Shreyas Kulkarni

Linc pens ask you to use a refill in new ad

Made by Wunderman Thompson India, the ad talks about using another refill, instead of throwing away the pen.

Buying my first pen is an experience I'll never forget. First, I had to understand the different types of pens – fountain, gel, ball... and then the concept of a refill. After my neighbouring stationery shop owner explained all these concepts to me with a smile (I'd been buying pencils and crayons from him for over four years then), I bought two gel pens and four refills. If the first milestone of my so-called 'adulthood' was buying a pen, then the second one was to 'change the refill'.

Made by Wunderman Thompson India, the new ad is for the writing instrument maker Linc's Pentonic brand.

The animation is the crux of this ad. There‘s a girl in the ad who uses a Pentonic pen to write the names of penguin, elephant, eagle, tiger and dolphin, only to see the lines move on their own accord to become outlines of these animals.

Arjun Mukherjee
Arjun Mukherjee

The animation may look simple, but Arjun Mukherjee, who's the VP and ECD at Wunderman Thompson Kolkata, says, "... the form of the animation looks simple, the morphing from the font to each animal was quite a task and took numerous experiments to achieve. So, after deciding the exact characterisation of each animation, we perfected their walk, flight or facial movements. Each cycle after being animated was shared on a video call, discussed and bettered till we were fully satisfied. The credit goes to Saptarshi Dey, the animator, who rose to the challenge singlehandedly.“

"The campaign was based on a simple insight – that, more often than not, you tend to throw away a pen as soon as you are finished writing with it, even though you can reuse it with a refill. This was the starting mark of a campaign that was a shared belief all of us had at Wunderman Thompson Kolkata, and the result of that conviction was the Earth Day film, which tried to get the point across, straight from the heart," says Mukherjee.

Along with the animation, another eye-catching, or ear-catching, aspect of the ad is its music. Creative director Diptanshu Roy collaborated with several talented musicians from Kolkata for the project. The team wanted the music to match the free-flowing (easy) animation style, but it was the use of the mandolin and melodica in tandem that elevated the experience of the film.

"Once we agreed on the scratch, the mandolin was recorded by Diptanshu from his home, while Shireen recorded the melodica from hers on the final edit. Then, Tirthankar Ray mixed the music, did the foley sound and mastered the music from his own home for the final output. All in all, five different creative spaces in five different homes came together to make this very difficult task of animation and music achievable," says Mukherjee.

In the credits, a technical consultant: Dibyendu Bose is mentioned. Says Mukherjee, "While we could manage most of the technical things from home, one aspect of the film, that is the colour grading, was not our forte. So, we started calling up friends from the fraternity as to how we could overcome this challenge. Dibyendu Bose is a reputed advertising film director, who by chance had a grading software at home and decided to help out voluntarily. Matching the skin tone and lights in different frames was not an easy task and it was heart-warming to see a friend, who had no connection with the project previously, take up this tough task just to make us look good in these tough times."

The execution must have been a hard task, considering the lockdown. We were told that the edit was completed in one day. "However, the animation and corrections were a different matter altogether, and burning the midnight oil was the only way to do it as we had a fixed deadline that culminated on Earth Day and we were working day and night during the lockdown," says Mukherjee.

On rolling out ads during lockdown, he says, "Yes, it’s true that we, at Wunderman Thompson, are churning out one film after another in the lockdown. Can’t say we have got used to making ad films from home as yet, but surely, we are taking more risks with each film we are doing, becoming braver, raising our benchmark, exploring more possibilities..."

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