To run an AC, one needs to shut doors and windows. Symphony, in a new spot, rides on this, by hinging it on the panic around the spread of COVID-19.
These are hard times. The human race is social distancing. Coronavirus has confined all of us within the four walls of the house. In times like these, many brands have delayed their advertising campaigns. They are mostly engaged in communication and awareness campaigns around COVID-19. Symphony, the Gujarat-headquartered air cooling brand, has, however, gone ahead and launched its summer campaign 'Khol Do Khidki, Chalao Symphony'.
So, what’s interesting about it? The campaign seems to be cleverly repositioning the rival category of air conditioners by hinging on the current situation of the spread of Coronavirus globally. To enjoy the cooling of the air conditioner, one needs to shut the doors and windows. And that’s what the copy of Symphony’s ad rides on – “Band kamre mein bimari panapti hai (closed rooms breed diseases)”.
The campaign aims to educate people about the importance of keeping their houses and rooms properly ventilated, as closed rooms can lead to the spread of diseases.
In the past, too, the brand, in its communication, has targeted the AC category by comparing their 'cooling'. The AC requires an outdoor unit, unlike an air cooler. In another ad, Symphony positions AC as the choice of affluent consumers. Also, an AC consumes much more electricity as compared to a cooler, which uses only as much power as a fan.
Ricardo Vaz, associate creative director, Enormous Brands, feels the ad is under-produced and doesn't beat around the bush. And, this actually works in Symphony’s favour. “I think this approach works best, especially when you need to be educative, and introduce the customers to something new. This may be from a lack of options, considering the virus restrictions affecting film production,” he says.
Vaz, however, wishes the brand had quoted a health body, like the CDC, that has issued statements encouraging people to keep their windows open. “Would that seem opportunistic? Maybe just enough to get away with,” he says.
Vaz says that though the ad encourages him to buy a Symphony cooler, he doesn’t understand how this (or anything else, for that matter) will help with sales during the current lockdown. “At best, if they keep the campaign running, once the lockdown eases, it may prompt people to buy a Symphony cooler as another summer precautionary measure,” he says.
Rajesh Lalwani, CEO, Scenario Consulting, which focuses on creating brands for a connected world, likes the ad, because of its timing. “What better time than this for us to open the window? The entire world has pressed a reset button, as nature forces us to take a pause. All of us are home together, cleaning our bodies, and cleansing our very souls. Resting our bodies, tired from the rushed lives that we all have been living for many years. It's time to be at home, with our families,” he says.
“As most parts of the country get ready for summers, it's a perfect entry for air coolers,” Lalwani signs off.
Yash Bendkhale, creative director, What's Your Problem, finds the idea and the execution of the ad very simple and basic. “Seems like the brand was in a hurry and wanted a piece out immediately, rather than wait for something worth putting out there,” he says.
Further he adds, “Every one is aware of this challenging situation. However, as the Birbal says "yeh waqt bhi gujar jayega". So I feel it's better to wait rather than rush into things.”