This long-form film crafted by Enormous Brands, features a hearing/speech impaired protagonist.
There's a strange phenomenon governing the 'Ad World' - once a plot/storyline/topic becomes a hit, every brand wants to ride that wave. Today, the cause-vertising pie is getting a little warm, but major brands still want a big piece. From campaigns around gender equality and women empowerment to bridging the communal divide and patriotism, big names like Nike, Fortis Healthcare, Parle-G etc. are showcasing their creative talent through taking up a cause.
The latest addition to the cause-vertising brigade is the 'inspired-by real life' campaigns like Himalaya's #EkNayiMuskaan and HDFC Life Insurance's #BounceBack. Brands are prominently featuring the differently-abled and launching campaigns with strong emotional narratives to engage their respective audiences.
The most recent to take this up is online marketplace, Paisabazaar.com, with its new brand film - 'The Wedding Speech' - launched on the occasion of its fifth anniversary. The film, through a story of two brothers, focuses on how the right advice can change lives.
On a side note, Zomato's latest ad film, released on the occasion of Valentine's Day, is based on the concept around a quote by George Bernard Shaw - "There is no sincerer love than the love of food." The reason we bring it up is because both films feature a protagonist who has a hearing and speech impediment. The ads resemble each other so much that one could find it difficult to recall which ad is for which brand.
afaqs! reached out Paisabazaar.com to better understand the concept and idea behind the film.
"The idea for this (The Wedding Speech) campaign was born from a simple insight - human bonds are beyond money. Through this campaign, we wanted to take the Paisabazaar brand a notch higher and move 'beyond money' to talk about how a simple piece of advice about money, can change your life," explains Sai Narayan - associate director and head of marketing, Policybazaar.com and Paisabazaar.com.
Enormous Brands worked on the script and Anand Karir directed the film. The digital film, produced by K Silent films & A Glass of Whiskey Productions, went viral as soon as it was released.
"Long is the new short, especially in the digital space. With the explosion of OTT platforms and the binge-watching habit, India's media consumption has drastically changed. Data says Indians spend more than 1.3 hours per week watching online video. If a piece of content is engaging and if it moves the audience emotionally, they love sharing it with their friends and family," says Narayan.
Ashish Khazanchi, managing partner, Enormous Brands, adds, "A story about a physically challenged person was never the starting point. We wanted to make a point about brotherhood - how elder brothers are often tough on their younger siblings only to make them stronger. From there, we thought it would be even more interesting if the younger brother is someone who gets sympathy from the whole world, but not his own brother. The idea of this contrast in behaviour gave birth to the speech impaired character."
With this film, Paisabazaar.com also introduced its new brand philosophy, 'Paison Se Badhkar'.
In a quick discussion with Zomato, who launched its film on similar lines, we found that it is built on the concept that love for food can bring people together. Sandeep Anand, chief marketing officer, Zomato, shared with afaqs!, "Family, friends and even strangers often come together through their shared love for food. Valentine's Day, being a 'celebration of love', was an ideal occasion to show how the love for food can be the catalyst that brings two people together. Hence, the #newlanguageoflove campaign was born."
Making the correct choice?
There's nothing irregular about two (or more) brands riding a trend; but, to do so successfully, they would need to be authentic and weave the trend/cause seamlessly into the story. If the consumer is left wondering what the brand was doing in that storyline, then that would be a case of hopping onto the bandwagon, sans ticket.
We asked the experts, that for any brand, how helpful is it to follow a trend/ride the wave and what can they do to stand out?
According to Saji Abraham, executive director, Lowe Lintas, the cause of the brand must be greater than the cause depicted in the ad. At the end of the day, the brand needs to have a reason to be showcasing the cause and not look like it is latching onto something to make itself salient. Both Paisabazaar and Zomato fall short on this count.
He says, "For Paisabazaar, what is the role of the product? Does it give you advice that changes things? From watching that ad (a very similar premise and problem as that of a retirement solutions ad called the 'Best gift for your child', from a brand called 'Income') I cannot get that impression because it is a mere analogy."
Abraham adds, "The mute person's story is a laborious stretch to get food into the picture and to make a 'different' Valentine's Day ad. In fact, if the boy could speak, would the pasta have played the same role? If not, is the brand saying that the pasta can speak for the boy who can't? That food can help you express love? Yes, if you cook it yourself, maybe; but to say that a pasta helped a mute boy express his love for the girl, is a bit much especially with this execution."
Shouvik Roy, senior partner, YAAP, finds Paisabazaar's ad quite uplifting for a viewer as well as a brand. "It tugs at the heartstrings without much effort. You can feel the emotion on many levels. And unlike some other long-format ads that I have seen in recent years - this one does have a stronger connect with the proposition of being an advisory service greater than what money can buy. I think it leaves a lasting impression on the viewer and brings Paisabazaar closer to you."
According to Roy, even if the approach of using a 'challenged' protagonist has been used many times - this one stays with you longer. And, as far as Zomato's ad is concerned, he feels that the brand is trying very hard to play similar cards - but fails at certain levels.
Here's a look at some of the themes which have inspired the brands time and again:
Gender Equality and Supporting LGBT cause
Bridging the Communal Divide
Inspired by real life