Again, we hear the words 'doctor-engineer' in a commercial

By Sunit Roy , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital
Published : July 24, 2018 04:57 AM
This time, in a Havells ad - and with a twist.

Havells India - an electrical equipment manufacturing brand with a product portfolio ranging from home and kitchen appliances, lighting, switchgear, cables, wires etc., in a bid to promote its LED lighting solutions, has released a new digital campaign. Titled 'Let's End Darkness', the new ad film is based on the core idea that everyone holds a different dollop of darkness within themselves and that switching to the LED lighting range from Havells not only brings you a wide range of energy efficient lighting solutions but also removes the darkness.

To promote its various products and product categories, the brand has done both quirky as well as touching (socially responsible) communications in the past. Some of the most memorable creatives from the brand include - Havells Shock Laga TVC - released in 2013 for Miniature Circuit Breakers (MCB) and Residual Current Circuit Breakers (RCCB); the Father-Daughter TVC - released in 2015 for Havells Wires; Main Pankha Hu - released in 2016 to promote fans; Havells Triyca Ad - released in 2017 for the brand's Colour Changing LED; Fans for your fifth wall - released in March 2018 to promote Havells designer fans; and the most recently launched #PaaniSePangaMatLo - released in July 2018 for Havells Water Purifier range, just to name a few.

Conceptualised and created by Dentsu Digital, the latest film - 'Let's End Darkness' - has been produced by Films Rajendraa. What's interesting is the fact that the brand has gone with a rather typical TV advertisement motif of showing the same old 'doctor/ engineer vs modern-day profession' argument for its #LetsEndDarkness campaign.


The ad film depicts the emotions of a discerning father who allows his son to take photography (still considered an unconventional career option) as a profession. In fact, the over-one-minute-long video takes the term LED (light-emitting diode) to an altogether different proposition where the three letters of 'LED' stand for 'Let's End Darkness'.

Avinash Joshi Avinash Joshi

Speaking to afaqs! about the objective behind walking the same old path, Avinash Joshi, Sr. VP and business head at Dentsu Digital states that an ad which doesn't relate with its audience, is not an ad. "#LetsEndDarkness is about more than just professions, rather, it's about giving our audience a bigger message of ending the darkness - called difference. As a matter of fact, still, only these two professions (medical and engineering) are considered as safe and respectable," he says.

"When we got the brief, it was simple and clear - 'To position Havells LED as a preferred choice above the competition and to make the brand synonymous with LEDs in the lighting segment'. The first thing that came to our minds was 'what does LED actually stand for?' So, we asked a few people and the answers were - 'L (something) E (something) D (something-something). This instinctively gave us the idea that when people don't even know the meaning of the word 'LED', then why not change it! But change it to what? Thus, 'Let's End Darkness' was born. We brought in a human angle of the darkness inside us which is about Doubt, Difference, Discrimination, Division, Distance, and a lot more," Joshi adds.

ALSO READ: Havells Fans: Winds of change

Interestingly, there is subtle/ minimalistic branding in the entire film and the name of the brand appears only at the very end of the video. We wanted to know if it was tough for the agency to resist the temptation of lingering on the product for longer and how does Havells Lighting benefit from it.

ALSO READ: Havells takes on corruption, inequality in latest 'Main Pankha Hu' ad

"The beauty of working for a bold and visionary client is that they understand the depth and the power of an idea. The moment we presented the idea everybody in the boardroom had the same conviction and clarity that this is not just a product campaign, it's about owning a bigger platform. That's why the product shots in the film are smooth and natural. Frankly, the decision was taken in five minutes," explains Hitesh Jain, creative director at Dentsu Digital.

Over to the Experts

According to Ayan Banik, head - brand strategy, Cheil India, it's a smart communication tactic to own a generic category like - LED - by coining socially relevant terminology -LED = Let's End Difference/ Let's End Darkness.

Ayan Banik Ayan Banik

Bikram Bindra Bikram Bindra

Banik, however, maintains, "The premise of 'Let's End Difference/ Let's End Darkness' is a pretty powerful thought, especially with regard to lighting/ LED as a category. Unfortunately, the creative rendition hasn't been able to do justice to the thought. The idea had depth to explore a richer and more nuanced story-telling. But what it remained stuck with is a pretty clichéd career choice zone."

He adds, "The idea kick-started on a much larger social issue, but somewhere, the storytelling succumbed to the pressure of doing light-hearted, breezy, humour-filled communication to appeal to the 'so-called urban millennial mindset'. Previously, the brand has done funny as well as socially responsible communication, this time around, in their bid to do both, they haven't been able to do justice to either."

Echoing Banik's sentiments, Bikram Bindra, vice-president and strategic planning head - Delhi, Grey Group, says, "The new Havells' film has an interesting and a potentially powerful premise, but it isn't leveraged enough. The narrative around 'doctor/ engineer' seems a bit hackneyed to me - surely in today's day and age there would be graver issues that one could 'shine a light on'. Even for a mass audience, purposeful brand-work that we see today is usually bold, inspiring and often polarizing, which this film didn't really deliver on."

He further adds, "The branding was on point; it is great that brands are waking up to the value of minimal presence in their large, purposive driven work. Overall, I think the space has great opportunities and a strong connect with the category and brand. I look forward to what comes next in this series."

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