August heralds the onset of the festive season and the festival of Raksha Bandhan sets into motion the joyful period of merry-making and good cheer. Celebrated during the month of Shravan in the Hindu calendar, the occasion marks the bond of love and affection between a brother and a sister.
But today, with families scattered across the globe and family members residing in different cities all over the world, alternative ways are being devised to celebrate the occasion. For instance, 'rakhis' are bought from e-commerce sites and sent through courier to a brother who lives in a distant city. Centred upon the spirit of Raksha Bandhan, but deviating from the usual line of execution, Amazon, a premier online shopping site, has taken a different line of thought and rolled out its tactical campaign #DeliverTheLove, in order to convey the message 'While we can deliver the gifts, you need to deliver the love.'
The one-and-a-half minute digital ad film created and conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather, Bengaluru, and directed by Amit Sharma of Chrome Pictures, captures the sentiment that nothing is more cherished than moments spent with your loved ones. The ad presents a conversation between a father and a son. The father, even though old and frail, is adamant on paying a personal visit to his sister all the way from Mughalsarai to Delhi just to witness the happiness on her face. This, according to him, is the better way to celebrate their bond of love rather than have a 'rakhi' delivered via Amazon at her doorstep.
When asked about the brief for the ad film, Kiran Ramamurthy, senior vice-president, Ogilvy & Mather, says, "The brief for us was to create a memorable ad for Raksha Bandhan, which would not just focus on showing Amazon as an online gifting platform, but celebrate the 'bandhan' aspect in its true essence."
The target group-agnostic campaign will be leveraged through print, out-of-home (OOH), and radio, as well as other media mix.
Commenting on the challenges faced during the execution of the film, Ramamurthy adds, "Casting the right person for both roles, the father's, as well as the son's was a challenge as the message delivery in the right context was of paramount importance to us. Working on a short timeline, moreover, could have been a challenge if not for a whole lot of committed and enthusiastic people and a motivated agency team that we had, right from the actors and the director, to the production team, apart from a very supportive client who together made it come alive successfully."
Mahesh Gharat, executive creative director, Ogilvy & Mather, Bengaluru, says, "With this campaign, brand Amazon has taken a higher ground. This is an example of brand courage, where an online shopping brand says that sending a gift is not the same as going and giving it yourself."
Neeraj Bassi, chief strategy officer, Cheil India, finds the portrayal to be real and relatable from an execution point of view. "The ad is a refreshing deviation from the norm. Strategically, it doesn't make sense - an e-commerce brand exalting the magic of face-to-face human interaction. But, at a human level, it is beautiful, because that is the truth! Festivals are an occasion to meet and celebrate together. The joy of physical interaction can never be replaced by sending an animated GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) on WhatsApp! The counter intuitive stance of the ad makes it stand out from the clutter. Well done! It must have taken a brave client-agency team to come up with a stance like this," says Bassi.
According to Swapnil Puranik, head, strategy, Mumbai, Razorfish India, over the last couple of years, Amazon has increased its focus on Indianised execution and this film nails it. "The fact that it does not have a typical brother-sister squabble or any other similar situation itself is refreshing, and its focus on finer aspects is endearing," he says. "With this film, Amazon has cleverly projected itself as a category leader, moving away from hard-pressed product selling to appreciate the human emotion behind gifting loved ones. It is not what we gift, but how we make them feel," adds Puranik.