Antara Ghosal

Pan Vilas: Of taste and class

The premium 'pan masala' offering from Godfrey Phillips India is out to make a difference in a category plagued by cliches

Pan Vilas, a premium 'pan masala' offering from Godfrey Phillips India, makes its entry in the category with a new campaign. The brand's positioning is that of 'shauq'.

To deliver the thought, two characters, an eccentric 'nawab' and his 'mulazim' have been created, played by Manoj Bajpai and Jameel Khan, respectively. Executed like a feature rather than a regular ad film, the story describes the regal tastes of the 'nawab', one of which is Pan Vilas. The ad has been shot at Pataudi Palace on the outskirts of Delhi.

The campaign comprises one 60-second TVC and two teasers of 10 seconds each. The 10-second films have also been crafted as mini narratives, with the idea that every successive edit would add a bit to the 'nawab' and the brand's aura. This would enhance the extendibility of the thought and the series.

Talking about the communication strategy, Nita Kapoor, president - marketing & corporate affairs, Godfrey Phillips India says, "We knew that we had a winning product in hand. The next challenge was to discover a consumer insight that allows the product the right context of premiumness and quality, which is essential in the highly fragmented Indian 'pan masala' category. The communication rightly overcomes this challenge."

'Shauq' is an attitude that was waiting to be owned, and has a seamless fit with the product and the category; hence, the positioning.

The campaign has been conceptualized by Ogilvy India. The team at Ogilvy that worked on the campaign includes Ajay Gahlaut, group creative director; Mayur Hola, creative director and copywriter; Gaurav Nautiyal, creative director; Jigisha Chawla, client services director and Shefali Arora, account director. The ad has been produced by Footcandles and directed by Vinil Mathew. The music has been composed by Amar Mangrulkar.

Gahlaut says, "Even though the films seem to be effortless, they were hard to crack. The results, however, more than make up for all the weekends spent on it. We particularly enjoyed slaving over the narrative and the nuances that come together to make these the cinematic tales they were always meant to be. We think they will make a huge impact in the market and cut through not just the advertising, but the clutter on TV in general."

The client is also happy at the way the ads have been executed. "For me personally, it was going back to my advertising days, where we would work with creative teams insisting they focus on the creative idea that delivers the 'high' and meets brand objectives. Ajay, Mayur, Vinil and their teams at Footcandles, walked their talk on Pan Vilas," adds Kapoor.

Appealing to the industry?

The campaign has been appreciated by many in the ad fraternity. According to Robby Mathew, national creative director, Interface Communications, it is a well-written, well-made ad with nice casting. "This commercial is miles ahead of the inane 'pan masala' ads that you see on TV or bus panels. Should do well for the brand," he says.

Similar views have been expressed by Sambit Mohanty, executive creative director, creative services & design, Bates 141. "Very funny; very refreshing; very nicely produced. The ad is a clear winner in a category plagued by clichés. Loved the casting and the dialogues – 'Ab gai se chai tak ka faasla...' is a killer," he quips.

Ryan Menezes, executive creative director, McCann Erickson joins in. "I like it because it's not as loud and brash as everything else in the category. It's impeccably directed, and the performances are near flawless. I think the concept of a premium 'pan masala' is what will work for the brand."

However, he points out that the narration is little over explanatory. "A bit more integration of the product with the idea would have made this a winner. The product seems to be retro fitted to a nicely written script. You could put any premium product at the end, and it would still work."

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