A middle aged lady refusing to meet a young girl selected by her son may be the most clichéd plot of any Hindi movie or ad. However, that is not quite the case in the new Fortis ad that promises a twist that is meant to make your heart jump into your mouth, unless of course if you have a heart of stone.
She elaborates, "In an 'opt-out' system, every brain dead patient's organs are harvested by default and if the family doesn't want it, then they 'opt-out'. In an 'opt-in' system, family's consent is supreme when it comes to the decision of donating their loved ones' organs. Family's resistance due to lack of awareness or not being sensitised enough is one of the biggest hurdles. Psychological barriers plaguing the family's mind are fear of mutilation of the body or the fear that the hospital will not work hard enough to save the life of a patient who has donated his/her organs. We conduct a lot of awareness building workshops to dispel such myths."
The ad film has been directed and conceptualised by Puneet Prakash, director, Color Features of India, who tells us that he had been toying with the idea for long. "I discussed it with my writer Puneet Sharma and he wrote a beautiful script. Once we had the script, we decided to approach someone who was not only interested in it but also believed in the cause as much as we did. After we did our research, we zeroed in on Fortis Healthcare who was already working on this issue with their 'More To Give' campaign. I made a cold call to the corporate office and was directed to Jasrita Dhir who was equally passionate about the issue", adds Prakash.
Speaking about the toughest part while crafting this ad, Prakash tells us, "The toughest part, honestly, was casting the right actors and as a director making sure that we never get into a space where we are forcing the audience to think about what's happening. We wanted the flow to be very organic and natural. We had decided to use the camera just as the means to capture the moment and not to force emotions. Our director of photography, Manoj Kumar Khatoi did a fabulous job, he made sure that the camerawork is never noticed while capturing the emotional moment."
The ad features renowned television and film actors. Prakash shares with us, "They readily agreed to do this film, and in fact, they were willing to work around our needs because they all believed in the cause. We faced difficulties while casting, we auditioned many faces but once we finalized Shernaz (Patel) ma'am, everything else started fitting in. Shishir (Sharma) sir was perfect for the father's role and we could not have thought of anyone else as Ria but Mrunal (Thakur)."
Production House: Color Features of India
Producer: Mansoor Khan, Nandita Pandey
Director: Puneet Prakash
Concept: Puneet Prakash
Creative Head & Writer: Puneet Sharma
DOP: Manoj Kumar Khatoi
Music Director: Shivi R Kashyap
Production Designer: Ashok Lokre
Costume Designer: Nandita Pandey
Editor: Mukesh Thakur
Talent: Shernaz Patel, Shishir Sharma & Mrunal Thakur
A quick look at other ads released by hospitals in India: