Namah Chawla

“Brief was to rekindle bond with Maharashtra, focus on smaller towns”: Karan Shah, Society Tea

The four-minute-long film, titled ‘Yaadon Bhari Pyaali’ and executed by Black Swan Life, pays ode to the people of Maharashtra.

At a time when most advertisements focus on present and future needs, nostalgic ads transport us back to a simpler place, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Using the merits of nostalgia in advertising, Society Tea recently came up with a campaign, titled ‘Yaadon Bhari Pyaali’, that takes a trip down the memory lane.

The film features a young man, who returns to his ancestral home after a long time to take his old caretaker back with him. The caretaker, who is fondly called ‘Kaka’, realises that the young man has lost his bond with the home he grew up in.

However, the familiar smell and taste of Society Tea reminds him of all his childhood memories in the ancestral home. His journey to the past and the brewing cup of tea convince him to change his mind and keep visiting his old home frequently.

Conceptualised by Black Swan Life, the ad film is set to the tunes of comforting music and attempts to subtly integrate the product in the narrative.

Karan Shah, director, Society Tea, tells afaqs!, that like everything else in the FMCG sector, tea also took a hit during the pandemic and the buying behavior moved to online. “But since the brand enjoys a very strong loyalty among its customers, the online buying really picked up in urban areas and it was the smaller towns and villages that bore the brunt of this double-edged change-prioritising essentials and curbs on movement.”

“So, without alluding to the current predicament, we simply wanted to do a communication that harks on the emotion of tea. Therefore, the brief to the agency was to rekindle the strong bond that people have with Society Tea across Maharashtra, with a strong focus on the smaller towns. The main objective of the film was to create regional communication.”

Speaking to afaqs! about the campaign, Sukumar Menon, creative head, Black Swan Life, says, “We wanted to reach out predominantly to our loyal consumers across the small towns (and the big cities) of Maharashtra. We also wanted to show the brand’s endearing legacy, and reach out to a new set of audience.”

The brand’s team informs that the ad film attempts to provide a gentle nudge to the ‘special relationship’ that people have built with the brand over three decades.

Highlighting the reason for incorporating a few dialogues in Marathi, Shah mentions, “Society Tea finds its origin in Mumbai’s famous Masjid Bunder’s Chai Galli, and has a century-long history, with a 40 per cent market share in Maharashtra. With the idea of reminiscing this bond we have with our roots, we wanted to pay an ode to the people of Maharashtra and, hence, incorporated the regional language, Marathi, in the video.”

One of the main concerns of Black Swan Life, while executing the campaign, was the music. Menon explains that the team knew the main film would need time to tell its story.

“Though, we were all veering towards an instrumental piece all the way until post-production, later, all of us felt very strongly about this beautiful song written and sung by the inimitable Swanand Kirkire and composed by Joell Mukherjii. That made the four-minute-plus film seem like a melodic breeze.”

The campaign is live across Society Tea’s digital channel (YouTube), social media, and on key OTT platforms, like ZEE5, SonyLIV and MX Player.


Director: Shirish Daiya

Production house: Jamic Films

Cinematographer: KU Mohanan

Producer: Mekala Krishnaswamy

Music: Joell Mukherjii

Lyrics & sung by: Swanand Kirkire

Agency: Black Swan Life

Creative head: Sukumar Menon

Design director: Ameya Soman

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