Aditi SrivastavaPublished: 10 Nov 2016, 12:00 AM
Digital

Sulekha.com rides the rap route in its first long format digital film

The brand talks about its 'Zero Spam Assurance' concept through Unique Virtual Number technology in its new spot.

Hello?

Spam. Spam. Spam. Spam. Spam. SPAM!

Selfie kheenchu, video dekhun,

Sabke beech mein paun SPAM!

Bathroom jaun, sone jaun,

Theatre mein bhi pahunchay SPAM!

Mera phone baje aur main chillau,

YEH NUMBER KAHAN SE MILAA???

Sites mera number lete,

Sari duniya ko yeh dete

Subah shaam phone yeh karte

Hello sir, hello ma'am

Spam. Spam. Spam. Spam. Spam. SPAM!

These are the introductory lyrics of Sulekha's (the digital platform for local services) first-ever long format digital film. Created by a digital agency, Flying Cursor, the fun and humorous spot, 'Zero Spam Assurance' rides on the ad world's latest sensation - creating rap-based ad films to endorse brand products and services.

Sulekha.com rides the rap route in its first long format digital film
Hinged upon one of the most common problems faced by almost every one of us; after we subscribe to a particular professional service - receiving irksome and unending spam calls, the over two-and-a-half minute ad explains to viewers how they can deal with pesky spam calls in style while remaining anonymous throughout their interaction with service providers.

The film goes on to depict that now when one makes use of Sulekha.com to get professional services, they are assigned a dynamic virtual number with the help of the User Virtual Number (UVN) technology, which the company claims to be a first-of-its-kind for this industry. The UVN technology prevents the service partner from storing and circulating the user's mobile number which in essence means that Sulekha shares the user's number only with the service partners the user wants to talk to. Moreover, the calls can be stopped by the user whenever they want with just one click.

Sulekha.com rides the rap route in its first long format digital film
Sulekha.com rides the rap route in its first long format digital film
Commenting on the campaign, Soumendu Ganguly, head of marketing, Sulekha, says, "As a brand, we are constantly engaging with our customers to understand the challenges they face and the improvements they would like us to work on. Our users have been primarily complaining of persistent calls from certain service partners even after the user has finalised a service partner for their requirement. We decided to solve this problem by deploying this unique technology."

Speaking about the digital film, Divya Ramesh, creative partner, Flying Cursor adds, "'Number kahan se mila' is the most common response to any spam call we get, and today everyone has their own way of dealing with pesky spammers. Spamming the spammers themselves was a fun concept that we wanted to showcase, so we decided to create a digital film that introduces this exciting new chapter for Sulekha as a desi hip-hop track so it attracts not just Sulekha's existing users but also a younger audience."

Continuing further, Ramesh says, "By showcasing this in a rap style, we wanted to amp up the ridiculous quotient of the spam calls, the inconvenience caused by them, and the replies that our protagonist gave to the spammers. All, while creating a jingle that was catchy, and drawing their interest to a feature that was largely technology-driven (Unique Virtual Number), showing them how it can benefit their lives."

The digital-only film which was shot in Mumbai in just one day, targets people between the ages of 25 - 44, across the top eight metro cities - Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune and Bengaluru within the socio-economic classification (SEC) A and B.

Rap Effect

Banking on rap-based songs to create films for ad campaigns has been adland's in-vogue trend for some time now. We take a quick look at ad films which utilised this concept recently.

Sulekha.com rides the rap route in its first long format digital film
Most recently, Hindi film actor Amitabh Bachchan sported a Bohemian look for the direct-to-home services provider, Tata Sky, where he was seen rapping 'Yo Se, Yo Se' about television viewing habits of the Thakur clan.
Sulekha.com rides the rap route in its first long format digital film
Sulekha.com rides the rap route in its first long format digital film
Indian musician, composer and rapper Baba Sehgal was a part of Tata CliQ, Tata Group's newly launched e-commerce venture where his rap skills were put to use for the brand's Festober shopping festival. Another time Sehgal rapped 'Don't be a sucker' for Del Monte, the canned juice maker's digital campaign.
Sulekha.com rides the rap route in its first long format digital film
Sulekha.com rides the rap route in its first long format digital film
Early this year, Sony Music had announced its association with Yamaha Ray ZR for which an in-house branded music video #RayZRMeraSwag featuring rapper Aditya Prateek Singh Sisodia, better known by his stage name, Badshah, was rolled out. It may also be recalled that Badshah had recently rapped for the electronics and electrical appliances company - Hitachi.
Sulekha.com rides the rap route in its first long format digital film
Sulekha.com rides the rap route in its first long format digital film
Sulekha.com rides the rap route in its first long format digital film
Some brands that took the offbeat rap route include Tata Coffee Grand's new-age, unconventional rapper granny, Hindi film and TV actor, Alok Nath's Babuji Sanskaari Rap and My FM's 'Rap Anthem' launched two years ago which talked about the radio channel's content and process of song selection.

Expert Speak

Sulekha.com rides the rap route in its first long format digital film
We spoke to Swapnil Puranik, head, strategy, Mumbai, Razorfish India to know about his take on the film's overall direction and execution. According to him, all the elements (the cast, music, art direction and lyrics) are pieced together well, but, "the video feels dragged towards the end."

When asked if creating a rap-based ad film like other brands will help it become viral, he is of the view that though there is no set formula to take any content viral, historically, humour packaged in different formats has worked to an extent of being over-worked these days by many brands.

He further adds, "However, to Sulekha's credit, their consistent humour-led #AntiJugaad communication has established a certain level of awareness and relevance among the target audience, which will surely help the video achieve a certain level of popularity. Not necessarily viral."