Ankit Ajmera

Camlin: Rubbing things the wrong way

The brand, which has been primarily positioned as a product for kids, is trying to expand its reach among corporates through a time-tested formula, which is humour

It’s becoming almost a fashion statement for admen to try the humorous route these days. But when forced humour destroys the very purpose of an ad – getting the brand message across – no one’s laughing.

Something similar seems to have happened in the case of a recent campaign for stationery and art material brand Camlin, created by Lowe. The brief to the agency was to highlight Camlin’s foray into white-board markers, which possess the quality of being easily erasable. This product is aimed at corporates. This, again, is a marked shift in the TG for Camlin as it has always been regarded as a brand for schoolgoing kids.

In its effort to get the ‘easily erasable’ point across, Lowe has tried to draw a parallel between the corporate jargon used in boardrooms and the erasable quality of the markers, which don’t leave any impression behind on erasing.

The commercial opens on the shot of a boardroom meeting in progression, where an executive addressing a team of board members is emphatically explaining a point. He insists on the fact that their organisation is in a serious need for a ‘change’ and writes the word on the white-board with a marker. As he finishes, he suddenly hears the sound of coins dropping on the table.

He is astonished to find spare change in ample quantity laid out in front of him by the board members. And when his eyes meet the office boy who is looking at him in anticipation, he too takes out the change from his pocket and puts it on the table. The executive shakes his head in disbelief and erases the word ‘Change’ which he wrote on the white-board. The voiceover says, “Easily erasable. Camlin white-board markers.”

The campaign targets office going people for whom attending boardroom meetings has become a daily routine.

The challenge before the agency was to put across the unique quality of the product which is ‘easily erasable’. As one is watching the commercial one feels amused with the kind of confusion that has taken place between the presenter and the board members. But it is only towards the end, after the commercial is over, that the viewer abruptly realises the product and its unique proposition that bounces off in a sudden fashion.

If you’re as lost as one can be, let’s hear it from the creative director on the ad, Nikhil Rao of Lowe. According to him, in corporate offices, people tend to use some business jargons, which are clichéd and overused. “These jargons need not be used to explain a point. As jargons form an integral part of a corporate structure, it would be difficult to erase these from a corporate environment,” he says. “But through our ad, we have tried to say that at least these can be erased easily from the whiteboard, if not from a corporation. This connects with the quality of the product.”

Although the ad builds up the suspense well, there seems to be a discord between the idea and the brand message. There is no aid to a viewer to help him decode that ‘erasing corporate jargon’ is related with the erasable property of the product.

Rao insists that the message has come across in a simple and clever manner. “I think an intelligent viewer who applies some thought to it, will easily be able to understand the ad,” he says. But that may be a tough call, considering that the ad targets professionals who barely have time to watch television at home, let alone ‘decode’ an advertisement.

The campaign comprises three ads in all – ‘Change’ , ‘One-on-One policy’ and ‘Repositioning’. In the last two cases, the employees in a team sit on one another and reposition themselves on their seats, to bring out the effects of the respective jargons stressed upon by the executive giving the presentation.

Shriram Dandekar, executive director, consumer products, Camlin, says, “This is our first foray into white-board markers, and we wanted the ad to be humorous. The strategy was to create curiosity and then have a final revelation moment.”

Camlin will be using only TVCs in its communication for this product. Camlin has always had products catering to kids, corporates and households. Till now, Camlin advertised only its stationary products for children, and this is one of the rare occasions when it trying to promote its products in the corporate world.

The film has been shot in a studio by Ramesh Deo Productions and has been given an authentic look. Says Abhinay Deo, director, Ramesh Deo Productions, “We haven’t used a background score throughout the film, as the idea plays upon the functionality of a corporate session in progress.”

© 2006 agencyfaqs!

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