The spot featuring Swara Bhaskar takes on the issue of political funding.
One look at actors Swara Bhaskar and Vipin Sharma discussing (political) party funding in an ad, and one expects to see either a cup of tea or hear the catchphrase 'Jaago Re' - an award-winning Lowe property. But this one's a new spot for Fortune Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil by Ogilvy, Bangalore.
Produced by Bloom Media Works, the ad begins with the party leader, played by Bhaskar, and her associates discussing funding over lunch. Sharma boasts of putting together a long list of donors, and advises Bhaskar to ignore their credentials. Bhaskar, on the other hand, offers him some "bhindi" (ladyfinger). She tells Sharma that the reason why he finds the bhindi good is because it was cooked using Fortune Kachi Ghani Oil, which is "100 per cent pure and unadulterated", and is hence tasty and healthy too. She goes on to say that even electoral issues should be kept as such - unadulterated.
The TVC went on air recently. Considering the mother brand, Fortune, has always played in the space of relationships and emotions attached with them, we asked Azazul Haque, executive creative director, Ogilvy, Bangalore, what made it take up a political issue this time. "While the mother brand Fortune has a very different persona, the task here was to address adulteration - the biggest concern in the mustard oils category. The campaign is targeted at North Indian states, some of which are poll-bound. Political funding being a topic of discussion, we thought the audience will be able to relate to this execution," he says.
Haque informs that the objective behind showing a young female politician was to make the brand look progressive. Also, the fact that women are decision-makers when it comes to buying household items and grocery, makes them the best advocates for the brand.
Given that the audience is not only aware, but also quite vocal these days, it is important for brands to stand for causes and come across as 'progressive'. The downside being that certain issues such as corruption, women and LGBT rights become a recurring theme. While these are indisputably blazing concerns for the society, and any amount of discussion on them is not enough, on the advertising front, brands run a risk of being perceived as 'Me-too'. Particularly in this case, there is a chance of consumers confusing it with Tata Tea's 'Jaago Re' campaigns.
Justifying the execution, Haque states, "Jaago Re is about people questioning the system. Here we show the system questioning itself. Political funding largely happens through corporate houses, and in that sense, this is quite a bold move on the brand's part."
Arindam Roy, creative director - Hakuhodo Percept, believes that corruption is both a used and abused plot in the advertising world. "It is a convenient form of creative expression when you have to drive home a point. Today, the demonetisation roar has united the "aam aadmi" like never before. So, the main message of this commercial - milawat - will resonate with the public," he says adding that the objective of the ad, however, seems unclear.
"Tata Tea came up with the 'Jaago Re' ads almost six years back, and they will always enjoy the first-mover advantage in the space. In this particular ad, the casting is nice, Swara Bhaskar looks poised. But other than that, there is no penny dropping moment," he rues.