afaqs!

Greenply: Will the real witness please stand up?

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | October 17, 2007
Following on from the famous Sikh boy ad released in 2005, Greenply is out with another ad for its plywood range. This time, the setting is a courtroom, and the brand is a 'witness' to all the action over the years

Justice & #BANNER1 & # delayed is justice denied. And Greenply plywood is there to witness it all.

The brand, which shot to fame with its memorable 'Sikh boy reincarnation' ad in 2005, is back with a vengeance. Greenply plywood established its durability proposition with that ad, which showed a Sikh boy chancing upon a place where he suddenly starts talking in Tamil. Clearly recollecting his past life, he confidently makes his way to a house in which he spots a carving on a piece of wood (courtesy Greenply) where he had inscribed his wife's name. As he reunites with a much older version of her, the voiceover concludes, 'Greenply Plywood. Janam janam ka saathi'.

Two years later, executives at Greenply felt the need to resurrect (no pun intended) the brand's communication. Lowe, the agency on the account, has released a TVC that clearly reflects the same client brief: that of long-lasting plywood. Says Brijesh Jacob, ex-creative director at Lowe (who worked on the new film, but is now an ECD at Grey Worldwide), "We had to ensure that we created a worthy successor to the Sikh boy film, considering that there were huge expectations from us!" So the Lowe team went about thinking of the next durability premise.

An olden day courtroom scenario

Order, order!

PoAs time passes...

...the protagonists turn old

Barely able to remember
what the case was about

Some things live through it all
Jacob and team didn't have to look too far: newspaper reports about delayed trials and justice became the inspiration. To cite a few cases, the Jessica Lall trial reached its end only after eight years, while the Mumbai '93 blasts accused were served a sentence 13 years after the incident. "That's not all; I've heard that a court case over a property issue in Kolkata lasted 168 years," muses Jacob. This, then, transformed into the creative idea: while judges and lawyers turn old, or the accused may die of natural causes in prison, one thing witnesses the whole drama from beginning to end - the plywood desk at which the judge sits.

The film opens on the shot of a courtroom (a black and white shot to portray olden times, with the actors sporting looks from yesteryears). As the prosecutor and defence lawyer battle it out, the accused man looks on in fright. The judge ultimately postpones judgement to another date, with a resounding thud of his gavel on the desk for effect. A progression of time is shown, with the film adopting an Eastman colour style, while the battle continues. Dates keep getting postponed, while the judge issues one impact-filled 'order' after another with his gavel.

Ultimately, the scene progresses to the modern day, in which the lawyers, the judge and the accused have grown old, so much so that the prosecutor even forgets the accused man's name.

As the story of the trial continues, the camera zeroes in on the plywood desk, while the voiceover concludes, 'Greenply Plywood. Chalta Rahe'. The idea was to bring out the timelessness of the product, and how it, in fact, is the real 'witness' to the action all through the years.

In classic Greenply style, Bollywood hasn't been left out. Just as the Sikh boy ad borrowed from Hindi cinema with a reference to the reincarnation theme, this time around, elements such as a typically 'filmy' background track have been added for effect. "The public generally gets its knowledge of courtroom drama from Hindi movies, which is why we used a similar setting to make it more relatable," says Jacob. While the insight for the ad may be a real one, the execution didn't leave any 'drama' stone unturned.

Alex Joseph, vice-president, corporate communications, Greenply Industries, adds that an extensive outdoor campaign in Kolkata (an important market for Greenply) has also been rolled out. "It's literally a Green Revolution we've done there," he quips.

The film has been shot by Shivendra Singh of Dungarpur Films (the Sikh boy film was done by Nirvana).