Bisleri says 'Stay Protected' through new film

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Published : September 27, 2011
In an attempt to break clutter, the brand has rolled out a new TVC with animation at its core.

Steering clear of the tried and tested anti-germ explanation, flippantly known as the 'Dettol-route', Bisleri has rolled out a new ad campaign that carries the message 'Stay Protected'. The campaign marks the first time the brand has taken to animation in its communication.

Created by the design agency Red Lion, the film tells the story of two travellers who are confronted by a monster whose baby swallows one of them. When the baby starts choking on the man, the worried mother monster reaches out to the Bisleri bottle in the other man's hand and gives her baby a life-saving swig. For this, the man earns brownie points with the monster and consequently his life is spared. A male voiceover then says, "You're always protected with Bisleri mountain water. Stay Protected."

In January last year, Bisleri embraced a new look by introducing a celebration pack. The idea then was to position it as a brand for all occasions, as one that could connect with consumers at all points in time. Back in 2008, the brand, in the face of competition, claimed its position as 'the original mountain water', with a film that touched upon spirituality. It carried the tagline 'The sweet taste of purity'.

Years back, Bisleri had conveyed the message 'Play Safe' through a naughty and suggestive campaign. The current film marks a completely different way of stating a similar message. Commenting on the strategy, Elsie Nanji, managing partner, and creative director, Red Lion, says, "This 'Stay Protected' campaign is an extension of the 'Play Safe' one and takes the brand a step ahead. This time, the benefit, that is, the protection bit, has been highlighted. The campaign addresses the question 'What does it (the product) do for me?'"

Protection, she adds, stands for health, hygiene, quality and purity -- all the things one buys bottled water for.

Regarding the use of exaggeration as a tactic, Nanji says, "Exaggeration is what makes the communication unique, and it is a way to break category clutter." About animation as a strategy, she explains, "So far, animation has been well-received in India. For instance, films like Shrek have done well. In this ad, we've tried to create an endearing fictional character with near-human reactions."

Besides television, media platforms such as OOH (out of home) and social media are important aspects of this campaign.

Does the campaign work?

According to Sandhya Srinivasan, managing partner and chief strategy officer, Law and Kenneth, while packaged drinking water got people thinking several years ago, brands don't really get the discerning consumer to question 'Water A versus Water B'. "Imagery and great visual appeal kept putting some brand or the other, in the hot seat," she reasons, "So, in that light, I think 'Stay Protected' rings a bell in a casual sort of way."

Srinivasan, however, adds that it took her two viewings of the ad to get the drift. "If I had to let my imagination run a little wild, I can hope that Mamma Monster and Junior are actually 'keetano' (disease causing germs), who stayed away from the Bisleri-protected man!" she delves deeper. Agreeing that the category is synonymous with the name 'Bisleri', she opines that the brand, nonetheless, needs more than this to make it a conscious purchase choice.

Lending a director's perspective to the matter, Pushpendra Misra, ad film maker, Flying Saucer Films, opines that the film is outlandish and manages to grab attention, owing to both script and the execution.

Misra feels that the animation finds itself in a "cute-sweet" space which works, but is a bit laboured. "The story and the performances are nice, the detailing of humour is also good, but I'm not sure about the choice of the style of animation," he elaborates.

Does he find a fit between the brand strategy and the execution? "'Stay Protected' comes across clearly," answers Misra, "If you are choosing a script like this then there can be no half measures. You've got to put it together in a convincing fashion which is done here. It's not hard sell and I like that in any ad. The ad is not forcing me to buy anything, but is only trying to attract my attention. It's more democratic."

He continues that the deliberate choice to resort to fantasy characters as opposed to a more 'real' scenario could also be because the client (Bisleri) may not want to show a man being gulped down by a dragon-like creature with the help of their brand in reality. "A client would want this whole thing to look like a joke and nothing serious. It succeeds there, but the cuteness waters down the whole impact a bit," he concludes.

Click here to read the storyboard

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