Debashish Chakraborty

Shot in 8 hours, Godrej comes out with first homemade TVC for soap

We spoke to Anu Joseph, CCO, Creativeland Asia, to understand what went on behind the scenes.

Amidst lockdown, every brand, irrespective of the industry, is trying to reach out to its TG by communicating its message – one way or another. The newest addition to the list is Godrej No. 1, the soap brand from Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL). The brand recently rolled out a 10-second TVC on the importance of washing hands to fight the Coronavirus.

The ad features a man, who walks in with a bag of essential supplies, and then removes his mask. His wife immediately hands him Godrej No. 1 and asks him to wash his hands. The TVC concludes by saying that the message was issued in public interest. The message, 'As per the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), washing hands with soap prevents the spread of Coronavirus', can be seen throughout the film.

What caught our attention was the claim that the film was shot under eight hours. To understand more, we got in touch with Anu Joseph, chief creative officer, Creativeland Asia. While the film was ideated by the agency, the production was handled by Creativeland Productions.

Joseph says that there was no bending of the lockdown rules. Also, the film was shot in Nainital, and both the actors are actually a real-life couple. “The husband is a photographer and the wife is an actress, so, the camera, equipment, lighting and acting parts were taken care of. The actors, director and creative team were on the Zoom call throughout the shoot. Everyone would give their opinion and, accordingly, the retakes were done. It was a completely different experience.”

Talking about the challenges – creative and operation, he reveals, “The biggest challenge was obviously the void of a physical set or shoot and the lag in the communication. For example, giving feedback to an actor about a shot over a video call and wondering whether he understood the same. But I believe this is going to be the new reality for some time and we better get used to it.”

Anu Joseph
Anu Joseph

On how different is the shooting process of a TVC and a digital film, especially in these times, Joseph says, “For a digital film, it's understandable that it is created for the small screen, primarily mobile (and laptop, too). Hence, there is some liberty. On the other hand, considering the substantial air-time money invested, the production quality has to meet a certain level. It's easier to get away with a minor error when it comes to digital.”

Since there is a higher and considerable price involved to broadcast an ad, marketers have to be cautious and agencies need to be articulate about what they create, and it should also fit the bill. To pack it all in a 10-second ad for television seems challenging, whereas digital films don't have such constraints.

Is it possible to create a TVC on a smartphone? Says Joseph, “If one wants, he/she can. But then the lighting has to be of another level and then the sound has to be perfect. I doubt there is any point in risking it. There is a reason why a smartphone is a smartphone and a camera is a camera, right?”