Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) is back. Yes, in its eleventh edition this year. And Sony Entertainment has rolled out a campaign with a difference. The commercial has a young girl as its protagonist. She states at the dinner table that she would rather join the family business than raise a family. All hell breaks loose. The dad is stunned. The mother is hysterical.
The grandmom is scathing. The brother is derisive. The sister-in-law is disdainful. Family business versus raising a family, where’s the choice? All these changes when the young girl appears on Kaun Banega Crorepati. Hysteria, satire, derision, disdain… all change to admiration!
Big B, the anchor, goes on to say, “Moral of the story is that Vishwas hai to Adey Raho, Datey Raho”. If you have the conviction, hold your ground, stay firm. The KBC campaign is all about self-belief, self-confidence and self-esteem. The young protagonist is the symbol of a new generation that knows its mind and is no push-over. Determination, perseverance, tenacity and single-mindedness are new millennial traits that define the mindset of today’s youngsters. KBC celebrates that, salutes that spirit. It is a well-strategized, well-rendered creative idea. Well done, Sony!
To keep its message current and contemporary, KBC has kept its communication message very focused through the years. KBC 1 was all about ‘Ek crore mein kitne zero hote hain?’ and the time-alarm ‘Nau baj gaye kya?’. KBC Dwittya, the second season of the show doubled the prize money, and the pitch became ‘Umeed se dugna’. KBC 3 was anchored by Shahrukh Khan and the KBC tag-line in communication became, ‘Ek sawaal jo aapki zindagi badal de’.
KBC 4 was all about, ‘Koi bhi sawaal chhota nahi hota’ which was twisted around to ‘Koi bhi insaan chhota nahi hota’ in KBC 5. In KBC 6, the focus was more socially inclusive, hence the KBC line became, ‘Sirf Gyaan Hi Aapko Aapka Haq Dilata Hai’. KBC 7 brought on, ‘Seekhna Bandh Toh Jeetna Bandh’. As Big B accelerated his charm quotient, KBC 8 promised, ‘Yahan Sirf Paise Nahi, Dil Bhi Jeete Jate Hain’. KBC 9, focused on the game-play saying, ‘Jawab Dene Ka Waqt Aa Gaya Hai’. KBC 10 was a beautiful rendition of ‘Kab Tak Rokoge?’ and the flight path of aspirations. KBC has seen some wonderful campaigns over the years, each of which has enhanced and embellished the brand, bringing it closer to viewers and adding to its likeability and under-dog magnetism.
It is not easy to keep a good thing going. KBC is now nearly 20 years old. And it has remained India’s favourite entertainment show, engaging, enticing and entertaining a constantly evolving Indian viewer. Credit must go to the broadcasters, Star, and now Sony, for keeping the magic not just alive, but contemporary and charming.
The best ad of this week, coincidentally, is also from a broadcaster. Disney India rolled out a new TVC this week for selling its DTH subscription pack. In the film, a young girl when asked a simple question, replies in a manner that catches her mother completely off guard. The girl takes an overly melodramatic stance, like a TV vamp from a saas-bahu serial, complete with a highly articulate monologue! The child’s behaviour is indicative of the kind of TV programming she is subjected to every day, the sort of archaic imagery and messaging Indian soaps put out, influencing young, innocent minds. And that’s where Disney comes in with its Disney kids pack for just `10.
The whole portrayal of the vamp-like-act and the message conveyed, and as essayed by the school-girl is both interesting, and surprising. Good job, Team Disney! The same cannot be said about Shalimar Paints' new campaign which features a model with vitiligo (skin decolouration), a Muslim girl playing Holi and a colourful LGBT flag in its latest creatives — ‘Har Rang Khoobsurat’ — where the brand aims to raise awareness about these issues. But, the question I would ask is why?
Brand Shalimar is almost a forgotten name in its own category. The prime task that the advertising ought to perform is to sell product and brand. If as a company you are not even getting to do that, then why meander into supporting ‘causes’ which will surely do nothing much to help society, and will surely do nothing to help your brand. This bug (or humbug) of ‘inclusivity’ and ‘purpose’ driven communication cuts no ice if the brand itself has no respect or recognition amongst consumers. Plus all such causal supports are really shallow and meaningless if all you do as a brand is put out a press ad, pay lip-service and then quietly exit the frame. Avoidable, to say the least.(The writer is an advertising industry veteran)