From bizarre to funny, Finolex Fans astronaut campaign creates buzz

The over two-minute-long digital film revolves around an aggrieved astronaut Babloo, who is in dire need of his mother’s handmade pickle


The film has been created jointly by two agencies, Focus (Finolex’s agency-on-record) and Boing, which handles clients such as Nirma Advance, Anchor Realty, Tata Value Homes, Finolex switches and Livpure water purifier, among others.
The film has been created jointly by two agencies, Focus (Finolex’s agency-on-record) and Boing, which handles clients such as Nirma Advance, Anchor Realty, Tata Value Homes, Finolex switches and Livpure water purifier, among others.

New Delhi: Pune-based Finolex Group’s maiden campaign to promote its newly launched fans category is creating buzz on social media. The over two-minute-long digital film (Click here) revolves around an aggrieved astronaut Babloo, who is in dire need of his mother’s handmade pickle. Stuck in outer space, while Babloo craves for the classic parantha-pickle experience, back home, the space organization, media and even politicians struggle to figure out how to fulfil his wish. Eventually, his mother finds a way out using the might of Finolex fans which sends the household help Ramu to outer space with the pickle!

The film has been created jointly by two agencies, Focus (Finolex’s agency-on-record) and Boing, which handles clients such as Nirma Advance, Anchor Realty, Tata Value Homes, Finolex switches and Livpure water purifier, among others. Released last week, the campaign picked up on social media recently, garnering over a million views across its agency and production house Facebook pages. On YouTube, it has garnered over 27,000 views so far. The ad has also triggered a variety of responses over social media. While some found it funny, others have called it downright bizarre.

A spokesperson from the company said it was aware about entering a cluttered category (fans) and also the fact that they were not the first ones to communicate the “more air” proposition.

“So, while our product promise was similar to others, we wanted our communication to be fresh and clutter-breaking to give the brand high recall. We wanted Finolex fans to be in the customer’s consideration set when he/she is making a purchase decision. That is why we chose to go with this idea and roll out a clutter-breaking commercial to launch the range of fans,” the spokesperson said.

Through this campaign, the company is targeting consumers between 25-45 years of age who are new home buyers or home renovators. Finolex entered the fans category in May this year and competes with established players such as Havells which is known for its socially relevant campaigns like ‘Hawaa Badlegi’ (click here) and ‘Mai Pankha Hu’

It was clearly a challenge for Finolex to not fall prey to category codes and yet stand out among other brands. (click here).

Noting that nothing direct will work in a highly-cluttered category like fans, Anand Karir, creative mentor for both the agencies, Focus and Boing (which often collaborate on campaigns), said: “Our idea has to be out of this world (pun intended). It has to be whacky. So, we thought of what could be the whackiest thing one can do with the power of a fan and started thinking backwards from there.”

Karir has also directed the campaign which is being promoted on television, and outdoor and digital platforms.

Advertising experts seem to be divided on the execution of the campaign. Naresh Gupta, strategy head and managing partner, Bang In the Middle, said there is a fine line between creative licence and creative abuse, the latter being the last thing that a brand can inflict on its consumers.

“Someone has been sleepwalking making this ad. Look at some of the broken logic in the ad, the astronaut is in anti-gravity, but the parantha, weighed by his mothers’ love, is rooted to the table. Ramu, the family help, reaches the space station, but doesn’t pass the pickle. It’s pointless looking at logic, there isn’t any. Finolex, Houston (or Sriharikota) has a problem,” he rued.

However, Spandan Mishra, head of strategic planning, Rediffusion Y&R, finds the campaign hilarious, noting that people don’t mind a good laugh when it comes to low-engagement categories like fans. The campaign, in his opinion, is well executed with a decent production value.

“Finolex has certainly opted for ambitious advertising. The conventional wisdom would be to play it safe and put the brand in every single frame. The film does a pretty good job of holding viewers’ attention right till the end. It has lovely quirky and bizarre moments with a killer song. For a low-engagement category like fans how innovative can you be?” he asked.

To Mishra’s mind, previous campaigns such as ‘Happydent – Mera Dil Roshan’ (click here) , Ambuja Cement’s ‘Khali’ ad (click here) also had similar execution, where nobody would have guessed the brand being promoted until the end of the film. He also mentioned Super Bowl ads which are mostly created on similar lines.

“Since a viewer is treated to a spectacle, he/she ends up remembering the brand,” he concluded.

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