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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Has The Crusader Overwhelmed The Salesman?


Monojit Lahiri throws light on a latest TVC – showing a woman [with a young daughter in tow] getting re-married – and checks out whether the powerful, progressive social statement hits the right note or obliterates what its basic job is: attempt to sell the damned, hi-end special, new-age Wedding Collection?!
MONOJIT LAHIRI | Issue Dated: December 1, 2013, New Delhi
Tags : bride | Tanishq | re-marriage | |

Its landmark stuff alright! A bride is getting dressed in wedding finery and walking towards the wedding area with a little girl. As the couple begin their saat pheres, the little girl, excited & restless, indicates she wants to join them. The lady [quietly] endeavours to shshhh her, feeling slightly self-conscious but the groom, notices her gesture, lifts her in his arms and makes holy chakkar a joyous threesome! Later, we hear the girl asking her mamma whether she can now call the man her ‘Daddy’! Laughter all around.


 This new TVC celebrating re-marriage with Tanishq’s New-age collection as an emotional connector is grabbing huge eyeballs, making friends and influencing people, big time. Media calls it revolutionary, ushering in a whole new progressive tone & tenor, signaling the winds of change, capturing the mood of the nation, of a more sensitive India and brands therein. Others call it a gutsy hit on a taboo subject (New-age Indian women empowered to make bold choices with the re-marriage celebration show, without any trace of inhibition & self-consciousness, with child in tow) pushing the boundaries of rooted, traditional beliefs as seldom dared to before. Dissenting voices however point out that if it really was meant to be such a progressive statement, why the hell was the bride wearing so much jewellery? Shouldn’t it have been minimalist keeping the soul & sanctity of the communication, intact? Didn’t the jewellery bit make it a trifle showy and compromise the exalted impact, the POV desired?


Women seem to love it, full-on! Delhi-based Director Moon Moon Dhar [Perfect 10] is convinced that it truly is coming-of-age stuff. “Tanishq is an established and respected brand. They had the guts – and insight – to walk the talk on a sensitive subject, woman’s re-marriage! Sensitively riding on the product range, it played out a refreshingly charming story that is totally relatable to all new-age women of today’s India. Moving away from the stereotyped visuals of glittering jewellery adorning model babes demonstrating different shades of ecstasy – with NO MAKING CHARGES or FESTIVAL DISCOUNTS glowing! – this TVC is ground-breaking because it brilliantly factors-in a telling point. Just loved it.” Art Director Seema Sethi is upbeat too. “Its beautifully cast, crafted & executed with warmth pouring out from every pore of the TVC! Yes, its also progressive and demonstrates a bold connect with societal change towards traditional beliefs. However, I couldn’t make the connect with Jewellery. For me, it was a strong, well-made social comment. Period.” Communication Consultant Soma Chkravarti too gushes in unapologetic manner! “A truly exquisite piece of communication that dares to go the distance … and takes us along. Bravo! Very obvious that there’s women-power [Director Gauri Shinde] at work!”


Leo Burnett’s celebrated NCD Pops Sridhar comes to the party with all cylinders firing. “This is truly break-out stuff for a variety of reasons. For one, it’s a brilliant story through powerful social comment indicating both the organisation and brand’s modern & progressive vision & connect with the Indian reality of today. Also, it reveals their sensitive & insightful take into new-age relationships – taboo-land? - seldom attempted before. Finally, its about human purpose, dramatizing the need for a unique & identifiable brand narrative to create communication that is emotionally uplifting while declaring the simple fact that this special brand of jewelry calls for a special brand of celebration.” The Veteran believes that this piece of amazing communication shouldn’t surprise discerning viewers familiar with the Tata Group. “Long before CSR became a fashionable term in the corporate sector & media, Tatas have been walking the talk, across all levels of employees, with passion & purpose. Hence, this is going that route, an appropriate brand fit.” Ogilvy’s red-hot Creative dude Sumonto Chat sings a similar tune, although in less effusive manner. He believes that the heart-head combo is spot-on and the communication cleverly rides on one of India’s favourite celebrations: Weddings! “We are a shaadi-obsessed lot and playing out a story, with a different twist designed to grab instant attention is a smart move. Also the fact that it has garnered such massive responses across press, social media & chattering classes, must mean its got it right. Ages ago, Femina did something even bolder – daughter getting Mom Married – but it was clearly before its time and there was no pro-active media, so it didn’t generate the kind of responses it should have. This one has got everything in place – timing, form & content! Good job!” Marketing specialist Lloyd Mathias joins the fray with his very own take. “I do believe that Advertising’s primary mandate is to drive demand & sale and I am sure that this outstanding piece of communication does exactly this.” Mathias reckons that it has introduced – beyond the coy, blushing or the don’t-want-to-marry-now bride, a new segment: The confident, not-so-young-with-a-kid woman, who knows where she’s coming from and where she’s going. The New Woman – all set to chart a new course. Also, the communication sensitively weaves in social comment to position the brand as a forward-looking one that empowers”. Film & Theatre person as well as Communication specialist Avijit Dutt wraps up this debate with a – typically – startlingly original take. “For me, beyond the ground-breaking social, cultural & emotional pitch, it does something no jewellery ad on earth has done: It seduces the second-marriage market for women in an unprecedented way!”


Cut to what the creators of this TVC has to say … Arun Iyer [NCD, Lowe Lintas & Partners, the agency that handles the account] is clear about what was required of the task. “A hi-ticket, new-age wedding collection was to be launched from Tanishq. We needed a new-age brand-story that would connect in a powerful yet unique way and we hit upon re-marriage and reckoned it to be the perfect topic: topical, relevant & superbly redolent with exciting possibilities. Besides, in year 2013, it wasn’t the taboo subject it once was and everything considered it also would be the perfect positioning for the brand – progressive, visionary, liberating … The marketing team & CEO were amazingly supportive and collaborative so we went for it! We believed in it … and by all reports, so do the people.” Gauri Shinde [the Ad film maker whose debut film English Vinglish created huge waves and who was in charge of the TVC] confessed that she fell in love with the script the moment she read it and believed “it was something that just had to be done!” Her superb casting & execution – with those little touches - just made it the super hit it has become. While she agrees that the powerful rendition of the concept could have hi-jacked the selling angle, she believes that “established, respected & hi-end brands like Tanishq doesn’t require run-of-the-mill sales pitches. It needs a different & special brand story that offers subjective value to objective worth. Humanize the brand value & makes it embrace the human spirit. By the general reaction, it seemed to have done that which is very fulfilling.”


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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017