Binani Cement: Family bond

By Rashmi Menon , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | August 06, 2013
The latest campaign by the cement brand plays on the brand's proposition, Sadiyon ke liye, by focusing on parental love.

Ancestral homes have special significance for people because they are filled with memories of their earlier generations. In fact, it keeps alive the sweet memories of all generations that have lived there. And, this feeling is beautifully captured by Binani Cement in its latest campaign.

Titled 'Parental love', the campaign is an extension of the brand's previous campaigns and emotionally enunciates the brand's proposition, Sadiyon ke liye. The television commercial (TVC) shows its brand endorser, Amitabh Bachchan, reviving nostalgic moments with sepia-toned photos of his children and parents.

The TVC's strong point is the script, which says 'Maa-baap kahi nahi jate, woh yahin rehte hai. Sadiyon ki liye'. The script seamlessly weaves in Bachchan's memories of his parents by showing him leafing through his poet father's book, 'Madhushala', his mother's bangles and some old photographs. Bachchan alludes to how parents live on in their children through mannerisms, the inherited shape of one's nose, the similarities found in their grandchildren, or even in their words, which startle with their reverberation years after they are gone.

Conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather, the campaign will run till October. While the entire 90-second film is being shown during the launch phase, the brand will bring out edited versions of 60 and 20 seconds soon.

According to Bina Verma, managing director, Media Magix, Braj Binani Group, the biggest challenge the brand faces is to stand out of the category code and elevate the brand's stature. Hence, the brief given to the agency was to take the brand to a higher level, while connecting to the brand's philosophy - Sadiyon ke liye. "The objective was straightforward - in a functionally driven category, we had to break the code and build a social message with an emotional connect," Verma says. She adds that the brand's proposition, which comprises strength, consistency and durability, are emphasised in the commercial.

Along with television, the campaign has been extended to the digital medium through Facebook and Twitter, on outdoor media and on radio.

The campaign is targeted at stakeholders such as architects, contractors, builders, consumers, dealers and other influencers.

Cemented bond?

Ashish Chakravarty

Suresh Mohankumar

Ashish Chakravarty, national creative director, Contract Advertising, is all praises for the campaign. "I quite liked the ad. After a time, I have seen a well-written, well-crafted and excellently produced TVC," he says. Chakravarty adds that the point of view (parents don't go away) presented along with memories picked up from Bachchan's life adds value to the TVC. In fact, the point of view is fantastic as it will have an appeal across segments in India, he says.

But is the campaign driven by Bachchan's presence? Chakravarty doesn't feel so. "The ad is a good fit with Bachchan. However, it is not driven only by his presence, as he endorses a lot of other brands as well. But you feel what Bachchan is saying is truthful and honest," he says. In a category where most of the communication focuses on the strength of cement or its decor value, the Binani Cement campaign shifts from a transactional level and is uplifted to a deeper, emotional level, Chakravarty believes.

Suresh Mohan Kumar, national planning head, Dentsu Communications says that for a category like cement that focuses a lot on functionality, the brand takes a fresh metaphorical leap. "It tries to build stature for the brand by giving a totally new and rooted spin to an oft publicised benefit and it deserves credit for that," he says.

However, Kumar feels that the metaphor of parents always living through you is placed on such a lofty pedestal that it loses connect with the category and, hence, the brand. "Maybe, if the story was more about how your parents continue to live through your home and less about how they live through you, the connect could have been more integral," he says. Also, the overarching use of an authoritative personality like Amitabh Bachchan shadows the brand. "At the end of the day, what you might remember is Amitabh Bachchan, his diction and the endearing dialogue but the category and the brand are lost in the background," Kumar adds.

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