Prachi Srivastava

Wagh Bakri Tea: Rejuvenate Relationships

Scarecrow Communications' recently released four minute-long film for Wagh Bakri Tea, likens the warmth of the beverage to that of close relationships. 'Wagh Bakri Chai. Rishton mein garmahat laaye, Hamesha rishtey banaye' is the new catchphrase.

Homegrown tea brand Wagh Bakri Tea, has released a four minute-long ad film that marks a shift in its stance from 'Hamesha Rishtey Banaye' to 'Wagh Bakri Chai. Rishton mein garmahat laaye, Hamesha rishtey banaye.' The brand likens the warmth of tea to the warmth of relationships.

In the film, a workaholic husband watches a video his wife leaves him on a handy-cam. As her monologue unfolds, the viewer gets a peek into their past, and learns that she has left him because, over time, their once warm relationship has gone cold. At the end of the film, the husband goes to her place and wins her heart once again. That's when a song, that blends the recipe of tea-making with the recipe to sustain the warmth in relationships, plays.

Wagh Bakri Tea: Rejuvenate Relationships
Wagh Bakri Tea: Rejuvenate Relationships
Wagh Bakri Tea: Rejuvenate Relationships
Wagh Bakri Tea: Rejuvenate Relationships
Parag Desai, executive director of the 122 year-old brand explains the insight that led to this campaign: Research conducted by his team showed that gadgets are preventing the busy urbanite from spending time with his/her loved ones. "Relationships are under pressure today. Hence, we decided to do something that appeals to a larger cause - of bringing the 'garmahat' back into human relationships," he elaborates.

Scarecrow Communications, the creative agency that has crafted this campaign, won the account after impressing team Wagh Bakri with a four minute-long audio version of this TVC (with vocalist Nidhi Bisht). It was only recently that the same was converted into a TV campaign.

Adds Desai, "In our TVC, we hardly speak about our product. The only thing we are talking about is relationships and about how it's important to give time to one other. We also touch upon the way tea acts as a catalyst in this process."

Talking about the strong emotional connect the brand has, Manish Bhatt, founder-director, Scarecrow Communications, says, "Whenever you meet an old friend, you say 'Chal chai peeney chalte hain' (Let's grab a cup of tea). When you first go to meet your bride-to-be, she gets you cup of tea... or you invite people over for a cup of tea. Relationships, both old and new, are built over tea."

The film has been directed by Aleya Sen Sharma and has been produced by Chrome Pictures.

Big Media Push

Wagh Bakri rolled out a teaser campaign on TV on January 24 (Basant Panchami), which ran for a couple of days on around 10 channels. The teaser was aired over 50 times on each channel.

The four minute-long film was broken on TV on January 26 (Republic Day); it was aired over a 100 times that day. The brand had pre-booked slots across news channels (a strategic move, given the high level of viewership owing to US President Barrack Obama's visit to Delhi and the heightened levels of pro-Indo-US sentiments among viewers, that day), HD channels of Hindi GECs, and select Marathi and Gujarati channels.

Commenting on the aggressive media plan, Wagh Bakri's Desai says, "The media budgets were not very high, but because this TVC was made with so much passion, we thought of giving it a big media push. We saw an opportunity with the Republic Day Parade and decided to up the ante. We have allocated around Rs. 5 crore for the campaign. It will run for three months."

Besides TV, the ad is visible on the digital platform as well. The digital marketing for promoting this TVC was done by a Mumbai-based agency, Digit9.0 Web Marketing. Print communication across Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati markets will support the film.

The media duties for this campaign are being handled by Publicity Parlour.

Feeling the warmth?

While our communication experts feel the ad will no doubt help Wagh Bakri up its brand recall value, they question the originality of the overall theme.

Wagh Bakri Tea: Rejuvenate Relationships
Wagh Bakri Tea: Rejuvenate Relationships
According to Kapil Mishra, executive creative director, Contract Advertising, Mumbai, the film is a nicely made one that will fetch its "tear share." However, to him, the ad is a "trend-follower, not a clutter-breaker."

The film, he says, exploits its length quite well. "It oscillates between being an ad and a short film... which is the new trend. If the idea is to treat it like a short film, then the liberal insertion of the product pulls it back and makes it resemble a regular commercial," analyses Mishra.

But, he counters, if the purpose is to own the "emotional, relationship space," it has to be genuine and subtle, as this is a cluttered zone, what with every second brand using a "heady cocktail of song, duration (long format) and relationships" in its films.

Aditya Jaishankar, head, planning (South India), McCann, appreciates the way the brand has linked the warmth of tea to the warmth of a relationship. The ad, he feels, succeeds in bringing alive the fact that we take our relationships for granted.

"The role of the brand and the nuances of the product are given their due in this commercial... and the use of the handy-cam," says Jaishankar, "is a nice way of reminding the husband of the numerous times he has failed to notice the extra effort made by his wife to ensure he enjoys his cup of tea."

However, the overall theme - relationships - is an oft repeated one these days, not just in branded content, but also in popular culture like movies and TV serials. This creative tack seems "quite outdated," he critiques. "With the rising aspiration levels of women across the country, any piece of communication that highlights the inequality of relationships, becomes an anachronism," he decodes.

Going forward, suggests the planner, the brand will do well to focus on "bringing back the warmth in relationships in a more contemporary context, and not in a manner that depicts women as subservient."

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