list talent in commercials?

When I write TVC treatments, I’m often told to specifically NOT reference any A-list actors or actresses in reference to casting a particular “type” of talent. The case for shying away from household names is that a director runs the risk of the client “latching” onto the idea and eventually demanding that talent.

But when a director DOES want that that kind of talent not only in their treatment, but ultimately in the end product (the TV commercial), both the spot and the talent have to be a good mix. Obviously.

Rohit Shetty understood the concept when he set out to make the recent epic TV commercial “Ranveer Ching Returns: The War For Desi Chinese”

It stars Bollywood A-lister Ranveer Singh and Tamannaah Bhatia in a dystopian future where food is scarce and only one person can save them: King Ranveer Ching (Singh…get it? Ching-Singh? You probably got that).

It’s a story told on an epic scale in every form: huge props, epic action and original music and choreography supporting a pretty decent storyline.

In essence, it’s a five-and-a-half minute movie to sell Ching’s Secret (desi Chinese food) in the Indian market. And does it ever sell. From the fast-paced fight scenes to the romantic interludes between Singh and Bhatia and the intense dancing scenes, it’s really a captivating film.

Of course, the underlying message is that Ching’s Secret is the king of desi Chinese food in India. If you didn’t know, desi is the term that roughly means to “Indianize” foreign cuisine to make it more appealing to markets in India. Chinese food is traditionally very bland to many in India, so Ching’s SEcret has spiced it up to meet the demands of the market, and it shows – right down to the lyrics:

O, spice it up, o darling,

My name…

Oh, say my name

Oh, just taste it

My name is Ranveer Ching

When it comes to TV commercials and the Bollywood treatment, this pretty much tops the list. Sure we get some long-form TV commercial gems here in on the other side of the Atlantic, but something on this scale, with this kind of appeal and A-list talent is rare.

Although this comes to mind:


Ok, maybe not quite as epic.

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