Ananya Pathak

Non-actors remotely shoot and direct Tata Sky’s new TVC

For the film, conceptualised by Ogilvy India, all the work - from opening up services to closing the loop on the final film - was done remotely.

The government has imposed a ban on film and television shooting as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19. However, the ban hasn't stopped the brands from going out of their way to communicate with their audience. First, Amazon India, along with three other delivery apps, released an ad film shot remotely by their delivery executives. Now, direct broadcast satellite television provider Tata Sky has released a new film shot and directed remotely by real people on their mobile phone cameras.

The people featured in the TVC are all non-actors and they were filmed by their family members. Conceptualised by Ogilvy India, the ad was shot remotely in seven different cities - Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Gurugram, Lucknow, Chennai and Jodhpur.

Anurag Kumar, chief communications officer, Tata Sky, says that getting the non-actors to follow the exact instructions was extremely challenging. “Once shot, they shared those takes with the director of the film - Bauddhayan 'Buddy' Mukherji of Little Lamb Films, who then created the full video out of these individual takes of different people,” he shares.

Anurag Kumar
Anurag Kumar

The TVC aims to communicate that 10 of Tata Sky’s interactive content services have been made free, to encourage consumers to remain fruitfully engaged, learn and do something new in their homes. The brand has also announced emergency credit facility for subscribers, who have been unable to recharge their account due to various reasons, like inability to find a dealer (who'd do it for them).

The biggest challenge in the shooting of the film, Kumar says, was to get all of this done when no one - from Tata Sky, Ogilvy, to the director, music composer and the cast themselves - could step out from their homes.

“Hence, it was a case of a ghost directing people, sending the video takes over WhatsApp, composing music at home, editing the videos and creating product details on top,” he says. All the work at Tata Sky, right from opening up the services, briefing partners at Ogilvy, and then closing the loop on the final film, and getting it up on air was carried out remotely by different people sitting in the safety of their homes. “Truly a first time experience for all of us. In many ways, it sets the tone of how extraordinary work can be done from home in these extraordinary times,” Kumar says.

Speaking about the ideation of the campaign, Kumar says, “At Tata Sky, we wanted to help our customers to remain in the safety of their homes during the national lockdown period. We realised that this time could be spent well if people got to learn and do something new. With the rich variety of interactive services on our platform, we could offer something to every member of a family. And hence, we took the decision to make 10 of these services absolutely free for the entire period of the lockdown.”

He adds, “The theme 'Stay Home, Stay Jingalala' came to us quite quickly and our creative partner Ogilvy India, led by chief creative officer Sukesh Nayak, translated this message of learning something new into an execution idea 'Chalo Ghar Baithe Baithe Kuch Naya Seekhein' soon enough. We realised the best way this could be achieved authentically in the current scenario was if people showed others what all one can learn at home, if given the opportunity. With this thought, the script for the film was born.”

The emergency credit facility will provide subscribers a balance loan for a specified time period. The credited amount will be debited from the user's account as soon as he re-activates his service, without any interest. The facility can be accessed by giving a free missed call.

Meanwhile, free access to content will include value added services for the entire family. It is targeted towards a variety of age groups. Tata Sky Fun Learn, Smart Manager, Vedic Maths, Cooking, Classroom, Dance Studio, Beauty and Fitness are amongst the most popular services that will be available at a time when it is imperative for people to join the drive to stay at home.