Philips Lighting sparkles a remake

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | November 07, 2013
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Philips India, in a bid to promote its LED lighting solutions, has produced a contemporary music video featuring actor Ranbir Kapoor in a suit of LED lights, to be featured on YouTube and music channels on TV.

Remember Amitabh Bachchan's suit of lights in the song 'Saara Zamana Haseeno Ka Deewana' in the film Yaraana in 1981? Not many would have wondered how great an advertising platform that jacket would be for a lighting company!

The 'Saara Zamana' remix

Vivek Sharma

Philips India, in a bid to promote its LED lighting solutions, has recently produced a remake of the song and in the new video, Bachchan has been replaced by Ranbir Kapoor. What's interesting is that the company has not gone for a typical TV advertisement and has produced a piece of content in a music video featuring Kapoor in a suit of LED lights.

The music video, according to the company, is based on the core idea of 'Philips LED - See What Light Can Do.' The campaign has been directed by Prasoon Pandey and conceptualised by Ogilvy. Like any other song, the video was initially released on YouTube and also made available across all music channels on television. Released on YouTube on October 23, the video has so far garnered 3.8 lakh views online.

The video song will be followed by three television commercials to be released around December 2013, each focusing on the rational benefits of Philips LED lighting. However, the company decided to leverage content marketing first by creating a video song instead of creating buzz about Philips LED lights through TV ads.

Speaking to afaqs! about the objective behind the campaign, Vivek Sharma, chief marketing officer, Philips Indian subcontinent states that Philips decided to take this unconventional approach as it provides an opportunity to make a low involvement category like lighting move into a dynamic and exciting space.

"It was important therefore to think and act like an entertainer and not just a marketer. With lighting transforming from analog to digital in the form of LED lighting, things are never going to be the same again because LED lighting allows you to do more with light in the form of colour change, intensity change, and various shapes. We wanted a campaign that brings alive these myriad exciting possibilities in lighting to life - like it's never been done before, not just for Philips Lighting, but for any brand in any category. Therefore, the recreation of the iconic song, 'Saara Zamana', which showcases such possibilities with lighting. When you are shifting people from one category to another, entertainment is the best route for messaging," he adds.

No branding is good branding

Interestingly, there is no branding or mention about the brand in the entire two-minute song and the video ends with a mention of the brand. With all these, how does Philips LED Lights benefit, since there is no mention of the brand in the video till the end?

Sharma explains that it is important to first entertain and engage the consumer and then reveal in the end who has made this magic possible. "Branding need not be always prominent and early but at a point in the video when the consumer begins to think 'who'," he informs.

It is learnt that each of the three TVCs will pick up from where the film ends, featuring a section of the song in the beginning. "The whole approach is to first give people a spectacular experience of what Philips LED lights can do via the music video, and then take them through the key benefits Philips LED offers," Sharma clarifies.

Bachchan's dance in the suit of lights was path breaking for that era and has now become iconic. So, why did Philips choose to remake this song instead of creating a new song?

Sumit Joshi, Ranbir Kapoor and Nirupam Sahay at the launch of the campaign

"This song was not only about Amitabh Bachchan but was also about the suit of lights he wore in the song so had a strong connect with lighting. By recreating that song with our brand ambassador Ranbir Kapoor in a suit of LED lights, we are truly showcasing how LED adds dynamism and modernity to the existing heritage of Philips lighting. Perhaps creating a new song would not have achieved the purpose with same intensity. Also it was great opportunity for Philips to showcase how much lighting has changed over the last 30 years," states Sumit Padmakar Joshi, head of marketing, Philips Lighting.

According to Joshi, Philips will also show the making of the song on Tata Sky home channel, so that people can truly appreciate all the amazing effects they see achieved with LED Lights in the 'Saara Zamana' music video. The brand believes that this will further add to the appeal of Philips LED lighting.

The leak that wasn't

Meanwhile, the company was successful in creating a buzz about the video online and offline, even before the launch of the video song. Philips had released a 1.5 minute video showing Ranbir Kapoor shooting for the song on YouTube, 15 days before the actual launch of the song.

The brand was not revealed in the leaked video. It was done to build buzz and curiosity around the video. The leaked video has garnered 9.3 lakh views till date. It was pushed organically and no paid media was used for the same. Users thought that the leaked video is related to Kapoor's next movie project.

During this time, Philips did not claim any ownership to the leaked video and remained silent. Thereafter, in a staged video clip, Ranbir was shown getting angry with a journalist. This was uploaded on YouTube. The angry video bite got more than 305,358 views.

Sanjeev Jasani

Sanjeev Jasani, ‎senior vice-president and head of Delhi office, OgilvyOne, the digital arm of Ogilvy which was behind the leaked videos, states that the team had to device a content strategy in which everyone is interested. "Everyone is excited about Ranbir Kapoor these days and to add to that we induced an element of controversy as well, which helped in getting the videos noticed," he adds.

"The leak videos were of huge success and they helped us to create a follower base for the campaign much before the music video released. Besides, the videos also helped us in gaining ranks in Google Search with the keywords of Ranbir Kapoor and Saara Zamana," Jasani states.

Jasani informs that the videos were not promoted through media buying as there was no brand involved in them. It was organic traffic generated through YouTube, Google Search and blog mentions from Yahoo and MissMalini.

The bottom line

Philips Lighting states that LEDs come with the functional benefits like energy saving (up to 80 per cent over conventional lighting), long life (10-15 years of life) and eco-friendliness. In October 2013, actor Ranbir Kapoor was named the brand ambassador for the company.

Philips believes that this campaign will further strengthen the position of Philips Lighting as an innovation leader. "This is a campaign to not just introduce LED lighting, but re introduce brand Philips in the world of lighting so that Philips continues to occupy the high ground in the space of LED lighting and lead the transformation from analog to digital lighting in India," concludes Sharma.

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