Shreyas Kulkarni

Tata Motors evokes 'neki’ in Ramadan ad, salutes truckers in these trying times

Conceptualised by Ogilvy, the ad salutes truck drivers for their service, and shows how kids imbibe good actions when they see their parents do good.

The urge to do good deeds for others, become selfless, and help those in need, seems to have become more important now, in these tough times, than ever before.

The Coronavirus pandemic has turned our world upside down. We have been forced to stay indoors with our families, and not step out unless it’s an emergency. Then, there are the truck drivers, or truckers. They're on the roads, away from their families, so that goods can reach their destinations on time. They're certainly doing their bit of good deed for others.

During Ramadan, people, especially Muslims, head back home to spend time with their families and celebrate the festival with them. But, not these truckers. And so, Tata Motors salutes them in a new ad. But, the ad more than just salutes them, it shows how kids can learn from them/their actions.

In the ad, we see a young boy collecting grocery lists from his neighbours, who can't step out due to the lockdown. He cycles up and down, collecting all the essential items and then delivering them to people's doorsteps while wearing a mask all the time.

When he returns home, he washes his hands with soap and water, while his parents are on a video call. His father, a Tata truck driver, is trying to pacify his wife, who's worried if he should wear a mask at all times, or not. The boy then tells his father, "... You deliver essentials to places no one will go to. That's why, this Ramadan... I will get essential things for our neighbours, who can't leave their homes, and help them."

The parents' faces, especially the father’s, are beaming with joy and pride. It is truly a sight to behold. Sukesh Nayak, chief creative officer, Ogilvy India, says, "When I see my children imbibing my sacrifice and conveying it in their innocent ways, I feel taller by five inches, than what I'm. That's exactly how I wrote it."

Also Read: Tata Motors' rides on 'neki' marketing this Ramadan

A line in the ad says, 'Neki hee noor', or 'Goodness is divine'. The word 'neki' caught our eye because for a while, Surf Excel has used it in its Ramadan communication and also the trope of a kid who's doing something good, despite his clothes getting dirty. "If you understand the genetic code of Ramadan... The heart of this festival is about doing 'neki' and giving. As Diwali is lighting up someone's life, Ramadan and Eid are about goodness, doing charity, and this time around, I feel it will be bigger than ever before," says Nayak in response to our question.

Sukesh Nayak
Sukesh Nayak

On how the ad was shot during the lockdown, he says, "I was in my house and watching the ad on a video screen. It was shot in a place that'd just opened up, and they (public authorities) had given permission; it was tight (no outsiders, all cast and crew were local). That's how it was done."

He continued, "We were fortunate to find local people and it was a difficult task. You're trying to make something happen with little stuff, but it was an extremely talented team that pulled it off. I wrote the story and I am so proud of the crew."

On Tata Motors' brief for the ad, Nayak says it was specific. "Usually, at this time of the year, a lot of people return home because it's a festive period. But, a lot of drivers choose to stay back and serve. We wanted to salute them."

Nayak also spoke about Ogilvy and its work during the lockdown. "For the last 40 days, all Ogilvy offices have been doing remarkable work for the clients, like The Hindu, Titan, Dabur, Mother Dairy, Sleepwell, BMW, Licious, Bandhan Bank, Asian Paints, Tata Sky, you name it... I am very proud to lead this ship and feel great about us doing such extraordinary work," he signs off.

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