Is the hilarity quotient as high as it was in the brand's 2012 TVC?
Remember the Fevicol Marine ad where a man transporting chairs on his boat denies an old man a lift because of the apparent lack of space, but he's quick to make space for a good looking village damsel and her "belongings"? The one where he kicks his cargo overboard to make room for the girl and drags the chairs along with a rope tied to his boat? The ad tries to showcases just how strong the adhesive, Fevicol Marine, actually is, especial in water. Well, Pidilite is back with a new TVC for the brand named Fevicol Marine Market. The ad has been conceptualised by Ogilvy India, produced by Corcoise Films and directed by Prasoon Pandey.
The latest ad also focuses on the strength and reliability of Fevicol Marine on wood, when submerged in water. Set in the backdrop of the Kerala backwaters, the TVC features on four rather ingenious shopkeepers who are running their business illegally on a bridge. When they are warned of the authorities approaching, they simply fold their wooden shops and drop them over the side into the water below. The Police are none the wiser and move on after acknowledging that there's nothing fishy is going on. Once they're gone, the shopkeepers reel their being lifted out of the water. As he looks on in dismay the ad ends with a voice over stating - 'Fevicol Marine nahi lagaya to kya marine lagaya'.
Since the old Marine ad became popular instantly, we asked Vivek Sharma, chief marketing officer, Pidilite Industries, what was the objective of the new TVC? He says, "Fevicol Marine is an advanced product and highlights Fevicol's technological prowess. Continuing our tradition of innovation post the successful 'boatman' campaign, we wanted to highlight the brand promise in an entertaining manner that has become synonymous with Fevicol advertising. The new marine TVC aims to showcase the product superiority of Fevicol Marine compared to other offerings in the market."
Sharing about the brief given to the agency, Sharma says, "The brief given to Ogilvy was to highlight Fevicol as the most technologically advanced brand capable of delivering unmatched waterproof bonding in its own unique way."
It is a known fact that Pidilite has chosen TV as a main medium for Fevicol Marine's advertising. So, we asked Sharma, what is the reason behind this bias towards TV? What about other mediums like digital films or print?
He says, "The choice of medium to promote and advertise our brand largely depends on our Target Group which engages more in Television than on any other medium. Moreover, we believe that for Fevicol, the storytelling behind the advertisements is best portrayed through television. We have a fair share of digital, cinema, OOH and print presence as well. The Fevicol Marine ad was first launched in cinemas before it went on TV. With regards to use of the digital medium, we have recently devised a few creative digital interventions for Fevicol. These are YouTube pre-rolls of 15-sec each, pleasantly surprising the consumers while giving its message of unbreakable bonds."
Adding about which medium, among TV and print advertising, reaps best ROI, Sharma says, "Without a doubt Television commercials are Fevicol's primary advertising medium. Over the years we have witnessed strong growth through the medium of TVC. We do connect with our end user, which is our carpenter and contractor community, through a lot of below-the-line activities."
All Fevicol Marine ads, though interesting, seem to be cut from the same cloth; they look and feel the same. We asked Sharma is that was the brand's strategy? He says, "Fevicol is an iconic brand and has become synonymous with adhesives in India. All our campaigns follow the tonality and personality of the mother brand i.e. Fevicol, hence, you will find the same rustic, earthy look, real people, and real-life incidences in our ads."
The TVC will be aired in key Hindi speaking markets and Karnataka. The campaign will be on air for five weeks and during IPL. It will be supported by an integrated marketing campaign. The communication will be extended through various below the line (BTL) activities such as outdoor advertising, high visibility and innovative point-of-sales, demand generation activations and dealer certifications.
Given the success of the old 'boatman' ad, we asked Vivek Verma, SVP, Ogilvy India, how much pressure there was to match the earlier one's success. He says, "The pressure is always there for us to deliver better than what we did the last time. I think that's the reason the work is always good as we keep challenging ourselves."
Adding about the challenge, Verma says, "It is always challenging to get the right story in place, which is true to the brand. The underwater shots, the pulling out of the broken planks, the casting, and the opening of the shops, everything is part of crafting."
We asked Verma to share how Fevicol Marine's first ad was cracked. He says, "If you remember the first Fevicol ad, it was a tug-of-war between bodybuilders and an elephant which showcased the strength of the product - 'Dum laga ke haisha, zor lagake haisha'; 'Fevicol - aise jod lagaye, aache se aacha na tod paaye'. So, when we started thinking of Marine, the first thought was how do we showcase this under water and that's when we came up with the idea of showing a tug-of-war between two boats and a chair tied underwater between them to demonstrate the strength of the product when exposed to water. Hence, 'Wahi mazboot jod, Paani mein bhi'."
Can this new ad re-create the magic of the earlier one?
Adrijaa Sanyal, creative director, Brandmovers India, says, "Of course. I would, in fact, go ahead and say that this one is even more fascinating than the earlier. That is not to take away from the earlier one at all, given how charming and funny it was at the time. The music, not surprisingly, is spot on and beautifully connects the ad to its predecessor. However, this time there is a certain edginess and craft to it that one cannot miss."
She adds, "In a country like ours, we're all aware of the perils of street hawkers who have always got to be on their toes; anticipating trouble anytime. To take that truth in society and turn it around like this ad has, is perhaps an example of exactly how one is supposed to go about living up to the glory of creating 'iconic' content."
With regards to what this TVC will do for the brand, Sanyal adds, "It will make people sit up and watch every time it plays on their television screens; it will stop them from changing the channel during an ad break because they're waiting for that funny ad from Fevicol to come on. It will make people discuss it at dinner tables, during work breaks or just plant it in random conversations. And well, what do you think a TVC does for a brand when it gets talked about at that rate? Or perhaps it'll just make people say, 'Oh nothing new here, just Fevicol with another iconic ad'."
Varun Goswami, executive creative director, Grey group India, says, "Communicating the benefits of a waterproof adhesive is hard. Communicating the benefits of a waterproof adhesive from Fevicol must be Herculean. The weight of Fevicol's legacy is obvious. Unfortunately, this piece can be seen crumbling under it. The effortless eccentricity, the casual kookiness that we've come to expect from this brand, feels strained and contrived here. Yes, you don't see the end coming, but unfortunately, that feeling doesn't change even after you've seen it a few times."
He adds, "The production looks top notch, the casting is Fevicol-good, but the plot feels over-engineered. I will give it a massive thumbs-up though, for showing borderline con-men as probable consumers. That's not just brave; it's enjoyably irreverent and definitely applause-worthy."
Client: Pidilite Industries
Creative agency: Ogilvy Mumbai
Creative team: Piyush Pandey
Account management team: Vivek Verma, Pranay Merchant, Ankit Shastri, Vidhi Bhatia
Production house: Corcoise Films
Director: Prasoon Pandey