Aishwarya Ramesh

A tale of two water bottles

A water bottle seems like an unlikely hero in a love story — yet, it is the central character in the latest ad film for Milton Thermosteel water bottles. The minute-long ad film resembles content in its telling of a love story between a young man and woman on a metro train. A press release from the company claims, the TVC showcases the ability of today’s youth to make connections through engaging unspoken moments and captures how a millennial conversation takes place today.

The ad film has been conceptualised by Ogilvy and the campaign will run on national TV channels. In addition, the TVC will also be promoted on Milton’s YouTube, Facebook and Instagram pages.

Ajay Vaghani, managing director, Hamilton Housewares, says, “In a way, our choices of colours reflect an aspect of our lives; almost like an extension of our personality and the youth today visibly seems to resonate with this. They love integrating colours into their lives as a means of echoing the mood or a statement that they choose to make in that moment. It was exciting for Milton to build on this observation. We have a recognised legacy with Thermosteel bottles and with a wide range of colours in this category, we decided to cater to a vibrant young audience.”

Speaking about the new TVC, Anurag Agnihotri, executive creative director, Ogilvy, mentions that bottles and flasks are no longer just a utilitarian product. “It’s become an accessory for the youth, a means to express themselves. Bottles such as these have become synonymous to tattoos or jewellery. They are what sets one apart from the crowd. And when Milton introduced a range of colourful flasks, it was the perfect opportunity for us to talk to the youth not through words, but through colours,” he says.

Vinil Mathew, director, Breathless Films, admits, “In today’s age of fast love, to tell a simple classic love story with unspoken moments and furtive glances, centered on the range of Milton Flasks was a challenge. The product had to be integrated seamlessly into the narrative without disrupting the charm and the emotions.”

Rajesh Sharma, planning head, Mumbai at McCann Worldgroup, believes that the film could not have been written without the product attribute — colour. “But there is nothing in the film to know what role a flask can play in a youngster’s life. Talking to this new generation of consumers can be tough — with cold drink refrigerators and hot beverage dispensers available after every 10 stores. But it is also a disruptive way to look at a new audience. It could work out into a good opportunity for the category. But youngsters also need to know what it does for them, materially,” he explains.

Rajesh Sharma
Rajesh Sharma

The target group seems to be quite obvious: late university/first jobbers. Sharma warns, “We ought to let go of our legacy understanding of who these younger audiences are. Today, they have disposable money and have social and familial sanction to exercise the liberty of personal choice. In fact, the entire youth lifestyle category hinges on this reality of this demographic.”

He agrees that the line between advertisements and content are blurring, but contests that the two still have different roles to play. Sharma mentions, “I don’t see them becoming the same in the future. Or at least until the entertainment brief and the marketing brief are not the same. Advertising copywriters have years of training in doing justice to the very object of the content — pitching the brand to the consumer. Content makes it easier to connect with the audience. Advertising convinces the audience to make the purchase. Both have a role to play, and will shape the future of marketing,” he concludes.

Over a call, Priya Gurnani, senior creative director, Lowe Bangalore mentioned that the ad was very similar to an older ad created for Gaana by M&C Saatchi, New Delhi. The ad carried a similar storyline — a young man and woman who fall in love and their love story begins after meeting on a metro train.

She points out that it was rather stereotypical for Milton Thermosteel's ad film to start off with the girl carrying a pink water bottle and opined that she detested the shade herself. “It's a nicely done ad, it builds up anticipation and viewers will stay curious and watch it till the end. In the digital medium, that's the advantage you have. You get the time to build it up and tell your story well. What they wanted to communicate is that the water bottles are available in different colours and yes, it does integrate seamlessly with the storyline,” says Gurnani.

Priya Gurnani
Priya Gurnani

She too, agrees that the lines between advertisements and content are blurring, but she believes that the lines have to blur, because that is how agencies and marketers will survive. "The mediums may be different, but at the end of the day, an ad is an ad," she signs off.

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