afaqs!

Asian Paints: Of beauty that lasts

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | March 01, 2011
Asian Paints continues with its positioning, highlighting the promise of beautiful homes retaining their look for years; it also strengthens its connect with the consumer in a humane and emotional manner.

There are times when one ends up coveting something possessed by others. In fact, sometimes this yearning becomes an all-consuming obsession, such that people go to unheard-of lengths to obtain the desired object.

In the recent television commercial for Asian Paints' Apex Ultima, the brand passes this cheeky message, along with the promise of making the home look beautiful for years to come.

Created by Ogilvy Mumbai, the TVC shows a certain Amar Babu admiring his neighbour Mr Gupta's house. Amar Babu is shown incessantly staring at the house, painted with Apex Ultima, for years, growing old in the process. Then, one day, he expires - only to return reincarnated as a tiny bird. This time, he flies to the house he so admired (which still continues to look as beautiful as ever), and stays there for good.

The film has been directed by Ram Madhvani of Equinox Films, and has been produced by Manoj Shroff. The creative team at Ogilvy includes Abhijit Avasthi, national creative director, and creative directors Pradyumna Chauhan and Mahesh Gharat.

The agency was briefed to communicate to the target audience that the paint will turn their house into an object of obsessive desire, and thanks to the product, the house will continue to look new for years.

"Asian Paints is a brand that is always centred around the promise of long-lasting beautiful looking homes. We wanted to accurately position the same with the added idea of obsession," says Gharat.

Talking to afaqs!, Amit Syngle, vice-president, sales and marketing, Asian Paints, says, "We wanted to position Apex Ultima as a décor brand showcasing the proposition of fresh looks that stay."

Team Ogilvy says that with Asian Paints, it is important to focus on the consumer connect and not just feature the brand promise, and hence, communication for the brand stresses a lot on the emotional angle, keeping it entertaining at the same time.

This has been true in the past campaigns, as well. A recent example is the 'Brother' campaign carried out to popularise its website showcasing its range of utility tools.

"Every brand has a tone of voice. Asian Paints is an emotional brand. We have to carry on a heritage with the work on the brand. We try to glorify the benefit of the product, and we humanise and emotionalise the message," says Chauhan.

"Our communication does not just focus on the rational and clinical platforms. We try to put forward the proposition in such a way that people can relate to it, highlighting the product benefit in the most interesting manner," explains Syngle.

The current campaign will be largely led by television. It will be further supported by in-cinema promotions, regional versions of the film in the southern and eastern markets, outdoor and BTL (below-the-line) activities in certain regions, and through digital and radio promotions.

The media mandate is handled by Madison Media.

A Lasting Thought

The film has met with mixed responses from creative experts. While some have had a kind word for the plot, others have not been much impressed. The execution, though, has found favour all across.

Priti Nair, founder, Curry-Nation, says, "I think it is a very different, mad take, and I really like it. It keeps the product as the central key point of the story, which is the best part."

She adds that Asian Paints has been consistent in its communication and has managed to keep the brand on top of mind in a non-involvement category. Appreciating the execution, Nair says that the casting and nuances are well captured.

"To tell a sordid story of someone passing away with a touch of humour is very difficult to pull off. But, the pitching of this one - in terms of the cast, the performance, music and the voiceover - is immaculate," she says.

Offering a different perspective, Nilesh Vaidya, executive creative director, Euro RSCG India, says that the film only scores on production value.

"Very high on production value and low on plot. The film did not work for me except make me wish fervently that the voiceover could be changed," he says.

"The campaign definitely needs rebirth. Maybe it should just go back to a past life. Remember Sunil Babu?" Vaidya quips.

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