The narrative of the latest ad film by the smartphone brand is built around its print ad. Experts opine that though it works it's not a viable device.
Global smartphone brand OnePlus has released its latest ad film - 'Be College Ready with OnePlus' - leveraging on the soon-to-begin college sessions for the year. The film attempts to gear up the 'son' for college. However, it was not the idea that caught our attention but, the smart use of the brand's print ad in the film that actually did. OnePlus' quarter-page ad from a national daily, is visibly placed in two shots of the 1-minute 20-second (approx) video.
The film opens with the protagonist shuffling through stationery stacked on what appears to be his study-table when he sees a newspaper with the brand's ad and calls his dad. The film moves forward with the protagonist remembering his days spent at home with his father, in three different frames - 2004, 2009 and 2014 and back to the present where he thanks his father for slaking all his demands. The video ends with a shot of the same print ad, with an endnote - 'They've got you this far. You can take it from here'.
According to the OnePlus team, the first time the student glances at the newspaper, he's tempted to call his father and ask him to buy the OnePlus 7, but then he sees the ad again and realises that he can afford the phone himself, without relying on his folks. The objective of the campaign is to highlight the affordability of a premium smartphone - the OnePlus 7 (available on EMI) - and how essential the phone is for a student.
OnePlus' in-house team conceptualised the film which was produced by creative agency, Flux.
Interestingly, the 'thank you, father' note the film is built around, is sure to remind one of all the brands leveraging on this message around Father's Day.
Here's what the experts think:-
Aalap Desai, ECD, Dentsu Webchutney opines that the print ad initiating a thought in the boy's head is an almost natural trigger for the ad film that follows. He says, "Unlike such examples, the good part about it is that such integration does not really harm the film too much. As an advertiser, what I've realised is that everyone on the brand team and the agency team always pats each other's backs for such integration, but the consumer does not look at it as being as important. For them, it is just a trigger and that's that. It's the overall message that needs to resonate with them."
About the execution of the film, he says, "The performances are sweet and keep you hooked and anxious to see what happens next. I feel the end voiceover could have said "OnePlus 7 available at easy instalments of rupees 1600 per month", then the connect would be idiot-proof. It works right now, but it might have worked harder like that."
Shubhojit Sengupta, ECD, Enormous Brands, feels that the film does make a point effectively enough for the people to get the idea without a fuss. "The track is quite apt given long shots being used without any dialogues, even though they are little over-stretched. But, a print ad having triggered a narrative in a film, is not refreshing as a creative device," he states.
He adds, "Maybe, with the advent of the digital medium, using a print ad in a film may strike a different note. I think the ad could have had a better casting and more focus to make the print angle become an integral part of the entire story. But, it surely is a feel-good ad and evokes nostalgia about the son and dad relationship."