Three friends, a five minute long film and a twist at the end - these are the active ingredients in the latest communication push by McDowell's No.1.
Mc Dowell's No.1 Soda, from the house of United Spirits Limited - a Diageo group company, recently launched the 'Yaaron Se Bane Hum' (We are made by our friends) campaign, which is an extension of its 'No.1 Yaari' platform. Conceptualised by DDB Mudra Group, the long-format campaign represents a new perspective on celebrating the bonds of friendship.
The over-five-minutes digital film, shows a group of three friends going for a trek. The film shows them running through a farm, and reaching a water body. When they try to cross a river, across which a tree bark serves as a bridge, one of the boys gets hesitant. The other two motivate him to take that one first step, and the boy heeds their advice and makes his way across.
The film strikes an emotional chord with the audience as the essence behind 'Yaaron Se Bane Hum' gets amplified with the beautiful lines - 'Jeetun mein toh jashn manati, Haarun toh taaqat ban jaati' - that is part of the poetry written by Sonal Dabral, chairman and chief creative officer, DDB MUDRA Group, for this campaign, while Bollywood actor Ashish Vidyarthi has rendered his mellifluous voice in orating it.
The film was shot across three days at serene locations of Mauritius, used as the backdrop, and features Paresh, Imraan and Anuj - as the three actors. While the trek part was shot at the Black River Gorges National Park, the cliff jump was at Rochester Falls. It has been produced by Kailash Picture Company and Tapan Basu captured the emotions from behind the camera.
"This was a complicated script to pull off, as on one hand it needed to have the intimacy of deep friendship, and on the other it had to capture the daunting outdoors that the protagonist was up against. The weather became the biggest challenge; rains followed us everywhere. As a director, I had decided that this film will only work if moments we capture are 100 per cent authentic. You can't fake friendships, brotherhood and deep personal journeys. The search for these authentic moments between the three friends, and to do it when the weather was against us, was a huge task. So, there are moments in the film where we decided to shoot even when it was pouring. In hindsight, the overcast skies add to the slight melancholy mood of the film before the final act that I had in any case desired," reveals Dabral.
According to Subroto Geed, senior vice-president, marketing, United Spirits, this is our biggest campaign to date and has been crafted with media-first thinking. We are releasing it with an intelligent multimedia approach where the 30-second version will play across General Entertainment Channels (GECs) on TV, and on digital we have released the film in both long and short format.
"While the film itself will be reaching a wider audience on broadcast and digital media, we will be launching a very Gen-Y engagement journey on digital. The journey is inspired by the instinct that when something excites you, you reach out to a friend, and share all about it. Therefore, what better way to do so than our thematic sticker/emoji pack that will be deployed on Facebook, iTunes app store, and Nimbuzz through the Liveinstyle platform," says Geed.
A Recent Trend
If you are one of those who is quite active on social media, chances are that you must have come across some form of content where physical impairment has been exploited as a plot for the narrative. In fact, an increasing number of brands are opting to be more realistic in their representation of society through advertising.
These are a few of the many such ad films that have been trending off late, as brands and online content creators seem to have found a new plot to convey the message.
So we asked, 'How different is the new campaign 'Yaaron Se Bane Hum'?' from the ongoing trend.
"Brotherhood is the most aspirational and emotionally connected form of friendship. The brand's narrative has seen great resonance especially among our youth audience, for whom friends are second family. The newest ode to the 'yaari' is our attempt to continue to connect and resonate with their view of friendship. And when a brand manages to reflect the consumer's personal value, it certainly sees the brand love translating into the product as well," says Geed.
"McDowell's No.1 is a brand that celebrates the deep bond of brotherhood. The way the brand defines this relationship is that these are ties akin to family and they're with you as you make the most difficult journeys and decisions in their lives. We are looking at a series of thoughts with provocative, engaging stories that establish the brand's thought," says Dabral.
So, while we have noticed that 'physical impairment' is highlighted, rather celebrated, in various ad films, afaqs! asked the experts whether there is a chance of dilution because a lot of brands creating ad films on the same line of thought?
So, 'will consumers be able to connect with the brand or the product?' "It's that basic formula: show happy people... twist with challenge... throw in emotion... hope that it works. Emotional stories garner greater views online, but although, the ad has been shot well, things are getting just too predictable when it comes to this brand," he explains.
Bikram Bindra, vice-president and strategic planning head - Delhi, Grey group, says, "Honestly, brands have just scratched the surface when it comes to representing the non-majority in their narratives. The worry should not be that of dilution, but of representation. Fortunately, the cause of the differently-abled is being championed by various brands, and I feel it is an encouraging move. For too long, we have been subjected, in popular media across channels, to a very specific demographic, not taking into account a larger diversity at play. This is part of a larger dialogue that brands are trying to have, where they are pushing their own boundaries and trying to show a more inclusive world."
Bindra adds, "We live in a very transient and transactional age, and somewhere the core audience for this brand will connect to a time which they felt was so much better than their current realities. Nostalgia as a theme has a deep richness to it, and connecting to it through the prism of old and lasting friendships works, irrespective of the brand. Yes, the product connect is tenuous, but the theme of bonding is a relevant one for the brand."