Aditi Srivastava

Urban Ladder's Diwali is all about family bonding

The film captures the journey of a couple's decision to move into their son's home in the midst of apprehensions.

It's often said that home is where the heart is. It's only at home where smiling faces and inviting arms often await our arrival with eagerness. It's the moments of togetherness spent with family that make any occasion truly special and the festival of Diwali is no exception. Echoing this sentiment, Urban Ladder, an online furniture and home décor company has released a short film titled 'The Homecoming'. The film captures the journey of a couple's decision to move into their son's home and how their son and daughter-in-law make them feel at home and bring about thoughtful changes in their home to accommodate their parents. The Diwali-specific ad film, which will be on air for two weeks, has been conceptualised and filmed by Boring Brands.

The seven-and-a-half minutes long film opens with the son (played by Amit Sadh) talking to his mother (played by Pyumori Mehta) on the phone to plan their Diwali visit, and insisting that his parents should move in with his family. When the couple arrives, the father (played by Piyush Mishra) looks hesitant and uncomfortable in the son's house since it's very different from his own home. The son and daughter-in-law (played by Tapsee Pannu), understand his discomfort and do a complete makeover of the room with thoughtful changes. The couple is pleasantly surprised by this effort. As a result, they decide to move in with their son and his family.

Urban Ladder's Diwali is all about family bonding
The film has been directed by Vinay Jaiswal of Kreative Wings Studio who has previously directed popular digital films like Jai Hind and Father's Day.

Festivals provide a unique opportunity to connect with consumers in a more memorable manner. Hence, the brand decided to use this as an opportunity to propagate the thoughtful living ideology about home not being just a collection of furniture and other objects, but a place where relationships are nurtured and developed.

The film has tried to target urban married couples who are at a stage in life that, with the help of this advertorial, relate to this story better. However, given the nature of the campaign and the human insight it's built upon, the story appeals to a wider audience. The 'Homecoming', a digital-only campaign, has tried to strike an emotional chord with customers.

Notably, the ad does not talk about any sale or discounts. On the contrary, it has tried to leverage its message with content and communication as a brand building exercise.

Interestingly, the brand's average ticket size is Rs 20,000 which, it claims, is the highest in e-commerce. In addition to this, one can order via the Urban Ladder catalogue app available on both Android and iPhone, which roughly translates into over 35 per cent traffic from the app.

Urban Ladder's Diwali is all about family bonding
"For a product category like furniture, which is often associated with attributes like long-lasting and sturdy, Urban Ladder has tried to build brand salience in a clutter-breaking manner, while reinforcing the fact that a home is, perhaps, the most private and emotional space for people, where relationships grow and memories nurtured; the brand's current, as well as past ads try to strike an emotional chord with the end-user as people look for trust when they decide to choose any brand for their homes," says Nikhil Ramaprakash, vice-president, online marketing, Urban Ladder.

Commenting on the film, Anshul Sushil, CEO and co-founder, Boring Brands, says, 'The festive season always sees an influx of TV commercials and content aiming to attract shoppers. The idea with this was to poignantly bring out the notion that family ties go beyond festivals. It is a celebration of human relationships and behaviour that audiences will instantly warm up to. Urban Ladder, as a brand, echoes the sentiment that a home is built not by furniture and décor, but by the family that lives in it, and that is the driving message of this film as well."

"At Urban Ladder, we strongly believe that a beautiful home is not just created with good looking furniture, but with a lot of thought that make spaces comfortable and cozy for everyday living. Our daily routine revolves around those favourite spaces in our home which complete our day - tea on the swing or newspaper on a lounge chair or the bookshelf that stacks our everyday reads. In this film, we have tried to capture how small but thoughtful changes can make a house a home and bring people together", Ramaprakash adds further.

Talking about the marketing challenges for the campaign, he says, "The challenge was to zero-in on the insight and then walk the narrow line to ensure the brand is seamlessly integrated into the story. This was extremely important to ensure the success of the campaign. Since we didn't look at this as an ad campaign but a festive message that we wanted to take to the people, the strategy to grow the traction around the video organically was a first for us."

Homely enough?

Urban Ladder's Diwali is all about family bonding
Urban Ladder's Diwali is all about family bonding
Sabuj Sengupta, ECD, Hakuhodo Percept, finds the advert to be 'average'. "The acting is mostly over the top," says Sengupta. According to him, "The idea is simple, but the execution is more 'Bollywood-like' which is where it loses its charm."

Meanwhile, Siddhant Lahiri, account planning director, JWT, gives a thumbs-up to the ad film as he finds it to be a very well made ad with 'simple and subtle cues' being used without being overt about it. According to Lahiri, "The wonderful thing is that even though you can predict where the story is going, the climax still packs an emotional wallop."

"Every product has certain functional parameters that a consumer regards them by; however, we must remember that product categories do not build emotional bonds. Brands do," says Lahiri about the emotional aspect upon which the ad is hinged. He believes that any furniture brand has to create appeal through modern, aspirational imagery layered on top of basic functionality. He concludes, "Ads like these create differentiation and an imprint by creating this imagery which speaks to me."

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