Tata Sky greets audiences with a unique musical message for Christmas

By Snehojit Khan , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | December 25, 2015
The DTH service provider infuses a ray of hope in people through the medley.

This Christmas, Tata Sky has tried to move away from the herd by creating an innovative musical video message for the audience. Titled 'A Christmas Surprise', the video contains a musical medley by three Sufi musicians, playing conventional Christmas rhymes such as Silent Night, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, using instruments such as the oud, the mandolin, the sarangi and the rubab. The video does not contain any lyrics or words other than the company message and the company's name in the end.

The video was released digitally on December 20, and will be followed by shorter versions which will be aired as TVCs on a few TV channels on Christmas. It will also run on Channel 100, its default platform. So, any Tata Sky user who would switch on his/her TV on December 25, will be first greeted by this video.

A Christmas message by Tata Sky

Created by Ogilvy & Mather, the video spreads a message of happiness through music produced by the three musicians using instruments which are not associated with Christmas traditionally. It has been created as a greeting rather than an advertising scheme.

Malay Dikshit

Ryan Mendonca

Piyush Pandey

Commenting on the video, Malay Dikshit, chief communication officer, Tata Sky, says, "This is a feel-good initiative taken by the company to greet everyone on Christmas without any other underlying motive. The video speaks to people, and sends out the message of peace and love."

Dikshit further adds that the four instruments were used in the video to specifically create a Sufi feel, as they are usually played by Sufi musicians.

According to Ryan Mendonca, senior creative director, Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai, the film is a gentle reminder that there is light still left in the world. "And, it's time we let it in. It reminds people about the peace and tranquillity that should be present among everyone. The video is a Christmas wish in its purest form. To create the video was a magical experience and I am really happy to be part of the creative team," says Mendonca.

"It is not very often when people in the industry come together for such an amazing initiative. There were a lot of personal sacrifices, a lot of adjustments made by them in making this possible," he adds.

Commenting on the absence of lyrics, Mendonca adds, "Music is a very powerful tool in itself. Sometimes, words may not be essential for communicating a message to the masses. The jingle carried a distinct Sufi influence. Adding words to it may not have aggregated the feeling the same way."

Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director, Ogilvy South Asia, feels that Tata Sky has evolved as a responsible corporate entity over the years. "The video provides a meaningful message to society, a good initiative taken by a responsible corporate house. It has been beautifully executed and the message will hopefully reach out to people in a very simple manner," he says.

"Words or any kind of lyrics have not been added in the video since we wanted to break the language barriers using music. Music as a medium efficiently transcends the barriers of language without any kind of miscommunication. There is no fixed logic behind the settings or the instruments. It was simply to create a Sufi touch to the message," adds Pandey.

Tata Sky, over the years, has been well-known for its campaigns in the comedy genre. It caught the audience's eye with its popular Prison Break campaign which came out in 2013. The three-and-a-half minute film shot in a prison in Budapest became synonymous with the brand over the years. Last year, with the launch of Daily Dillagi, the company's campaigns moved into a completely different genre. The 13 different TVCs used the power of love to connect with the target audience.

Unique and meaningful

Kartik Iyer, CEO and co-founder, Happy Creative Services, feels that it is the execution of the video that brings forth its uniqueness. He says, "It is a beautiful video, and the music makes it more amazing. That sense of surprise when we listen to Christmas rhymes being played using those instruments makes it more amazing. It spreads a lot of happiness and warmth."

Kartik Iyer

Shobhit Mathur

Prathap Suthan

Though Iyer appreciates the sentiment behind the video, he is not too happy about the way it gets diluted with the rather sombre 'don't lose faith in humanity' social message. "It jumbles up the whole purpose. Moreover, I am not sure whether using Sufi musicians to play Christmas carols adds an extra layer in any way to the video or not," says Iyer.

According to Shobhit Mathur, executive creative director, Hakuhodo Percept, the concept is very refreshing. He says, "Silent night, Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer and We wish you a Merry Christmas on the Rabab! Wow! Unexpected, and very refreshing. The setting is serene, and so is the spirit of the film. The music, undoubtedly, is soul stirring. What I love about it is that there's an 'ohh' moment hidden in-between and that's what makes it so endearing."

But, Mathur feels that the brand name at the end of the video kills the whole purpose of the initiative. "I wonder what Tata Sky is doing at the end. A December film needed a logo, is it?" Mathur wants to know.

Prathap Suthan, managing partner and chief creative officer, Bang in the Middle, applauds the initiative taken by the company. According to him, such a video will receive accolades globally. "It portrays a beautiful message during times of such communal unrest in the country. This is exactly the message that common people should have in mind. Religion is in the heart and it should not be over humanity," he says.

Commenting on the instruments used in the video, he says, "Some musical instruments are linked with communities. In the video, the unconventional melody creates a soothing tune that helps connect with the audience easily."

But, Suthan feels that everyone will not be able to understand the video. "There is a deeper story in the video. It is obviously not meant for everyone. It is a very intellectual ad and not everyone would be able to perceive it the way that it is meant to be," he says.

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