Well-oiled Strat­egy

Riso Ricebran Oil has re­leased a video that fea­tures and ad­dresses In­dian housewives.

The Brand Reporter - - EDITORIAL | CONTENTS - By Sankalp Dik­shit sankalp.dik­shit@afaqs.com

A cam­paign that fea­tures - and ad­dresses - the In­dian house­wife.

What are the odds that you see an In­dian woman with a back­pack travers­ing the beau­ti­ful land­scapes of Europe, all alone? No, we are not talk­ing about Kan­gana Ra­naut’s dar­ing act of go­ing to her hon­ey­moon alone in the movie Queen. Nei­ther are we talk­ing about Sridevi’s movie English Vinglish where she chal­lenged her fam­ily’s sta­tus quo by lead­ing a se­cret life in the Up­per East Side of Man­hat­tan. We are in fact, talk­ing about Riso Ricebran Oil’s lat­est ad that takes us through the hol­i­day of a mar­ried In­dian woman who de­cides to travel alone in or­der to live life to the hilt and on her own terms.

There are no pip­ing hot ‘samosas’ or crispy ‘pako­das’ to feast your eyes on in the new ad. The cook­ing oil brand takes a bold new turn by look­ing past traditional ad­ver­tis­ing strate­gies. Vi­nay Chawla, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Ka­mani Foods, tells afaqs! Reporter, “I trust you recog­nise that this video is not meant to be a prod­uct com­mer­cial. When my team thought of this video, it was to con­vey the be­lief that life is meant to be lived 100/100. In ev­ery choice that we make and the way we live, be­ing 100 per cent in every­thing we do is what makes our lives mean­ing­ful. This is what Riso stands for and we wanted to say this as hon­estly and di­rectly as pos­si­ble - so yes, it didn’t seem to be risky in any way.”

Ever since the film was re­leased on YouTube, it has been gar­ner­ing trac­tion on so­cial me­dia plat­forms. How­ever, the me­dia plan for the same has not been de­cided yet. “We are work­ing on it. The larger brand com­mu­ni­ca­tions will be around this in the fu­ture,” says Chawla.

The ad film which has been crafted and con­cep­tu­alised by the creative agency, Un­der­dog, is not a stand-alone com­mu­ni­ca­tion medium in this cam­paign. Two months back, a se­ries of out­door ads, print ads and ra­dio spots along with mall ac­ti­va­tion ini­tia­tives were car­ried on for the brand. afaqs! Reporter got in touch with Vistasp Hodiwala and Vikram Gaik­wad, founders and chief creative of­fi­cers, Un­der­dog, who said that the ad film was not a planned one des­tiny had a role to play.

Hodiwala says, “The film was never a part of the orig­i­nal plan, but the re­sponse to the print ad was very spe­cial and that’s when the client won­dered if there is some­thing big­ger than can hap­pen here. We got in touch with Ram (Subra­ma­nian) and then con­cep­tu­alised this from scratch. There was a lot of back and forth but the client was a de­light to work with and backed us all the way. We wouldn’t have wanted this any other way, frankly!”

The con­cept, which seems in­ter­est­ing isn’t ex­actly a nov­elty any­more. In times when con­cept is the king, how does one en­sure fresh­ness, espe­cially when one has al­ready seen some­thing sim­i­lar be­fore? Gaik­wad ex­plains, “We think the only way to make a dif­fer­ence is by be­ing ‘in­ter­est­ingly dif­fer­ent’ and com­pelling in the con­tent one cre­ates for the brand. Also, the idea of ‘break­ing the norm’ as­sumes even more chal­leng­ing over­tones in the case of women be­cause of the bound­aries and ex­pec­ta­tions that so­ci­ety has un­fairly im­posed upon them. In that case, it is sto­ry­telling that makes a real dif­fer­ence in the sense that when it plugs a deepseated gap in the con­sumer’s life, its fresh­ness be­comes some­thing to cel­e­brate by de­fault.”

We spoke to the di­rec­tor of the film to get an in­sight into the ac­tion be­hind the scenes. Ram Subra­ma­nian, ad film-maker/peace and equal­ity ac­tivist, Hand­loom Pic­ture Com­pany, tells afaqs! Re­por­tar, “It was a phys­i­cally ex­haust­ing sched­ule, rac­ing to mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions while we were keep­ing an eye on the light con­di­tions. My feet were cov­ered with blis­ters by the end of the shoot. One thing that I would like to share in par­tic­u­lar, is the shot where the Eif­fel Tower is seen in the back­ground. We shot at the same time that the cur­rent French pres­i­dent was an­nounced as the coun­try’s leader. The en­ergy in Paris on that day, was some­thing else.”

BUT DOES THIS EURO TRIP HAVE A HAPPY END­ING?

The film which is a treat to watch cer­tainly has a big­ger agenda than just pleas­ing your eyes. We asked the ex­perts to gauge their views on this ad film. Kailash Suren­dranath, di­rec­tor Kailash Pic­ture Com­pany, says, “My first re­sponse af­ter see­ing the film is that I quite liked the con­cept. I was watch­ing and lis­ten­ing through­out the length of the film with full at­ten­tion wait­ing to see what it was about, though even­tu­ally, I did feel a bit let down by what seemed to be a forced con­nec­tion be­tween liv­ing life a 100 per cent and the 100 per cent ‘Ricebran’ oil. I did feel some­where, that the client’s pur­pose was lost with such a su­per­flu­ous con­nec­tion.”

Nilesh Vaidya, di­rec­tor, Work­ship Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, says, “The film dragged for me. I think, ‘Live 100/100’ is a re­ally nice po­si­tion to take, but let us put things in con­text. There have been dozens of es­cape/travel/back­pack films be­fore this one, and af­ter a point, it started look­ing and sound­ing like any one of those. The nar­ra­tive could have been a lit­tle more flavour­ful. Apart from be­ing too long, there was noth­ing re­ally wrong with the film, but noth­ing too right, ei­ther.” ■

“The film was never a part of the orig­i­nal plan, but the re­sponse to the print ad was very spe­cial and that’s when the client won­dered if there is some­thing big­ger than can hap­pen here.” VISTASP HODIWALA

The ad film has been crafted and con­cep­tu­alised by Un­der­dog, a creative agency.

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