Havells: Lost between fans

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | May 18, 2012
Havells' new campaign, which promotes its premium range of fans, shows yesteryear actor Rajesh Khanna as the star who lost, and yet did not lose, his fans.

'Fans' ultimately matter the most for celebrities, as it is they who make or break stars. Playing on the word 'fans', Havells India has launched a campaign to promote its premium range of fans. The television commercial (TVC), which features yesteryear actor Rajesh Khanna (popularly known as Kaka), shows him as the celebrity who lost, and yet did not lose, his fans.

Conceptualised by Lowe Lintas, the TVC, titled, 'Rajesh Khanna - Fans forever', shows several shots from his popular films, while Khanna explains the meaning of fans. He says, "While wind may change direction, fans will remain forever." Then he is shown standing in the middle of a stage, where he is surrounded by various kinds of Havells 'fans'. At the end of the film, he says, "Babumoshai, mere fans mujhse koi nahi chheen sakta (nobody can take my fans away from me)."

A Vijay Narayanan

R Balki

A Vijay Narayanan, vice-president, Havells India, says, "The idea was to create a clutter-breaking campaign that the consumer will be able to remember easily. When the agency suggested veteran actor Rajesh Khanna and re-visiting the famous dialogue, 'Babumoshai', we thought of this as an apt representation for Havells fan. As Havells fans are long lasting, so has been the relationship of Khanna with his fans. The ideas connected."

R Balki, chairman and chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas & Partners, says, "The idea for the TVC was simple - to show a pun on fans. So, we got on board a cine legend, actor Rajesh Khanna, who had a huge fan following in his heydays. While he does not have those fans now, he still has fans!"

The TVC is currently on air on various channels.

Evoking emotions

According to industry experts, the television campaign fails to establish a connection between fans, and fans of Khanna. Furthermore, industry professionals believe that the TVC fails to deliver the message to the consumer as it has too many layers and is very complex in nature.

Shivanand Mohanty

Naresh Gupta

Shivanand Mohanty, creative partner, From Here on Communications, says, "Havells has made a mark with its left field commercials. Now it has taken a new turn which goes from entertaining to mystifying. There are certain things about the campaign which are puzzling. For example, why the superstar of day before yesterday? Then how are Kaka's fans like Havells and why the gloom? In all, Havells, bada 'Shock laga'!"

Providing a planner's perspective, Naresh Gupta, managing partner, Bang in the Middle, remarks, "There are issues at multiple levels with the strategy. First, the connection between fans and fans is really tenuous. What is it that the film tries to establish - that there are fans that give adulation or fans that give comfort? The message has too many layers and too many confusing layers. Secondly, the endorsement from Rajesh Khanna has no fit. He is the yesteryear superstar who has no relevance for today's audience."

"Is Havells a brand with heritage? Is it a brand that ruled in the past and wants to connect again? The TVC just does not deliver. On a human front, it is wrong to put an old superstar in front of the camera, right? May be there are his diehard fans that love him but for most, it conveys a meaning that it never intended to," adds Gupta.

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