Saumya Tewari

Politically Mazboot

Fevicol's new campaign, 'Crazy Chairs', takes symbolism to a new level. Through casual conversation among carpenters, and their innovative wood-work, the ad film talks about a strong and stable 'kursi' for the nation.

A high impact political development is around the corner. Opinion polls, analysts and all kinds of experts are in overdrive mode, trying to predict the name of the person who will sit on the coveted chair, or 'kursi' and form the next government.

Politically Mazboot
Politically Mazboot
Politically Mazboot
Leading adhesive brand Fevicol, in its latest campaign, takes note of this atmosphere through a witty film, full of innuendo. The hero of the film is clearly the set of wooden chairs carved to represent three of the buzziest political parties out there.

Created by Ogilvy India, the film is set in a carpenter's workshop. As the workers go about their jobs, a tea vendor enters and asks the person in charge why they are making such odd looking chairs. The carpenter explains that the lotus-shaped chair belongs to 'Nalinderbhai' party while the palm-shaped chair has been made 'adjustable', as there's no clarity about its occupant.

The last chair, he says, is a 'third party' chair which has been made using a bunch of other chairs. The tea-vendor, at this point, tells them to use Fevicol while making all these chairs, so that no matter which one gets used, it remains strong and lasts long. The double meaning is lost on no one.

According to Abhijit Avasthi, national creative director, Ogilvy India, "the element of topicality" has paid great dividends to the brand in the past.

And it certainly doesn't get timelier than this. "Our aim is to create interesting campaigns around current topics and subtly imbibe the brand message into the script. There is a common sentiment of a stable government in the country and we have used humor to play around it in the ad," Avasthi explains.

The campaign also breaks the trademark 'Rajasthan imagery' that Fevicol has grown to become associated with in its communication. The visual imagery, Avasthi says, has been kept "earthy and son of the soil" to connect with the common public.

Keeping alive the brand's proposition of 'strong bonds', the campaign has taken a political theme, but yet, does not indulge in political commentary of any kind, states Anil Jayaraj, chief marketing officer, Pidilite Industries.

Given the current mood of the nation and the impending decision regarding its future leaders, the brand decided to create a piece of communication around this theme, says Jayaraj about the topical nature of the commercial.

"Chair," he says, talking about the creative idea, "is the root of power and control. It is at the centre of every conversation today, as people are taking unprecedented interest in this time's general elections. With no clear favourite, it is anyone's guess who will win this election. There is only hope that whoever wins, sticks to the chair and does good work."

The campaign will be an integrated one including outdoor and digital creatives. It will be aired across key markets, including the entire Hindi speaking belt, till May 16.

Politically Correct?

Politically Mazboot
According to Divyapratap Mehta, former national planning director, Publicis Capital, who believes timing plays a key "strategic role" in the effectiveness of a piece of communication, this ad is "engaging and apt."

"The language used is very colloquial - I think this mix should definitely create high brand salience for Fevicol," he says. A follow-up ad, closer to decision time, would complete the magic and up the recall value of the entire campaign, feels Mehta.

A brand strategy expert at a leading creative agency gives us a counter-view. While he agrees the ad is topical and has integrated the brand proposition into the plot very cleverly, he insists there's a "political sub-text" embedded.

"While it does not tell people whom to vote for," he says, choosing to comment anonymously, "It does end up taking potshots at certain political formations - Congress and Aam Aadmi Party. It also ends up educating voters about the lotus, political symbol of the BJP, which Narendra Modi is sporting on all his clothes these days. The presence of a tea-seller in the ad might just be a curious co-incidence."

"All in all, it is a smart and likeable ad that might work for more than one brand," he says, leaving us with sub-text of his own, which is far easier to interpret than the kind he seems to have spotted in the film.

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