Sunit Roy
Digital

"Our categories and the media habits of our TG make us a 'TV first' brand": HUL's Shiva Krishnamurthy

"...but digital in our media pie is increasing," says the marketer, in the context of Brooke Bond Red Label's latest communication under the 6-Pack Band umbrella.

Do you remember Red Label's famous 6-Pack Band campaign released in 2016? The award-winning, eunuch-themed campaign for Brooke Bond Red Label came from Yash Raj Films and was executed by Mindshare, in collaboration with Y Films - the youth film wing of Yash Raj Films.

The campaign was a clarion call towards acceptance and inclusion that Brooke Bond Red Label raised to make the world a more welcoming place. The band members were invited by the jury of Cannes to represent themselves at the highest forum of media and advertising. The once shunned and ostracised strata of society, they got themselves heard, applauded and accepted in front of a global audience.

"Our categories and the media habits of our TG make us a 'TV first' brand": HUL's Shiva Krishnamurthy

Amin Lakhani

"The biggest impact that the campaign had was to actually get the ostracised community a voice that traversed beyond borders. The campaign sang the story of inclusion and the need for acceptance of the community into the mainstream. One of the band members, Komal, received a call from her brother to come home. It was for the first time since she was pushed out by the family. Such was the impact of the campaign," informs Amin Lakhani - president, Client Leadership, Mindshare.

Two years after the first campaign film was released, the 100-year-old tea brand from the house of Hindustan Unilever (HUL), launched the second edition of 6-Pack Band, featuring six specially-abled teens (between 13 -18 years of age), namely Ananya Halarnkar, Anjali Ramesh, Maitreya Matale, Paarth Padhye, Prerna Agarwal, and Rishaan Patil. The band has been conceived and produced by Ashish Patil, head of Y-Films in collaboration with Mindshare Fulcrum Content+ team and curated by Shameer Tandon while celebrated producer-director Karan Johar has done the voiceover.

"Our categories and the media habits of our TG make us a 'TV first' brand": HUL's Shiva Krishnamurthy

'Jhakkad Pakkad Dance' released as part of the 6 Pack Band 2.0

The latest offering by the brand also delves into a pertinent and critical issue of mental health and disability. The digital film - titled 'Jhakkad Pakkad Dance' - was released in April, also observed as Autism Awareness Month, worldwide. It amplifies the thought that we all need to shed our inhibitions and learn to accept everyone as they are and dance like no one's watching.

"Our categories and the media habits of our TG make us a 'TV first' brand": HUL's Shiva Krishnamurthy

Shiva Krishnamurthy

"Our objective is to maximise reach for this campaign so that we can touch as many people as possible with our message of inclusiveness. Towards this, we will give it a push online, on music channels, music apps etc. We also hope to create a lot of buzz with this very special campaign. If we are able to make even one person question and challenge his/ her prejudice towards children with special needs, we would have been true to our mission of making India more inclusive," opines Shiva Krishnamurthy, general manager, Beverages, HUL.

As a sequel to the second edition of the campaign, India's first-ever 'Isspeshal Band' has recreated the iconic chartbuster - 'Dil toh pagal hai' along with 100 kids from The Gateway School of Mumbai (a special needs school) and features ace singer/ composer/ lyricist, Vishal Dadlani.

"Our categories and the media habits of our TG make us a 'TV first' brand": HUL's Shiva Krishnamurthy

Dil Toh Paagal Hai (Isspeshal Mix) featuring Vishal Dadlani

"The nature of our categories and the media habits of our target audience means that we are a 'TV first' brand. Having said that, things are changing rapidly and the share of digital in our media pie is increasing," adds Krishnamurthy.

The brand believes that its credo of 'Purposeful Brands' has been the main reason for its success. "The challenge in today's 'Connected World' is that brands are always under public scrutiny not just for what they say but also what they do. Brooke Bond Red Label sees this as an opportunity to walk the talk on its purpose. There's hasn't been a better time to be in marketing!" says Krishnamurthy.