afaqs!

Tanishq: When the Bachchans delivered a 'star-studded' message

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | May 03, 2011
In a new commercial for Tanishq, Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan carry an information-heavy message on the criteria for the determination of the purity of a diamond, Tanishq style.

Tanishq and celebrities have rarely locked hands in the past. Tata's jewellery brand had a celebrity endorser only once -- for a tactical campaign featuring actor Asin during her peak 'Ghajini' days. Unusual, especially since the category is flooded with celebrity endorsed ads. But, the jewellery brand has decided to change that and give the 'star-studded ads' route a shot, with the latest commercial for its diamond range featuring celebrity couple and Bollywood filmstars Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Jaya.

The 'question-mark' factor

Diamonds, as we all agree, are ideal gifts. They signify commitment and trust. However, according to research undertaken by the brand, the awareness and comfort levels about diamonds are fairly low amongst consumers. Unlike in the case of gold, where the 'carat' is a fair measure to judge its quality, customers, while purchasing diamonds, are unsure of the criteria for its purity. "What exactly should I look for?" is the question in the mind of most consumers while shopping for diamond jewellery, as various terminologies keep doing the rounds when it comes to judging the cut and purity of diamonds. There is no clear judgment criterion. Consumers are not particularly demanding about such information. And, retail jewellers don't bother much to educate consumers, either.

In order to shake consumers out of this inertia and to popularise diamonds in a manner that causes an impact, Tanishq took it upon itself to do the 'category job' of providing consumers with information on the truth about diamonds through the commercial. The ad advocates awareness on how to evaluate the purity of these precious stones at the time of purchase.

Enter the Bachchans. They lend credibility, and make the brand story more relatable. "The couple has a strong connect across all age groups, and therefore, would lend versatility to our message," says Bhuwan Gaurav, head, marketing, Tanishq.

The ad educates consumers on the basic four Cs of diamonds -- cut, clarity, colour and carat. It has a thoughtful Bachchan imagining a scenario where he is gifting his wife a set of diamonds for her birthday. In his imagination, she scoffs his choice saying he knows nothing of diamonds, and should have consulted her before making such an expensive purchase without knowing anything about the product's authenticity and quality. A wry Bachchan snaps out of his reverie and decides to do his 'homework' before purchasing the ideal set of diamond jewellery.

According to Arun Iyer, co-NCD (national creative director), Lowe Lintas India (Tanishq's agency), the need of the hour was to find someone who influences people in a human manner. Bachchan's charisma and popularity was evident during the KBC episodes, so he was the obvious choice. And, roping in wife Jaya as the discerning wife whom the husband is eager to please was the right decision, as the story in the commercial involves the hassle a husband goes through in an effort to find the perfect diamonds for his fastidious, but knowledgeable wife.

"It was a tough brief, loaded with technical information to be given to consumers. We cast the Bachchans as the hassled husband struggling with information about jewellery, and the knowledgeable wife in that department," says Iyer.

There was the role play and the 'homework' angle -- an insight that plays on the theory that just gifting diamond jewellery isn't enough -- one needs to impress his woman with knowledge about his purchase.

To ensure that unlike several other ads featuring Bachchan where he is recalled more than the brand or its messaging, Lowe cast him as the man rather than the superstar, while Jaya lent the human angle to the story.

The ad is also rather information-heavy, with diamond-related terms such as 'slight inclusion' thrown in, along with the criteria for judging the quality of a good cut, as well as, putting forth Tanishq's 'exchange diamonds at current diamond price' offering.

"People tend to rely on their sources, or word-of-mouth for diamond purchases," remarks Iyer. Through this commercial, the attempt is to bring forth the 'True Diamonds' proposition of Tanishq, which follows stringent quality norms and is upfront about the various quality of diamonds it offers consumers. 'What you see is what you get' is the message here, based on the four pillars of Brand Tanishq -- purity, trust, transparency and quality.

Apart from television, radio, press and outdoor are the media vehicles employed for this communication.

Shining through with cutting-edge advertising?

The ad has been largely well-received by the ad fraternity, save a few minor aspects.

Says Rajeev Raja, national creative director, DDB India, "I think the commercial has a strong insight which is that men know zilch about diamonds and as far as a woman is concerned, there's nothing she doesn't know about it."

Raja feels the commercial does its job of selling the Tanishq store and the fact that it can advise men about diamonds. The interplay between the couple is "pretty real" and their conversation is pretty much a 'much-married conversation'. "To sum up, yes, the commercial does its job. But, does it get me to my feet applauding? Regretfully, the answer is no. Perhaps, a better idea would have been ideal," says Raja.

Dheeraj Sinha, regional planning director, Bates 141 Asia, remarks, "I think the use of the Bachchans makes this information-heavy message watchable, and the duo also makes the whole thing look effortless."

Furthermore, he feels the TVC has a premium look and feel which goes with what it's trying to sell. The idea of 'women are fussy' almost looks backfitted to the message that there are many things one needs to look at while buying diamond jewellery. But, according to Sinha, some of the past work from the brand has been far more charming in terms of insights. Says he, "In this ad, one misses the seduction and desire that jewellery needs to create. Also, by the time you reach Bachchan's age, you either know how to buy diamonds, or you don't care."

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