As far as avid ad watchers are concerned, it's almost become a fine, looked-forward-to tradition... this yearly airing of new Fevicol commercials.
The brand's communication - bedded in trademark wackiness - has evolved so distinctly over the past few years (and past few commercials) that ad trackers have come to expect, at the very least, one new Fevicol commercial every year. One that sets a new benchmark for the brand's (and, as some insist, the ad industry's) creativity quotient. Of course, ad trackers have also come to expect one Times Of India commercial every year for the very same reasons (and on that count, this year has been disappointment, as the paper didn't advertise on television).
Fevicol, of course, has not disappointed. The latest television commercial for the adhesive brand is going on air starting this evening. And the ad goes like this:
The film starts by showing extreme close-ups of rustic Rajasthani men and women, turbans, moustaches and sequined ghunghats in place. For some strange reason, the villagers are seen 'bouncing' awkwardly on their seats. Soon it becomes evident that the villagers are actually aboard an old, rattling bus that is ploughing its way through a parched stretch of land. The bus and the rough terrain are contributing to the villagers being tossed all over the place...
Wait! Aboard an old, rattling bus, did we say? Well... aboard, aloft, atop, over, clinging-onto and spilling-out-of are more like it. Villagers occupy almost every available inch of space on the bus. Roof, bonnet, fenders...
Strangely, despite the precarious nature of their respective perches - and the heaving and tossing they are being subjected to - the villagers appear most nonchalant. Almost as if nothing could really unseat them and send them crashing to terra firma. Of course, the last shot of the film clears the mystery: the bus has a Fevicol ad stuck to its back. That's all.
"The more you involve and allow the audience to participate in the advertising, the better their response," says Piyush Pandey, group president & national creative director, O&M. "Fevicol has demonstrated the power of advertising that goes beyond lines and slogans. And the client (Pidilite Industries) has to be credited for beating the book everytime."
On the upside, the ad is simply fabulous in terms of filmmaking. Directed by Prasoon Pandey, the commercial is pure entertainment in the way it showcases people, expressions, mood, colours and landscape (the film has been shot in Jaisalmer). The camerawork (by Australian Danny Pope) is excellent, while the background score (by Ehsaan and Loy) is stunning. Incidentally, the ad's idea too is the combined product of minds from India and Singapore.
"While Abhijit (Avasti) and Arab Iqbal were on the project anyway, Khaimeng and Eugene Cheong, who are from our Singapore office, had come down to India," explains Piyush. "Now Fevicol has become a famous brand abroad, and Khaimeng and Eugene wanted to do some work for the brand. This was their opportunity."
Downside? None really... except that the commercial's idea (people sticking to the bus) shares the same idea couched in the 'Mumbai trains' press ad from last year. In that sense, this commercial does not really explore any hitherto untapped dramatization of stickiness.
Not in the way the shadow stuck to the shutter last year...
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