Shreyas Kulkarni

Ranveer Singh raps for JBL Gully Boy style; Oscar timed ad?

JBL has Ranveer Singh rapping in their digital video. Will it work or has the Gully Boy vibe fizzled out?

Gully Boy was India's official nomination to the 92nd Academy Awards but it did not make the final cut. Many thought this was the last one saw of Gully Boy and Ranveer Singh's rap prowess. However, its echo still seems to reverberate. Well, that's what we thought after watching JBL's digital video featuring Ranveer Singh.

Did the audio equipment maker take a chance when Gully Boy was announced as India's official selection and choose to showcase the ad so close to the day the Academy Awards would be held? The ad, after all, was uploaded on YouTube a day after the awards ceremony was held. Using Ranveer Singh made sense as he was the face of Gully Boy and the brand ambassador of JBL. Had the movie made it to the final nomination list, the JBL ad could have turned into an advertising masterstroke.

The new digital ad is a 30-second video that is fast, loud, and appears to target millennials and Generation Z. We say that because the video makes mention of phrases like 'Too Proud, 'Too Raw', 'Too Real'. These are part of popular lingo on the digital streets frequented by millennials and Gen Z. In addition to these phrases, the rap lyrics talk about self-expression and 'keeping it real'; something the two generations can relate to.

Ranveer Singh raps for JBL Gully Boy style; Oscar timed ad?

Dentsu India Slingshot was the creative agency behind this digital video for JBL India. While talking about the brand insight which was conveyed to the agency, Lucky Saini, vice president, Digital and Marketing Solutions, Dentsu India Slingshot said, "Dare to Listen is what the brand stands for. India is a young and spirited nation on a quest to explore what’s possible. In this journey, JBL becomes their perfect partner through music. It’s this bond and spirit that the brand wanted to express through this campaign."

The line 'Live it Real, Live it Raw’ once again resonates with the two age demographics mentioned above. Speaking about why they chose to go with this communication, Saini says, "Authenticity and self-expression is the motto for youth today and unfiltered and original sound is in JBL’s DNA. The brand wanted to connect with this ethos and send out an uplifting and inspirational message."

The ad is clearly all about expressing the truest version of yourself. While the communication insight and messaging may fit in well, there was one element which piqued our curiosity - Ranveer Singh in his rap avatar. Wouldn't the audience have forgotten or moved on from his Gully Boy persona? Saini says, "Ranveer’s energy and vibe are infectious. He is also his real self no matter what he does and that’s what makes the connect with the audience so strong. His ability to put emotions and life into lyrics through his voice is amazing and that’s why this will not create fatigue at all. Also, it's more dynamic in execution and has a strong storyline. The responses we are getting on the film (comments on YouTube ) are very positive and endearing."

While the responses may be positive, one has to wait and watch to check whether this 'rap' aspect of Ranveer Singh continues to remain a potent marketable tool.