Satrajit Sen

McDowell's watches out for the boss

Conceptualised by DDB Mudra Mumbai, Boss Patrol has a downloadable app that lets employees save their colleagues from the trouble of policing bosses.

Everyone likes to take a break at work every now and then with YouTube videos, online games, Facebook, blogs, and so on. But what do you do when your boss walks past your computer and catches you in the act? Making a taskmaster boss happy at work is not always easy. McDowell's, one of India's oldest whisky brands, has launched a campaign called Boss Patrol to help employees deal with policing bosses.

McDowell's watches out for the boss
Conceptualised by DDB Mudra Mumbai, Boss Patrol, available at has a downloadable app that lets employees save their colleagues from trouble. It lets them choose a secret phrase (Like "Damn", or "What's the time?") and then add colleagues to the group.

If one spots the boss approaching, while other colleagues are doing anything but work, all she/he has to do is speak out the secret phrase. Boss Patrol picks it up through the microphone, connects with the colleague's computers and instantly opens up safe windows (presentations or spreadsheets) on all their computers, just in time. The boss, thus, never gets to know what they were up to.

The campaign has been created by DDB Mudra Mumbai, with Roars Technologies as the digital agency, to develop and take McDowells' 'Dosti ka No.1 Spirit' campaign further to the younger audiences. The agency's brief was to take this a step further in the digital space, and make the brand message relevant and truly engaging. DDB Mudra sought to not just replicate the message, but to actually involve the audience in experiencing and celebrating the spirit of 'dosti' among their own friends.

The application was launched on August 15 and the app will be available for a couple of months at least. The app is being supported by a YouTube video and on social media pages of the brand. Though the number of downloads was not revealed, the agency informs that the website along with the YouTube video has so far got close to 8000 visits.

McDowell's watches out for the boss
Speaking to afaqs! about the campaign, Sonal Dabral, chief creative officer, DDB Mudra Group, says, "Boss Patrol is an exciting app and a wonderful twist to McDowell No.1's positioning as the true spirit of friendship between close friends. The idea has social interest, community feeling, bonding and friendship at its core, all wrapped in a fun package. Not just perfectly relevant to the iconic McDowell No.1's positioning but also all the ingredients of going viral. So it's really heartening to see it become such a huge success in such a short time."

In 2012, McDowell's launched a television commercial for its soda extension featuring Bollywood actor, singer, director and producer Farhan Akthar, who was also the first celebrity endorser in the 40-year history of the brand. The TVC featured known faces such as Purab Kohli, Cyrus Sahukar, Zoa Morani and Chang. The commercial, 'Dosti ka No. 1 spirit', had been created by DDB Mudra, Bengaluru.

Earlier, McDowell's has used friendship as an underlying theme in another digital campaign. It launched a friendship carnival in association with Zapak Digital Entertainment. McDowell's No. 1 Friendzy celebrates friendship through on-ground and online events.