Godrej Security Solutions: Because trouble doesn't come knocking

By Priyanka Banerjee , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Last updated : May 17, 2010
Godrej Security Solutions has launched a campaign that showcases security threats in a unique way

Often, laziness in upgrading security systems is at the root of security breaches. Working on this core Indian insight in a tongue-in-cheek manner is Godrej Security Solutions. The company is out with a new campaign, to create awareness about the need for better security systems.

The campaign introduces the brand's products for security. According to the company, the security products category has very low penetration; and very little action is taken by people to amend the situation. With the insight that consumers are aware of the risks surrounding them, but are under the impression that the measures taken by them are enough; Godrej decided to showcase trouble in a unique way.

"We wanted to stay true to our brand identity, and promote brighter and intelligent living. Hence, we chose to play around 'fear', but in a very humorous way. In the ads, we try and show situations that can never be true in real life. But at same time, we project the necessity of security, which is directly related to humans," says Mehernosh Pithawala, general manager, international business and marketing communications, Godrej Security Solutions.

The campaign, conceptualised by JWT Mumbai, comprises three 35-second commercials. The first ad has two men ringing the doorbell, and an unsuspecting man comes to the door. The duo merrily announces that they are thieves, and would like to step in without taking the trouble of breaking the lock. The baffled man opens the door, and the two men politely take permission to rob the house, wearing masks in the process; while the shocked owner looks on.

Similarly, another ad shows two thieves running away with a precious artefact from a museum, and generously leaving clues behind; while a third ad shows thieves in a car heading towards a nuclear power plant, and goofing up.

A VO in all three ads speaks of how trouble doesn't announce its arrival like this; so, one ought to always be prepared with Godrej Security Solutions.

Commenting on the campaign, Tista Sen, senior vice-president and executive director, JWT, says, "Trouble has a knack of hitting you when you least expect it. The creative idea takes this thought and turns it around -- what if trouble went to great lengths to announce its arrival?"

JWT's research and market understanding had revealed the central problem -- people were just "not interested" in the category. Despite Indians at large being concerned about security, given the ever-increasing incidence of crime and terrorism; they would hardly take any concrete steps to enhance their own security. Part of this paradox can be explained by the age-old fatalism and its positive spin, "It won't happen to me"; or worse, great reliance on flimsy "barriers", such as a grill-door, or passing on "Diwali baksheesh to the security guard".

The primary target audience of the brand is people above 25 years of age -- someone who is concerned about the safety and security of loved ones and belongings; but at the same time, does not take adequate action due to ignorance, availability of substitutes, or a perception of invincibility.

Moreover, while talking about the humorous elements in the TVCs, Sen stresses on the art of handling serious issues with a touch of humour. "Our creative challenge was to tackle this head-on, without raising defensive emotional barriers. We delivered a serious message -- "Musibat kabhi bata kar nahin aati"; and made it intrusive with the tongue-in-cheek humour that you see in the TVC," says Sen.

The creative team at JWT that worked on the campaign includes Tista Sen, Nandita Chalam, Dipesh Kowarkar and Dhaval Ramtirthkar.

The three commercials have been shot in Cape Town, South Africa, over a period of three days. The films have been directed by Ayyappa of Footcandles Films and produced by Anand Menon.

Sharing a few interesting incidents with afaqs!, Sen informs that the director, Ayyappa, while shooting the difficult car chase sequence in the Nuclear Plant commercial, was so engrossed in getting the right shots, that he actually fell out of a moving jeep. Fortunately, he managed to escape unhurt. She also shares that the security guards shown in the Nuclear Plant commercial were actually bouncers sourced from some of the pubs in Cape Town.

The campaign is primarily TV led, supported by product-based print, outdoor and direct mail. The brand has also come up with an innovative BTL activity called Break-In Challenge, mainly designed to increase active engagement.

This activity took cues from the consumer's attitude towards security. Consumer interactions were used to find out how consumers secured their valuables, important documents and access to their homes. Accordingly, a game was designed, wherein the participant has to find the key to the cabinets that contain his legal documents and passport; find a ring immersed in a bowl of rice; collect all these items and place them in a digital safe, whose password would be obtained by solving a puzzle through a video door-phone.

"The adrenaline rush came in when the activity had to be completed in one minute. The winner gets instant gratification and a chance to win a bumper prize, which was a complete home-security solution." says Pithawala.

Unique enough?

The three commercials get mixed comments from the ad industry. The idea -- which is a big issue, especially post 26/11 -- is appreciated, and the script gets due appreciation too; but some obvious shortcomings are pointed out.

According to Vandana Katoch, creative director, Contract Advertising, the ad set at home sticks to the mind more than the others, because of the performances of the actors. "From the word go, the actors get your attention; and you stay with them till the very end." On the other hand, she feels the museum and military outpost ads show high action throughout, with the customary twist in the end.

"I feel the voiceover in Hindi ties in the idea more effortlessly. The voiceover could have been more conversational though, and not as grim; considering the idea of 'This is not how it happens' is interesting and quirky," says Katoch.

Though KV Sridhar, national creative director, Leo Burnett, likes the idea and the script of the ads; he is realistic when he says, "The ads could have had more realistic situations, incorporating day-to-day examples of what the consumer faces often."

First Published : May 17, 2010

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