afaqs! news bureau

Schbang Motion Pictures is rolling out ad films quietly and quickly

H&M’s latest festive ad campaign starring Jim Sarbh, a campaign for Estee Lauder, and a TVC for Britannia Bourbon were all made by the independent agency’s in-house team

Portkeys have seen several manifestations over the years. Earlier genies agreed to take you to wherever you desired (three wishes only, of course), and then random objects did the same deed in the Harry Potter universe. Tardis remains an eternal favourite.

Now, actor Jim Sarbh and his handy elevator have taken over for clothing giant H&M’s Brighter Than Ever campaign. Working as a liftman in a New York City-inspired elevator, Sarbh takes its passengers to the places their heart wants.

This visually stimulating ad campaign for H&M is among the ad films produced by Schbang Motion Pictures. Recently, the production house worked on films for Estee Lauder starring Masoom Minawala & Manushi Chhillar, and a TVC for Britannia Bourbon starring Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer. 

Schbang Motion Pictures is an integrated production house. 

“At Schbang, the producers and writers work as one team - which gives us the ability to pitch with clearer ideas of what our films are going to look and sound like, and sell ambitious ideas as much as we can,” says Abhimanyu Balasubramanyam, head, Schbang Motion Pictures. 

Inhalers Hain Sahi

One of Schbang’s popular works has been for Cipla Pharmaceuticals, a brand that Schbang Motion Pictures has been making films for years, “Cipla gave us the opportunity to tell a soul-stirring story about a little girl who overcomes asthma to become a dancer.” 

The film was written and produced by Schbang, and the song ‘Inhalers Hain Sahi’ was composed by Amit Trivedi. Schbang’s award-winning film work for Cipla’s #BerokZindagi campaigns has been a direct result of the agency’s integrated relationship with Schbang Motion Pictures - a relationship that allows us to build enough client trust to pitch ambitious creatives.

When Raavan promoted wearing helmets

Another recent film hit from Schbang Mumbai Police campaign for Dussehra. While the campaign film was not made in-house, the music came from the agency. The music for the film was composed by Kalpesh More, of Schbang 808. 

Schbang 808, formed in the middle of the pandemic as Schbang Motion Pictures' in-house composition team, now boasts a diverse portfolio of music for brands like Cipla, Smashbox Cosmetics, Garnier Men, Fevicol, and Castrol to name a few.

Inside the H&M ad film

After two years of muted celebrations in 2022, “the brand wanted to show that even the most mundane of things from sitting at home with your family to a games night with friends is brighter than ever,” says Tanaya Saigal, group creative manager, Schbang. She wrote the ad film's script.

This was the first time Schbang worked with H&M and it was on a project basis. Saigal says, “This was the fastest greenlight we ever received for a pitch… We pitched on a Tuesday and Friday, and they (H&M) said let’s do it.”

Rachaita Vyas, executive producer, Schbang, says when the idea was pitched to the client, it was nothing short of a full-blown film presentation.

Speaking about references for the idea, Saigal says the team “wanted the film to have a very Wes Anderson (an American filmmaker) vibe and it is sort of an homage to him.”

“Aditya Mehandale (NCD, Schbang) and I grew up in these old buildings that had manually operated elevators and we both have discussed them as portals which transport you to places and it naturally fit into the story,” remarks the group creative manager.

Watch the ads closely and the cast members are nothing but representations of the consumer cohorts H&M caters to.

The mom stands out in the ad. When asked if she was a deliberate cast to point out that H&M is not just a brand for young people, the group creative manager says it was not a deliberate attempt.

Vyas reveals the first question they asked after Saigal wrote the mom’s character was if she wears H&M clothes or not. The brand replied, “Why not… We don't only cater to the younger generation, we have clothes for older people as well."

The elevator is as much a protagonist as Jim Sarbh is in this ad film. Saigal reveals there were multiple references for the elevator and highlights a New York Times article on old elevators in New York City and films like The Grand Budapest Hotel as two of the major ones.

This film comes on the back of H&M’s campaign with model Gigi Hadid which Vyas says made the clothing giant open itself to venturing into narrative-based films than ones which just showcase clothes.

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