Ashwini Gangal

Bajaj Electricals celebrates 75th year; sings a 'product song'

On completing 75 years, Bajaj Electricals has released a multimedia campaign including two films that literally sing out product names. Threads include a scene from the brand's iconic 'Jab main chhota ladka tha' film.

In a move to celebrate its 75th anniversary, heritage brand Bajaj Electricals has taken the 'happy montage' routine in its latest campaign titled 'Shine On'. The two films currently on air are like mosaics of endearing 'Bajaj moments'.

Bajaj Electricals celebrates 75th year; sings a 'product song'
Bajaj Electricals celebrates 75th year; sings a 'product song'
The campaign promotes most of the brand's key products, from pressure cookers and water heaters to ceiling fans, generators and toasters, among several others. In fact, these product names form the lyrics of the background song in the films. The song has been composed and sung by music composer Sneha Khanwalkar of Gangs of Wasseypur fame.

Jignesh Maniar, founder and chief creative officer, Onads Communication (the agency that has worked on this campaign), explains, "People don't know the scale of the company; Bajaj Electricals makes 1400 products. We wanted to put that across. The ads show how Bajaj Electricals affects the daily lives of people."

Across categories, such composite, holistic films -- that celebrate the entire product portfolio of a company through a single ad -- are something Indian advertising is familiar with. A common occurrence of this is when the film is part of a corporate campaign (for example: Murugappa, Maruti) or a milestone campaign such as this one.

Maniar, however, claims that this particular film is different. "No one has ever made a song with product names as lyrics. And in the ads, we've not just put together visuals but also tell a little story around each product to show how Bajaj Electricals affects the daily life of people," he explains.

The campaign, afaqs! learns, is targeted at today's young generation as well as existing loyalists of Bajaj Electricals. And interestingly, both the current films end with a scene from an old ad for Bajaj bulbs and tubes with an extremely popular background song that goes 'Jab mein chhota ladka tha, badi shararat karta tha'.

"The old Bajaj Electricals ad still brings in a lot of nostalgia. We wanted to tell the people of India that we have come very far from being a company that just makes bulbs," explains Maniar about the inclusion of this scene in the latest campaign.

Besides TV, the campaign also includes radio and print spots.

Bright campaign?

The campaign receives mixed reviews from the communication fraternity.

Bajaj Electricals celebrates 75th year; sings a 'product song'
Bajaj Electricals celebrates 75th year; sings a 'product song'
Saurabh Parmar, founder and CEO, Brandlogist Communications Consultancy, loves the campaign. "For a utility brand like Bajaj Electricals," he says, "it's always a challenge to grab the consumer's attention because let's face it, the category is hardly fun, inspiring or something that consumers keep discussing, especially the newer generation."

In Parmar's opinion these ads are "different", in that they show all the products in a "real, modern and fun" manner. He appreciates the way the ads go from the products to bigger projects (like Wankhede Stadium, for instance). On the strategy front, using a scene from an old, legendary ad is something that makes a lot of sense to him, as it showcases the brand's modernity while simultaneously focusing back on its rich lineage, with a promise of continuity. This, feels Parmar, makes the campaign inclusive for people across generations.

Regarding the 'happy montage' execution, Parmar agrees it's a fairly popular mechanism and goes on to hazard a foresight for the brand. "The next 150 year celebration," he says, "could move from a 'happy video montage' to a more real, dynamic, interactive communication idea."

On the other hand, according to Navin Theeng, group creative director, Cheil India, the campaign could have been much better. "A brand, especially one that has been around for 75 years," he explains, "would have countless meaningful interactions and stories. However, this commercial seems to suggest the opposite. A farting joke, puns and slapstick humour seem to be the sum total of the brand."

For a household name such as Bajaj Electricals, Theeng insists, this was a great opportunity to "bring alive the connection that it has with people across India."From an execution perspective, he feels it's merely "a patchwork of situations bound together by a track that is basic".

"Words like 'toassttteeerrr' and 'buuulllllb' that pepper the beginning of the commercial sound like it was some other script that got lobotomised and appended to something else," he critiques.

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