afaqs!

This viral features James Bond

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | January 15, 2009
IDBI Fortis has released a viral ad whose lead character resembles James Bond and chases villains in the same manner as the iconic spy

Viral & #BANNER1 & # ad filmmakers' obsession with movie characters seems to be heading towards international pastures. After a series of virals that used characters that resembled Bollywood stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Rajnikanth, it is now the turn of Hollywood actor Daniel Craig, in the persona of the iconic spy, James Bond, to enter the viral ad film market in India.

A viral ad called Quantum of Shoelace.com, featuring Craig/Bond as an animated character, is out on the Internet to create brand awareness about a newly launched life insurance product called Bondsurance from IDBI Fortis Life Insurance Company. Conceptualised and developed by the Mumbai based Contests2Win.com, it is an inspired version of the latest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, which was released in India in November 2008.

The cast of the viral ad film includes characters who resemble Craig/Bond, Hindi film comedian Mehmood, a girl who looks suspiciously like film actor Hema Malini and a couple of goons. When the film starts, Bond is standing near coconut-water seller Mehmood's cart, ordering a 'nariyal pani', shaken, but not stirred.

Next, a beautiful girl is shown walking towards the cart. Before she reaches the cart, the goons arrive in a red car, pull her inside the car and zoom off. Seeing the girl being kidnapped by the goons, Bond whistles for his high-tech bike and chases after them.

When the goons realise that Bond is chasing them, they start throwing weird things in his way, including a drum, a teddy bear, a piano and even a hand grenade.

However, Bond makes his bike fly through the air to land on the road in front of the car. The girl starts dreaming about her knight in shining armour, who has come to her rescue. Then comes an interesting twist in the story.

Bond gets off his bike and walks towards the car. Once there, instead of rescuing the girl, he says, "Tumhari behen ki duppatta darwaze me fasi hai, zara andar le lo. Aur seat-belt bhi band lo, nahin toh hawaldar pakad legi (Your sister's scarf is caught in the door, take it inside. And fasten your seatbelt or the cops will catch you)." He then walks away.

The next shot has Bond back at the coconut water cart, ordering another 'nariyal pani', shaken, but not stirred. Mehmood says, "Bond ki koi guarantee nahin hai, par market ki condition jaise bhi ho, IDBI Bondsurance ki life insurance guarantee hamesha rahegi (You cannot be sure that Bond will always come to your rescue, but whatever the market conditions, you can always be sure of IDBI Bondsurance's life insurance)."

Amish Tripathi, national head, marketing and product management, IDBI Fortis Life Insurance, tells afaqs!, "Viral marketing was used because it is rare to grab the attention of the consumers for even one minute on TV as they keep switching channels. However, on a computer, consumers watch an ad with their full attention if they find it interesting and that too without switching between windows."

Speaking to afaqs!, Varun Joshua, creative director, Contests2Win.com, says, "We usually create viral ads around popular content and the idea behind using Bond as the lead character came from the name of the product. We opted for Quantum of Solace because it is the latest James Bond movie and still fresh in people's minds. "

What was the brief from IDBI Fortis? Gaurav Sharma, director, sales, Contests2Win.com, says, "The Bondsurance life insurance product offers guaranteed returns, life benefits and life cover and the client briefed us that the focus of the viral should be to highlight the guarantee part of the product."

Usually, in movies or ads, the hero can do anything, making even adverse conditions work in his favour. Ironically, the lead character of this viral is not depicted as a superhero. The agency has exaggerated the situation to promote the product rather than the hero.

Sharma explains, "There are situations in which you can't rely on even the best, but Bondsurance is depicted as a life insurance product, which gives guaranteed returns or results to an investor and outperforms the best as well."

Tripathi of IDBI, says, "The viral ad is a part of the online brand-building campaign and it is aimed at generating awareness about the features of the product. It is not meant to boost sales immediately, but it will obviously help us to get business in the long run."

He adds, "The ad aims to convey that regardless of market volatility and troubled economic conditions, Bondsurance is the best life insurance product in the market, with guaranteed results, and that this promise is unshakable."

The company will promote the viral ad by sending mailers to the registered database of IDBI Fortis consumers, employees and insurance agents. Apart from this, Contests2Win will send mailers to the registered users of the website. The microsite, Quantum of Shoelace.com, where the viral is available, offers users the option to share the viral ad through Facebook.com, Orkut.com and other social media sites.

This is not the first time that IDBI Fortis is doing a viral marketing campaign. Two months ago, it had launched a viral ad at BossKaBoss.com to promote its Wealthsurance product. It has received more than 2.25 lakh views on that site till date.