Silence and airconditioning seem to share an until-death-do-us-part kind of a relationship in advertising. Though silence as a peg to hook consumer was Amtrex's invention, remember 'The power of silence'? & #BANNER1 & # Then, Daikin followed with 'Complete Silence'. Now, Hitachi is promoting its latest model of window AC, Quadricool, on the same proposition, but for a very sound reason.
Before we venture further to scrutinise the reasons why Hitachi, an unconventional advertiser, decided to tread a familiar path, a look at the ad created by Everest Integrated Communications.
A Parsi gentleman returns a faulty hearing-aid to a chemist. "Phoos" the gentleman conveys, and gets a replacement. After a few days, he returns with the same complaint - "Phoos". Puzzled, the attendant gives him a new one. However, our man keeps coming back. "Phoos, Phoos, Phoos" the Parsi goes day after day. The attendant, by now, looks like he needs serious medical help. "Pata nahin ghar mein kya karta hai" wonders the harried guy.
Blame it on Hitachi. Every time the Parsi goes home with a new pair, he climbs up the ladder to his Hitachi and tries to listen hard. But he can't hear a thing. So the Parsi concludes, because an AC can never be so silent, the hearing-aid must be defective. Therefore, the endless visits to the chemist.
"Three times more silent than the rest... Possibly the world's most silent" goes the voice-over as it introduces Hitachi's Quadricool.
Pitching the new ad on silence was purely driven by the need of the product. Quadricool has a very special feature. It produces a sound of 42 decibels, which by industry standards, makes it the most silent. "We believe that our window AC is the most silent amongst all the ACs available in the market today. And, we had to convey that to the consumers," says Alap Modi, manager - marketing, Hitachi.
However, the fact remains that 'silence' is a common category insight. So, how does it give Hitachi an edge over its competitors? Modi explains, "I do not think 'silence' is too exposed. If you look at AC advertising today, be it by LG, Samsung or Electrolux, it focuses on healthy air. Yes, Amtrex and Daikin have also explored this idea, but in our case 'silence' is inspired by the product, and of course the consumer because increasingly silence is emerging as a post purchase hygiene factor among our target group, the SEC A."
On the advertising front, however, using silence to create the ad was more challenging, as it had been previously explored by others. So clearly, the pull factor had to be very strong.
"Advertising should finally draw the consumer to the retail outlet. So, we had to look at that one hook that would immediately grab the attention of the prospective consumer. Once we had frozen on 'ultimate silence', ideas simply came running. At the same time we were clear the creative had to be engaging and simple," explains Milind Dhaimade, executive creative director, Everest.
Some five scripts were penned. After a dipstick, both the agency and the client decided to go with the Parsi ad. "The consumer gave their verdict. The Parsi ad was a runaway success," says Dhaimade.
But finding the perfect character was not an easy task. It took many days of audition. "There had to be a fit between the character and the actor. Because the guy in the script is a little eccentric, we had to bring out the eccentricity in a manner that did not go overboard. When we spotted Jehangir Karkaria, the Parsi actor, we knew we had the right person." Besides doing justice to the character, the Parsi's perfect rendition of the most inane sounding word 'phoos' deserves a mention too. Phoos, by the way, is a colloquial approximation to something that is not working, and is normally used by Gujuratis.
Incidentally, this TVC is Dhaimade's maiden directorial venture. Equinox was the production house. Though he confessed being a tad nervous but on the whole, it proved to be a fantastic experience. Hitachi that sold 60,000 units of window ACs (and 28,000 units of split ACs) during 2004-2005, is expecting a growth of 10-15 per cent this summer. Since windows ACs drive volumes in the AC category, Hitachi is betting on this ad.
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