Suraj Ramnath

Meet Amazon's 100-Year-Old Valentine

The campaign has been created by Ogilvy India.

Now, this is just too sweet! And, so romantic! And, every woman's dream to have her 100-year-old husband offer her a token of his love even after she's gone. Celebrating love, brand Amazon, on the occasion of Valentine's Day, has released its latest ad in which 100-year-old Felix talks about how he fell in love with his late wife Cynthia Fernandez while playing a game of Hockey. Cynthia was his coach's daughter and Felix reminisces how he gathered the courage to propose to her when she was just 18. Cynthia's friends had advised her not to get married to a person from the Navy as there is no guarantee to his life, but she went ahead and married him nevertheless. The commercial ends with Felix order a ring through Amazon on the eve of Valentine's Day and place it before Cynthia's photo and sing a song he composed especially for her.

Meet Amazon's 100-Year-Old Valentine

When asked about her first reaction on watching the ad, Swati Bhattacharya, chief creative officer, FCB Ulka, says, "It's complicated." She adds that her reaction is not entirely emotional.

Is such subtle branding, with the product demo woven into the storyline, the way ahead for brand communication?

Meet Amazon's 100-Year-Old Valentine
Meet Amazon's 100-Year-Old Valentine
Meet Amazon's 100-Year-Old Valentine
Bhattacharya, says, "It is a sweet, subtle film. I think if Amazon was still saluting their love, then it should have kept this gift package out of it. Story-telling has always been the future of brand communication. But, it all depends on the story and how beautifully the brand is showing. Amazon is a new brand. It is not something like a couple would have used when they were together so the brand should have just saluted their love as opposed to get a gift for a dead woman."

Talking about Amazon's communication strategy in India, Bhattacharya says, "The Aur Dikhao campaign was so true. The insights were bang on. All other ads have been retail heavy. The new ad is well-done, and the old man is very sweet. I get the sentiment that Amazon wanted to arouse in me, but I didn't understand Amazon's presence in the ad."

Satbir Singh, founder and chief creative officer, Thinkstr, says, "Overall, I liked the ad. It is well-made and holds you captive till the end. It ticks all the right boxes."

Giving his views on the subtle branding, Singh says, "I think it is a nice little topical ad. It is Valentine's Day in a few days and I am sure a whole lot of merchandise will be sold around this time for the next couple of weeks. Good advertising always makes use of topical issues which is a good thing. It connects with those who will shop for Valentine's Day and even with those who may not buy for the occasion but buy anyway during this period. So, the spillover is also good."

Beautiful ad and an intelligent move...

"It's a beautiful ad," muses Prathap Suthan, chief creative officer, Bang in the Middle. "While the ad seems to have enchanted Suthan, he does not miss out on the details. Talking about the execution, he says, "Amazon has been very clever about this film. Since there is a general perception in our country that Valentine's Day is against Indian culture, Amazon has been fairly discreet. Barring a singular shot of a Valentine's Day card, there is no mention of Valentine's Day. It simply celebrates love," he says.

"Moreover, the ad is the real story of an Indian who is a Christian, and very much a part of our culture," adds Suthan.

According to him, yet another intelligent move made by the brand is to tell the story of a widower celebrating his love for his deceased wife, lending a certain amount of sacredness to the day. This helps dispel the notion that Valentine's Day is an opportunity that youngsters use to act in an 'immoral' way.

(With inputs from Ashee Sharma)