A TVC on the father-son bond. From Raymond. Hmmm Can an agency ignore brand behaviour in creative strategy?

Can an agency ignore brand behaviour in creative strategy?

Can any number of sweet, made-to-warm-hearts spots sweep contrary  behavior by the brands under the public carpet, as it were?  PR and Communication experts believe that especially in today’s hyper-connected, hyper-vocal day and age, behavior scores far more than just ad campaigns that don’t have brand owners and their brands walking in step with the talk of the campaigns.

The younger generation, particularly Generation Z and also the younger of the millennials — connected, vocal, more values- and principles-driven than ever before — don’t consider the personality of brands to be limited to their logos, names and baselines. Those are definitions, the aspirations that a brand sets for itself, tells its target audiences it lives by. And so if a brand avers or promises  something, but lives by another set of rules, well, it’s bound to be rejected as a fake.

Remember the vociferous backlash Starbucks faced when some overzealous staffers called the cops to eject  some coloured young men?  Denunciation follows swift on the heels of such delinquent behavior.

Social media has yanked off the partitions between what used to be the public and private worlds, causing them to mesh and quite inseparably, converge. And that’s picked up and slapped brands band in the middle of continuous public scrutiny. Brands, demand the youth today, particularly, Gen Z and the younger millennials, must demonstrate the most genuinely good and ethical behavior.

This preamble was to lead to the latest Raymond brand campaign I saw. A TVC that uses only good video storytelling to tell us what a brand stands for.

But ignores brand behavior.

On the face of it, a lovely, heartwarming little tale that shows a father-son relationship coming full circle.

Stepping into your father’s shoes is not just about growing up, it’s also about becoming a ‘father’ to the man who once brought you up. The film revolves around one fleeting moment of bonding where a father bends a few rules to give his son a surprise wheelbarrow ride and through the spontaneous joy of that moment, we travel time – to a few decades after, where there’s a reversal of roles. The son, now all grown up, returns the surprise ride to his ageing father who’s now on a hospital wheelchair. The seamlessness of this reversal is a short code for the fact that every stage and moment in life is transitory, but the real celebration of life is in remembering them and reliving them.

This new ‘Complete Man’ TVC takes us through the heart-warming journey of how a father-son relationship evolves.

Well thought by GREY India, and well executed by Magic Lantern Films.

But was it well suggested by GREY India for a brand like Raymond? We’ve heard the ugly stories of ‘mistreatment of and emotional blackmail by’ a parent, and those stories have been playing out very close to the main players behind the Raymond brand. ( Here are two stories that cover both sides of the ‘behaviour’ aspect, and both from The Economic Times, which, in all fairness, gave equal voice and space to both sides: Story 1 and Story 2)

GREY should have asked themselves if the beautiful story of their latest campaign would accurately reflect the brand’s behavior in real life in the personal relationships space. Unfortunately, they didn’t

One isn’t taking sides here, not giving credence to either party’s claims. One’s just thinking like the dispassionate marketer who has to give enormous weightage to the super emotional target audiences who aren’t living in vacuums, but have known about the goings on with the family. On the last point – on whether this new TVC would accurately reflect the brands behavior, this new campaign falls flat.

Ad films are not just about great concepts and impactful storytelling and video narrations. They have the potential of being remarkable, extremely significant milestones in the growth and evolution of the brands they live. By depicting what their brands live for.

An agency cannot ignore brand behaviour in creative strategy. GREY should have asked themselves if the beautiful story of their latest campaign would accurately reflect the brand’s behavior in real life in the personal relationships space. Unfortunately, they didn’t

Statements and credits:

However, the fact remains that this is a creative piece of work, and a good one at that, viewed in isolation of brand behavior. While I can do that for a review, the consumers and the voices that make public opinion won’t do that.

But keeping that aside, here, firs, is the campaign, well executed by Magic Lantern:

And here are some important specifics about this campaign from an official note:

The film was conceptualised and scripted by Grey India and directed by American director Rudi Schwab. The visual storytelling approach is sensitive, underplayed and honest with an emotional intensity that’s real and palpable. The film chooses to almost suspend extraneous elements in the narrative to draw the viewer intimately into this special bond that they (the father and son) have and the joy of the moment.

‘It’s always challenging when you need to engage the viewer emotionally in a passage-of-time story, even more so when you need to crunch it into 45 seconds. I think this story says something very important to all of us. We live in frenzied, fast-paced times and easily overlook the value of reliving and giving back some joy to our ageing parents. If this film makes someone pause and think a moment about an elderly parent, it would have done its job.’, says Sandipan Bhattacharyya, Chief Creative Officer, Grey India.

CREDITS:

  • Chief Creative Officer & Writer: SANDIPAN BHATTACHARYYA
  • Executive Creative Director: MAYURESH DUBHASHI
  • National Planning Head: ARUN RAMAN
  • Sr.VP Grey Works: SAMIR CHADHA
  • Sr.VP/Office Head: VINEET SINGH
  • PR : Sonal Mehta
  • Production House: Magik Lantern Films
  • Creative Producer: Shoubhik Roy
  • Producers: Shoubhik Roy & Meita Roy
  • Director: Rudi Schwab
  • DOP: Setu
  • Art: Akriti Piplani
  • Post Production Head: Debjan Basu
  • Music: Brandmusiq

CAST:

  • Old Father: Barun Chanda
  • Young Son: Parambrata Chatterjee
  • Young Father: Abhinav Shukla
  • Small Boy: Darsh Ghadge
  • Main Cast Stylist: Thotrechan Sasa
  • Hair Stylist: George Kritikos
  • Casting Director: Mukesh Chhabra Casting Company & Nintu (Kolkata)

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