HCL starts De-War in viral campaign

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | February 19, 2008
The technology company has launched an online video that borrows from the 1970s blockbuster, Deewar

Bollywood & #BANNER1 & # continues to be the creative team's favourite when it comes to creating an online viral video. The latest addition to the list is an animated video from the technology and computer company, HCL, called 'De-War is On' (See video:

When it comes to Bollywood film spoofs, it is usually Sholay which provides the inspiration - MakeMyTrip's The Moving Train, Orbit White's Thakur ka Inteqam and Lenovo's Aaj Vasanti Nachegi. But HCL's video is based on Deewar, another Amitabh Bachchan starrer.

The viral is a spoof on the most resonant scene from Deewar, in which Bachchan asks for signatures from his on-screen brother, Shashi Kapoor. In the video, too, the angry Bachchan asks Kapoor to get the signature of the person who wrote on his arm, "Mera baap chor hai (My father is a thief)."

HCL tracking the goon
But here comes the twist in the tale. In the video, the animated Kapoor agrees calmly and logs on to his laptop and contacts HCL to find that person. The next scene shows a one-eyed goon sitting on a cot in Chambal, noisily sipping tea. Just when the goon gulps down a sip, he sees that he is being watched, presumably by a satellite. Kapoor goes to his brother with the goon's thumb impression on the document. Adding a further twist, Bachchan then asks his brother to get the signatures of other people who have written "Mera bhai matric fail hai" and "Meri maa khana jala deti hai" on his hand!

So, why was a cliched scene from Bollywood chosen as a theme by HCL? M Sundararajan, associate vice-president, marketing, HCL Technologies, says, "The theme of the viral is technology that touches lives (conveyed) with a popular Hindi film, as the recognition is easy and people who have seen the movie can relate to it. So, we went for a fun and wacky story to make it interesting and lead the viewers to spread it further."

Though the original idea for the video came from Draft-FCB-Ulka, the viral is a collaboration between the interactive agency, Interactive Avenues, and Draft-FCB-Ulka.

Explaining why Deewar was chosen for the video, Subhomoy Sengupta, creative director, Interactive Avenues, says, "We had a huge task to make that connect so that anyone who is in their 20s or 30s could also connect with the viral (apart from the older age group). Deewar is iconic."

Describing the company's brief, Sengupta says, "The idea was to convey that HCL is a 360 degree entity and not just a laptop company. We wanted the young to have that cool connect with HCL which was missing before."

According to HCL, the video was sent to one lakh people and has received 5,300 hits so far. According to Sundararajan, HCL's annual spends on its online campaigns are about Rs 1.5 crore, which broadly includes one campaign each year.

The viral video is a part of an online campaign which is the extension of HCL's television commercial (TVC) showing a young HCL employee hitching a lift with an investment banker in the middle of a desert. The TVC hit channels early last year.

"The lead medium for the technology that touches lives campaign was TV, but as a campaign, we needed complete communication to have a multiplier effect. So, we explored other media such as print, outdoor and the Internet," explains Sundararajan.

The online campaign includes display banner ads on portals such as MoneyControl, Rediff, Yahoo! and Indiatimes in two phases. The creatives for the ads in both the phases were done by Draft-FCB-Ulka, HCL's official agency.

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