one rare brand that has evolved over the years to a stage where voiceovers or pack shots are not necessary any more. Its ads are usually clever and humorous, always managing to astonish its viewers - and to grab a few Cannes Lions along the way.
That's why it's more of a surprise to see Fevicol making use of in-your-face emotional melodrama, as it has in its latest ad, titled 'Mataji'. Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and national creative director, O&M India, explains, "This ad for Fevicol is a tactical one to address a specific matter. It is not a broader theme ad."
"Besides, no brand should ever get caught up in any one style or genre," he says. "It should have the ability to try out different things as long as its main personality is not sacrificed."
'Mataji' targets the buyers of readymade furniture and urges them to find out whether Fevicol has been used in the making of the furniture or not. It also warns readymade furniture makers to be particular about using Fevicol.
The film opens on the shot of a furniture shop owner wiping the dust off his deceased mother's portrait. A buyer enters the shop with his mother and, watching the shop owner, gets all sentimental about his own mother. Introducing his mother to the shop owner, the customer says, "Aaj jo kuch bhi hoon, inhi ki badaulat hoon. Jab chhota tha, apni dawai ke paise se mujhe chhote-chhote biscuit khilaya karti thi. (Whatever I am today is because of my mother. When I was young, she used to feed me biscuits with the money she received for her medicines)."
As the shopkeeper gets emotional about this tear-jerker story, the customer tells him that his mother sold all her jewellery to enable him to complete his education. Coming to the point, he says that he wishes to buy a chair for his mother from the shop. On selecting the chair of his choice, the customer takes the shopkeeper's hand and places it on his mother's head, requesting him to swear that he has used Fevicol in making the chair.
With tears of guilt in his eyes, the shopkeeper withdraws his hand and says, "Nahin (No)!" At this, the buyer gets annoyed and says, "Mujhe pehle hi doubt hua tha. Mummyji, Fevicol nahin lagaya inhone. Chalo (I had this nagging doubt that he hadn't used Fevicol. Let's leave, Mom)." As the angry man leaves with his mother, the voiceover concludes: "Fevicol. Aap poochenge nahin, toh woh batayege nahin (Fevicol. If you don't ask, he won't tell)." The ad ends on the shop owner sobbing in his shop.
Speaking about the 'mother' angle, Pandey reiterates, "The way in which the customer uses his mother to emotionally blackmail the shop owner is proof of the fact that this ad carries the same wackiness, dramatisation and craziness as its predecessors."
But why tread the beaten path of the dialogue heavy, Bollywood melodrama that most other brands try at some point?
"Some of the early Fevicol ads used dialogues quite often," says Pandey. "Here, we have tried to bring out the humour through the dialogues and expressions and the brand is flexible enough to try that route."
BO Mehta, president, sales and marketing, Pidilite Industries, says that since adhesives are a low-interest category, melodrama is an important ingredient to get the point across. Mehta says that market research conducted by Pidilite found that while those who got furniture tailor-made were particular about the use of Fevicol, only 10 per cent of those who bought readymade furniture asked whether Fevicol had been used.
"Readymade furniture buyers are more concerned about polish, wood, foam and other such things," Mehta says. "They are rarely worried about raw material that is not visible in the final product, but is very important nevertheless - the adhesive, for example."
This ad is 50 seconds long, but it has two more versions. The 30-second and 20-second versions are not mere edits, but have been shot separately, with the same look, feel and setting, but with different endings. The 30-second spot, for instance, shows the shopkeeper feeling guilty and withdrawing his hand from the lady's head and both the customer and the shopkeeper shedding tears at the end. The 20-second spot has the customer trying to force the shopkeeper's hand onto his mother's head and the ensuing struggle. All three ads have been shot by Prasoon Pandey of Corcoise Films.
When asked whether the campaign was released now because of the high furniture sales during the Diwali season, Mehta says candidly, "Not really. We just wanted to leverage the ICC Champions Trophy and the show, 'Extraaa Innings', which will ensure us maximum visibility."
A broader theme ad will be released in December 2006.
© 2006 agencyfaqs!