Rashmi Menon

Acer India: Filming the ad film

The latest television commercial by Acer emphasises its laptops' dual function of camera and video editing; it targets people who have a penchant for making videos.

Ever noticed a product being used on itself for a television advertisement? That's what Acer laptop's latest television commercial attempts to do in the ad that features its brand ambassador, actor Hrithik Roshan. The commercial is shot with about 24 Acer laptops fitted with red epic cameras, in addition to camcorders.

Acer India: Filming the ad film
While Acer's earlier ads portrayed its processing speed and easy use, the new ad stresses on combining all the functional features of the laptop with added emphasis on its multimedia traits, reiterating the brand's tagline, 'Explore beyond limits'.

Conceptualised by BBH India, the advertisement, titled 'Beyond the Obvious', portrays the product being an elegant solution which escapes the obvious thoughts of using a laptop. This is the agency's first TVC for Acer after winning its creative duties in July, this year.

The ad starts with Roshan baffled at the thought of the laptop substituting a camera. Despite reassurances by the client and the ad film director, he is cynical and agrees to play along on the condition that he won't come for a re-shoot. The shooting continues, with Roshan highlighting Acer's features and ends with the camera zooming out to capture the laptop screen playing the ad footage.

Acer India: Filming the ad film
Acer India: Filming the ad film
Explaining the concept behind the TVC, S Rajendran, chief marketing officer, Acer India, states that the concept is 'Do the impossible with an Acer'. "The innovative method used to film this TVC is ground-breaking. Acer as a technology brand runs on the philosophy of breaking the barrier between people and technology by bringing them as close as possible to new innovations. Acer has always believed in bringing the best to the market and also been the first one to do so. They have always chased the impossible," he says.

He stresses that compared to its competitors in the market, Acer wants to establish the image of 'Acer beyond the obvious'. And, this message has been conveyed through the ad.

Russell Barrett, managing partner, BBH India says that the ad needed to look past obvious solutions that customers expect of an Acer laptop and look at elegant solutions. "Acer laptops are far more powerful and competent than what people think. While it is affordable, it still gives the best technology to its customers. So instead of resorting to the usual ad hyperbole, we thought why not talk about Acer's capabilities," says Barrett.

The creative team of Vinod Sudhir and Kunal Sawant came up with the idea on how to demonstrate the concept of elegant solutions, he adds. It decided to do as much of the ad shoot as possible on laptops, and later show the demonstration itself in the TVC.

Barrett recalls that when they approached Hrithik with the ad's concept, his reaction was much the same as that shown in the TVC. "Hrithik's reaction in the TVC is the exact replay of his first reaction to the script. In addition to this, we have also put up a video of how we shot the entire TVC using the laptops. We believe it's a modern campaign and not a made up ad story. If this ad intrigues people enough, then they watch the proof," he adds.

For this, the team had to get on board a technology expert and hold numerous pre-production meets with the production team.

The TVC tries to drive the point that if professionals, who use the editing and camera features extensively, can be satisfied by Acer and make it happen, then it could do a lot more for the average customer.

Acer India: Filming the ad film
Acer India: Filming the ad film
Director Abhinay Deo of Ramesh Deo Production describes the film as one about making an ad film. However, has it been able to fire the curiosity of viewers, as a product capable of being used as an end-to-end solution by amateur video makers?

According to Swati Bhattacharya, national creative director, JWT, the TVC starts with a promise of doing something new but towards the middle and the end, it fails to excite. "When the ad begins, it seems it will be ground breaking but halfway through, it seems familiar. Besides, I didn't get the concept of handmade by laptop. But compared to its earlier ads, it has tried be experimental and bold, which is good," she says.

Anirban Chaudhuri, independent business strategist, strategic planning and conversion enablers, Space Group, feels that the execution of the TVC is quite fresh. But the whole film within a film treatment is not new.

"Acer's communication in TV and print has changed in the past one year. "It is creating higher aspiration for the brand, which it never did before. Hrithik's bafflement of the laptop playing the camera's role adds to the believability as celebrities are sensitive about camera angles. But it will be interesting to watch how the product lives up to the expectation and how it takes the communication plans forward," Chaudhuri says.

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