Kohinoor: Binding Nations

By Aakriti Shrivastava , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | August 19, 2015
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The rice brand has just added itself to the list of products that bind Indians and Pakistanis.

Kohinoor's recently launched TVC shows how rice bridges gaps. Impeccably timed (in the context of India's and Pakistan's Independence Days), the TVC titled 'Divided by boundaries, united by love' was released on the eve of 14th August, on digital media.

The ad which is created by Crayons Advertising, will cater to ethnically Indian and Pakistani audience in the UK and the US. The brand will also release a separate ad in West Asia.

Kohinoor's new ad 'Divided by boundaries, united by love'

The ad shows two individuals, one of Indian origin and the other Pakistani, working together, oversees. While the two disagree on most things, be it music or cricket, they find a common link in Kohinoor Basmati rice, where the girl claims to have better biryanis. The TVC ends with the two dining together.

Puneet Mahajan

Ranjan Bargotra

Varsha Krishnani

Ranjan Bargotra, president, Crayons Advertising says, "The insight came from the fact that 60 per cent of basmati rice eaters in the UK are Muslims and our product is being consumed not only by Indians but Pakistanis as well. So, Kohinoor stands for something that binds the two nations together." When questioned on the relevance of India-Pakistan unity with rice, he justifies, "While it is a beaten theme, the fit in the terms of role of brand in life of consumers and in bringing people together is very relevant here, not forced."

One may recall that the theme of Indian-Pakistani friendship is a tested one, which has been used by brands across categories, time and again. Memorable campaigns include Coca-Cola's Small World Machines, Google Reunion, Aman ki Aasha by Times of India, and recently, Fevikwik's Todo nahi Jodo.

"This ad stands apart from the category communication where stories start from the household and end on the dining table," Bargotra adds. Puneet Mahajan, vice president, international marketing, Kohinoor, agrees, "Kohinoor has always set new benchmarks in the category and with this film has taken the brand to not just new heights but beyond borders as well."

"Without a certain level of uncertainty, a love story won't sound like a love story. Which is why the IndiaPakistan story. And what better way to bring in the brand than make it play cupid. " adds Rondeep Gogoi, creative director, Crayons Advertising.

The campaign will release on TV in mid-September on channels like Zee, Sony Star. The brand will also extend the campaign to other mediums like outdoor, print, digital and radio (in London).

While the ad has an international feel, it was shot in Mumbai's Lower Parel, informs Anil Jain, producer, Venus Productions, which executed the ad. He adds, "Casting was crucial and the actors needed to look their parts of chirpy Indian boy and elegant, educated Pakistani girl. An international feel was given to the ad by making it grand yet believeable. Props, make-up and the entire colour palette is very subtle and international," he says.

Close enough?

Samit Sinha

Manish Bhatt

Samit Sinha, founder and managing partner, Alchemist Brand Consulting, says, "I think the advertisement, even though perhaps somewhat inspired by PK, has a relevant idea and is executed well and will connect with the TG especially with the relatively newer, first-generation immigrants , as it is highly relevant to them." He adds, "While this idea may have been used in multiple campaigns, it does not diminish its ability to get noticed, or remembered."

Manish Bhatt, founder director, Scarecrow Communication says, "The ad has a very advertising finish, being too premium or perfect, which makes the characters unrelatable. 
However, like a classic love story always works, the India Pakistan coming together theme is similar in that respect." Bhatt feels that the connect with rice is also apt as it is an essential part of both cuisines, saying, "Kohinoor is a Mughal name, with influences from different cultures, and thus the idea seems like a great fit here."

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