Mumbai: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a shark? The possibilities seem endless to a class full of specially-abled children as they watch their teacher playfully transform his laptop, a Lenovo Yoga, into different things to entertain them.
The new campaign for Lenovo’s convertible PC brand Yoga, which was launched 10 days ago, has collectively been viewed 2.4 million times on Facebook and Youtube. Created by Ogilvy and Mather, the campaign, themed #gonew, features a television commercial and one long-form digital video.
The digital film titled #newprofessional opens with a young professional spending time with special children in school. The video showcases the attitude of the new generation of Indians who put as much focus on passion and doing good, while balancing the tight rope of demanding careers, said a statement from the company. It also weaves in the Yoga 900, which becomes the children’s new toy as the man shows them all the ways in which it becomes more than just a laptop. Their flight of fantasy is interrupted by a video conference call from work on his laptop; the man asks the children to be quiet as he takes the call “from aliens”. His boss asks him to join a meeting, which he politely declines, citing an important meeting. As soon as the call ends, the children burst into laughter calling him a “liar”.
Azazul Haque, executive creative director, Ogilvy and Mather, Bangalore, explained that so far Lenovo stood for tech-heavy advertising. The Yoga challenged the way people looked at a laptop. “The new professional is someone who has a job but also makes time for things he enjoys and deems important. As far as the product was concerned, we moved away from the tech-heavy jargon and looked at the softer side of technology. The laptop could be anything: a bird, a plane, a shark. And the imagination of the children lent itself well to the concept. It was a bold move for the brand… they accepted that their high-tech product will be showcased as a toy. The idea was to celebrate the imagination of these kids,” he said.
While it’s not the first time that a commercial has included differently abled people in a creative, an increasing number of brands are choosing to be more realistic in their representation of society through advertising . Brands such as KFC, Google Photos, Paper Boat and Nestle, among others, have all featured differently-abled people as a part of their advertising storyline. However, in doing so, brands walk a thin line, experts say. Consumers could view them as a compassionate and inclusive company, or it may come across as opportunistic.
“The New Professional campaign looks like a product demo in the guise of a ‘human story’. There is way too emphasis on the product. The slick execution with multiple camera angles take away from the intended innocence of the story and makes it very ‘addy’. The most contentious part is the use of the specially abled kids. They are not very germane to the story—the plot would have worked well enough even with normal kids,” said Raghu Bhat, founder director, Scarecrow Communications Ltd.
“The tag line says #GoNew, but it falls short of that promise as the whole concept of a professional managing his job and still finding time to do some good for society has been seen in different variations over time. Whether it’s spending time with kids, or the elderly, it has been done. Beyond that, even the use of specially abled kids in the storyline aims to tug at the heartstrings but ends up looking contrived, which is unfortunate considering that they have the best intentions,” said Arun Iyer, chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas.