The Net broke few days back with the launch of the new CRED ad. People (mostly the young) loved Rahul Dravid in his new “angry old” avatar though some (mostly those pass middle aged) were skeptics and sensed the wall getting destroyed.

Feedback of past few days on the ad says Dravid is like hot cake now and advertisers’ new darling !

So how is that an ad starring him negatively got his popularity ratings soaring  !?!

The answer possibly lies in social psychology for something called the “Pratfall Effect”. The effect states that the tendency for interpersonal appeal tends to increase or decrease after an individual makes a mistake, depending on the individual’s perceived ability to perform well in a general sense.

Countless examples of Pratfall Effect can be found in society: of celebrities whose popularity soared after a police case / drug find / vehicle over-speeding / some other offense. Even the instances of a new book or movie launch courting controversy (may be engineered) and then going on to soar in the popularity charts has something to do with the Pratfall Effect or harnessing the same.

The most noted example of the Pratfall Effect in the ad world had been Listerine’s ads “I hate it, but I love it” campaigns which worked amazingly well in the past.

So, the Pratfall Effect is working in favour of the Wall Rahul Dravid, no doubt about that. But what about Cred !?!  A startup which has burned tons of cash and been in the red, the Rahul Dravid ad (shared over a paid? tweet by Virat Kohli) is surely grabbing eyeballs but how far it shall reverse fortunes of CRED remains to be seen.

Till such time, India may as well gush and swoon over its new found Indira-Nagar-ka-gunda !

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.