#ShutThePhoneUp Again

The con­dom brand launches the sec­ond leg of the cam­paign.

The Brand Reporter - - EDITORIAL / CONTENTS - By Deep­ashree Ban­er­jee deep­ashree.ban­er­[email protected]

Manforce Con­doms, a sub­sidiary of Delhi-based pharma and well­ness com­pany Mankind Pharma, is back with a sec­ond in­stal­ment of its vi­ral cam­paign ‘Shut The Phone Up 2.0’. Like the pre­vi­ous one, this ad also at­tempts to un­earth yet an­other fact. The cam­paign tries to take the con­ver­sa­tion for­ward by rak­ing up a myth around data se­cu­rity. Most smart­phone users be­lieve that all data is erased af­ter for­mat­ting their phones. That’s not en­tirely true; the data can be re­trieved through soft­ware which is read­ily avail­able on the in­ter­net. The lack of aware­ness around this sub­ject poses a po­ten­tial threat to every smart­phone con­sumer.

The lat­est dig­i­tal ad film show­cases one such predicament - a cou­ple has to ne­go­ti­ate a dif­fi­cult deal for their stolen smart­phone con­tain­ing in­ti­mate mo­ments which they thought were erased. The spot is not here to tell us about the pre­mium qual­ity of the prod­uct; it’s here to en­lighten us to the fact that even af­ter your phone is for­mat­ted, the data can eas­ily be re­trieved and po­ten­tially used for ne­far­i­ous pur­poses.

With brands in­creas­ingly warm­ing up to cause-ver­tis­ing, so­cial is­sues that were not openly dis­cussed, are com­ing un­der the spot­light.

Cy­ber-bul­ly­ing goes hand in hand of tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment. By show­ing a way to com­bat this men­ace, has Mankind suc­cess­fully po­si­tioned it­self as a so­cially re­spon­si­ble brand? While one could ar­gue that the brand has not been able to build on the pre­vi­ous spot in terms of cre­ativ­ity, have they taken a step in the right di­rec­tion by giv­ing a call-to-ac­tion in the new spot?

The brief from the brand was to take the con­ver­sa­tion for­ward, still keep­ing a mar­ried cou­ple in mind, Akash­neel Das­gupta, se­nior vi­cepres­i­dent and ex­ec­u­tive cre­ative di­rec­tor, ADK For­tune, tells us. “Last time, we had left the con­clu­sion to the imag­i­na­tion. This time, the idea was to warn peo­ple of the con­se­quences of the phone fall­ing into the wrong hands. Our ob­jec­tive was to high­light the ir­re­versibil­ity of an act like this,” he states.

Man­ish Kinger, cre­ative head, Liq­uid, an IPG agency (ear­lier known as Bush­fire), ad­mits that he loved the first in­stal­ment of ‘ShutThePhoneUp’. Ac­cord­ing to him, how it de­liv­ered on the chal­lenge of giv­ing a new mean­ing

The cam­paign tries to take for­ward the con­ver­sa­tion around data se­cu­rity.

“This time, the idea was to warn peo­ple of the con­se­quences of the phone fall­ing into the wrong hands. Our ob­jec­tive was to high­light the ir­re­versibil­ity of an act like this.”


to ‘safe sex’ was noth­ing short of path­break­ing and it was def­i­nitely one of the few good shock­ing pieces to have come out last year.

With re­gard to the lat­est film, he says, “I be­lieve the big chal­lenge was to take the idea (and el­e­ment of shock) for­ward with­out be­ing pre­dictable. Did that hap­pen? I don’t think so. Within 10 sec­onds of the film, you know how it’s go­ing to end thanks to the dozen-and-more films that came be­fore. The per­for­mances, much like the writ­ing, are or­di­nary. And be­cause the jour­ney to the mes­sage is so un-en­gag­ing, the mes­sage loses its shock-steam. It is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to cre­ate a se­quel to some­thing good; this film, un­for­tu­nately, is no ex­cep­tion to that,” states Kinger and we cer­tainly agree.

When asked what he would have done dif­fer­ently, Kinger promptly re­sponds, “I would start with the story...”

For Ray­omand J Patell, ex­ec­u­tive cre­ative di­rec­tor, Havas Mumbai, the first in­stal­ment of the se­ries ‘#ShutThePhoneUp’ seemed over the top in terms of just way too much drama and hammed per­for­mances.

The sec­ond one con­tin­ues where the first left off, with an al­most DAVP (Direc­torate of Ad­ver­tis­ing and Vis­ual Pub­lic­ity) tone; a ‘Pay your taxes’ sort of stern ad­mon­ish­ment to not film your pri­vate mo­ments and/or store them on your phone. “It’s in­cred­i­ble that a brand of con­doms should have such an ar­chaic view­point,” says a sar­donic Patell.

In fact, he stresses on an in­ter­est­ing point, “Young peo­ple armed with cell phones aren’t go­ing to stop film­ing them­selves any time soon; in this era of code be­ing king, they could have done so much more with an app to ac­tu­ally pro­tect your most in­ti­mate me­mories with in­dus­trial grade en­cryp­tion. In­stead, there seems to be a re­gres­sive point of view which is surely out of sync with present times,” he ex­plains adding, “The cur­rent dig­i­tal leg of the films is merely a ‘how to’ litany of in­struc­tions, which any­one with a smart­phone would know al­ready.”

“Cur­rently, the link be­tween safe sex with a con­dom and keep­ing your cell phones safe, is some­what ten­u­ous at the word­play level alone,” he states.

But, keep­ing in mind the de­creas­ing at­ten­tion spans among view­ers, isn’t it equally im­por­tant for the ad­ver­tis­ers to be able to de­fine/shape their agenda sooner and with more clar­ity? Isn’t us­ing fear as a mech­a­nism to get viewer at­ten­tion a risky propo­si­tion and runs a chance of creat­ing a neg­a­tive im­pres­sion of the brand?

Arvind Jain, CEO, NetBiz, a dig­i­tal per­for­mance-driven agency, seems to agree and says, “Per­son­ally, I would have shot the spot in a fast-paced man­ner, in­di­cat­ing the ur­gency of the is­sue. The ex­e­cu­tion could have, there­fore, been sug­ges­tive rather than per­sua­sive.”

As part of their dig­i­tal cam­paign (which in­cludes a com­bi­na­tion of a long-for­mat film with dig­i­tal ac­ti­va­tion), Manforce has cre­ated a ded­i­cated page on its web­site which pro­vides tips on how to thor­oughly erase your smart­phone’s data. In­ter­est­ingly, Manforce is the only brand in its cat­e­gory which re­sorts to cause-based ad­ver­tis­ing. ■

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