Suraj Ramnath

This video by Parachute might just be India's most gutsy hair oil ad...

A bittersweet 'sibling story' replaces vanity shots of glossy hair being flipped and flung. A look at Marico's #MagicOfWarmth film for Parachute Advansed Hot Oil

When it comes to hair oil brands promoting their products, the narrative is pretty predictable. A mother-daughter equation where the former is massaging her daughter's hair with oil and suddenly she has the most beautiful and shiny hair any girl can have. If not that, it's a rough and shabby head of hair that is suddenly transformed into a luscious mane with just a normal oil massage.

This video by Parachute might just be India's most gutsy hair oil ad...
In its recently launched digital film, Parachute Advansed Hot Oil hasn't done any of the aforementioned things. Rather, the ad film focuses on a brother-sister's rough relationship - as rough as the sister's hair. This, some may say, is a bold move for a hair oil brand to make. Bold because there's no visual evidence of the product transforming her hair into a smooth, silky mane that reflects light. At the end of the ad, when the brother sees his sister cry because of him, he goes to her room to pacify her and gives her a 'champi' (oil massage). The ad is set in winter, in a visibly cold place; this makes the seasonal marketing push for this product evident.

The film has been conceptualised by McCann, produced by Green Grass Film and directed by Anaam Mishra. Madison handles the digital duties for the brand.

The final, possibly tweaked, version of this film will be released soon, learns afaqs!.

This video by Parachute might just be India's most gutsy hair oil ad...
Talking about the product and campaign, Anuradha Aggarwal, chief marketing officer, Marico says, "The product, Parachute Advansed Hot Oil, is a self-warming oil that works on intense dryness - a phenomenon that maximises in winters. This campaign is split into two parts - the functional aspects delivered through celebrity-led static communication and the film designed to connect the #MagicOfWarmth and the act of oiling at a more personal, deeper level with the digital audiences."

She adds, "The film takes a leap from the functional 'dry hair' problem to 'dry relationships' in life, which too can be easily repaired with the #MagicOfWarmth. The mother brand Parachute Advansed is already very strongly associated with its benefits on hair, making it easier for the narrative to stay true to the concept - #MagicOfWarmth."

We asked our brand experts if showing a girl with shabby hair in a hair oil ad is a risky move.

This video by Parachute might just be India's most gutsy hair oil ad...
This video by Parachute might just be India's most gutsy hair oil ad...
Samit Sinha, managing partner, Alchemist Brand Consulting, says, "In the clutter of advertising messages, following category clichés is the biggest risk of all, so to that extent I feel taking a bold departure is a good decision."

He adds, "Having said that, I think while a bit long, the commercial does manage to evoke empathy with its intended audience by showing what a real girl's real hair looks like in real situations."

Sunila Karir, founder and creative partner, Boing!, a Mumbai based creative agency, says, Parachute, as a brand, no longer needs to tell me about healthy, lustrous locks. Even my grand-mom can testify that. Showing long, silky, lustrous hair as visuals in an ad for the brand would just be stating the obvious. Therefore, it is a welcome change to see a category leader move away from these (not-so-necessary-for-it) advertising clichés. The way I see it, this is a bold and a welcome change to see the leader not treat its consumers as intellectually challenged."

Talking about the execution, Karir says, "A hot oil massage has been used as a de-stressor since time immemorial, and the brand has used this insight effectively in the film. The story effectively builds up the stress and the angst, welling up within the sister against her sibling. The stress as well as the angst is dissipated in the end by her brother, by giving her the hot oil massage, using the one hair oil which we all use, i.e. Parachute Hair Oil."

She adds, "In addition, as we all know, 'touch' is a powerful method of conveying warmth and love and the film combines this well with the brand attributes of Parachute Hot Hair Oil. I just feel the story could have been stronger if they didn't introduce the boyfriend angle at the end and stuck to the brother and sister story only. But then that's just my point of view. Nothing to take away from the creative team. The production value of the ad is nice and simple and does justice to the script."

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