Propagating the charm of money

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Last updated : January 20, 2012
CNBC Awaaz, the Hindi business news channel of Network18, is positioned as an enabler for people who are ambitious, believe in hard work, and have the talent to succeed in life.

The Hindi business news channel CNBC Awaaz has launched its brand campaign based on the premise 'Waqt se pehle, kismet se zyada', which projects the channel as an enabler for those who do not wait for destiny to create magic, but are ambitious, believe in hard work, and have the talent to succeed in life.

The launch of the campaign also marks the completion of seven years of its operation.

Conceptualised by McCann Erickson, the campaign consists of two television commercials, titled Cycle and Night Drive. Cycle, which showcases a schoolboy's determination to learn cycling, ends with the voiceover saying, 'Time and destiny bow down to some people; CNBC Awaaz is a channel meant for them'.
Night Drive shows a successful son driving a luxury car, with his father sitting beside him. A voiceover reiterates that money feels good, as it buys everything, including happiness. On the son's request, the father drives the car through their old locality, where a former neighbour comments on their opulence. The TVC ends with the voiceover saying, 'People who work hard are able to bend the rules of destiny and make it big.'

Talking about the idea, Shilpi Singh, head, marketing, CNBC Awaaz, says, "In the last seven to eight years, the channel has worked as a medium that helps people who do not wait for destiny to create their own mark in life. The campaign further reinstates the channel's role in people's lives, whether it's related to clever investments or entrepreneurship."

Prasoon Joshi

Prasoon Joshi, president, McCann Worldgroup South Asia, and chairman and CEO, McCann Worldgroup India, says, "Money, in India, is a complex thing. We have double standards when it comes to money. On one hand, there is a tendency to take the moral ground, and say that money and materialism are not a part of the Indian ethos. Saraswati (the goddess of vidya, or knowledge) is more revered than Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth). But, on the other hand, extra money is much coveted. I remember when KBC was launched, people openly said that it would not work in India, as we are not blatantly attracted to money. What people forgot is that there is a difference in what we project as our attitude towards money, versus what we really think about it. The reality is different. KBC went on to become a successful idea.

According to Joshi, the campaign celebrates material success. "We are talking to a changing India where material success is no longer frowned upon, and hard work and money are seen in a positive light. It's not about status quo, it's not about age-old feudal mindsets, where material success is conveniently enjoyed by a few clever manipulators. It's about democratisation of material wealth, about it being achievable through ambition, hard work, and talent."

A powerful thought

Swati Bhattacharyya

Divyapratap Mehta

Swati Bhattacharyya, national creative director, JWT Delhi, says, "The TVC is a classic battle between content and expression, and I believe that every campaign has to tell a story that is in sync with the brand's belief. So, while I get the idea that it is about sweet revenge, and not justice, the concept fails to go with what is being shown. Moreover, the 'tried and turbulent' bit sets the TVC off the mark. While it has been beautifully shot, it fails to create a bond with the concept."

According to Divyapratap Mehta, vice-president, planning, Grey, "Waqt se pehle, kismet se zyada is an interesting and powerful thought. It is reflective of the new mass Indian spirit, where people want to over-achieve in a short span of time to overcome financial struggles."

Mehta adds, "I think the Night Drive film does justice to that spirit and captures a true life moment in the life of middle-class India. The argument of money and its empowerment is well-crafted. The insight that an Indian son wants to achieve not only to overcome his shortcomings, but also to fix his parent's problems is strong."

However, Mehta feels that the two films don't look like a part of the same campaign. While one is built around a true moment of success, the Cycle commercial goes into the philosophical zone. Not sure if the Cycle film is needed at this life stage of the brand, he remarks, "The brand needs to stay closer to the role of financial empowerment in the viewer's life. CNBC Awaaz today needs to inspire masses of India through financial empowerment and life changing stories."

First Published : January 20, 2012
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