Devina Joshi

Greenply’s new commercial rings a bell

After the memorable ‘Sardar Kid’ ad for Greenply Plywood, Greenply Industries is back, this time with a corporate ad conceptualized by Lowe. This one may ring a bell, too

Have you seen the latest Greenply commercial? No, we aren’t talking about the widely appreciated ‘Savitri-Sardar Kid’ commercial, but the company’s latest corporate campaign, which bears a strong resemblance to the Hutch Delhi Marathon TVC.

Both ad films are made up of a quick series of shots, with different people looking directly into the camera, and the shots are tied together by a narrative voiceover (Raghuveer Yadav’s voice, in the case of the Hutch Delhi Marathon ad).

“Montage films generally tend to look similar, which may give the impression that these two ads have a lot in common. But I wouldn’t say that is the case here,” says Priti Nair Chakravarthy, executive creative director, Lowe (the agency behind the Greenply Industries communication).

She supports her point by saying that while the Hutch Delhi Marathon ad focused more on people, the Greenply corporate film focuses on the growth of furniture in tandem with the growth of the economy.

Well, obviously, there have to be differences – the need for both brands is different. Chakravarthy further clarifies, “While the Hutch Delhi Marathon ad was flat in nature, the Greenply corporate ad has every frame showing growth, with one shot leading to another.” The biggest point of difference, according to her, is that both the ads tell different stories.

The Greenply Industries corporate ad focuses on seven different sequences, linked to one another. The ad opens on the shot of a school boy in an empty classroom, writing on the blackboard. The classroom quickly fills up with desks and benches (male voiceover: ‘Jab school mein table badhte hain…’). The next shot has a college student holding up his graduation degree, as rows of wooden benches multiply rapidly in the college campus (VO: ‘College mein seatein badhti hain…’).

Next, cubicles in an office are shown multiplying, as the departments in the office increase. The next frame has a shot of a bride posing on her wedding day, while the furniture in the background increases. The fifth story is that of a house, where a couple watch as the home furniture begins to include more and more items over time.

In the next two shots, the cane furniture at a hotel multiplies as do the counters at a bank. The voiceover, meanwhile, constantly narrates the growth of furniture in each situation.

The film then focuses on multiple nameplates appearing on a plaque, thus signifying the growth of enterprises and, thereby, the Indian economy (VO: ‘Badhte, badhte, badhte… na jaane umeed ke kitne darwaze badhte hain…’).

The film ends with the shot of the same school, which has more kids in it than before (VO: ‘Jab school mein table badhte hain… India, hum aapke saath badhte hain’). This is when the Greenply Industries product portfolio is shown by way of supers on the screen, with the VO concluding, “India’s largest interior infrastructure company: Greenply Industries.”

Alex Joseph, general manager, communications, Greenply Industries, feels that the corporate campaign serves two purposes. “People generally associate Greenply Industries with plywood alone, whereas we are a complete interior infrastructure company,” he says. “This communication aims to drive home that point and create an identity for our company.” Greenply Industries provides products such as plywood, laminates, decorative veneers and particle boards.

Secondly, the communication strategy hopes to bring out the fact that the entire interior infrastructure industry is growing rapidly in sync with the growth in the Indian economy.

“Usually, any positive developments in infrastructure are associated with exterior items such as cement and steel,” Joseph explains. “But people fail to realise that plywood and other interior infrastructure materials are equally important and growing as rapidly.”

The brief given to the agency was simply this: While India is on its way to an economic upswing, corporates sprout up, sectors such as banking and hospitality grow, job opportunities open up, lifestyles improve and, as a consequence, people require more furniture. “But few people look at it in this consequential way and that is where we were faced with a challenge,” says Chakravarthy of Lowe.

So, to portray this ‘snowball effect’, the agency worked upon a real-life insight: All prosperity has its seeds in knowledge. Lowe started off (and concluded) with a sequence showing the growth in schools and education. The communication targets those falling under the SEC A, 30+ belt.

The ad, directed by Shivendra Singh of Dungarpur Films, was shot in different locations in Mumbai city, and took four days to wrap up. All the sets for the seven sequences were created by Singh and his team. Singh was told to make the ad look and feel Indian. But instead of using the typical Indian nuances that most corporate films use, he adopted another route.

“In fact, while I was shooting the film, both Lowe and the client felt the film was turning out too Westernised. They were sceptical about whether the essence of Indian growth would be captured properly in the film,” reveals Singh. But Singh stuck to his convictions and his efforts paid off, as the film was approved with gusto.

One can’t help but notice that the solemn voiceover, the hint of a background track and the entire feel of the corporate ad is deliberately subtle, as opposed to the ‘Sardar Kid’ commercial for Greenply Plywood, which had a dramatic undertone.

“Well, we had to make sure that this ad didn’t look like Part 2 of the ‘Sardar Kid’ ad!” laughs Chakravarthy.

© 2006 agencyfaqs!

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