New Delhi: One of the most celebrated themes in Indian advertising, the teacher-student bond has been highlighted in many ad spots.
The iconic government campaigns for National Literacy Mission, Purab se Surya Uga (Watch here) and School Chalein Hum (Watch here), dominated Doordarshan back in the ’80s and the ’90s.
Consumer brands, irrespective of their target group, have often resorted to the innocence and nostalgia that a teacher-student theme brings to storytelling. From bidding farewell to a favourite teacher to outsmarting a professor, here are a few ads that take us back in time.
Bournvita (‘Taiyyari Har Exam Ki’): In March, Mondelez-owned milk supplement brand Bournvita tweaked its Taiyyari Jeet Ki proposition while launching the Badam Booster variant to target parents. Created by advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather, the television campaign starts with a school principal addressing parents on the eve of exams. She asks the assembled parents if they remember the marks they secured in their Class IX exams. Most parents do not remember, to which the principal confesses that she had scored 59%, but has still managed to become their children’s school principal. Her point being that a report card only has numbers and does not measure a child’s true potential. The film ends with the campaign tagline of, Tayyari Har Exam Ki. Watch here
Titan (‘The Joy of Gifting’): The iconic Titan signature tune was contemporized in the Joy of Gifting brand campaign rolled out in 2013.
The ad film, conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather, opens in a college classroom where some of the students start thumping the desk using the stationery rhythmically, confusing the aged professor. Watch here
As he turns back, the rest of the classroom joins in standing up and humming what turns out to be Titan’s signature tune. Soon, they are joined by other professors who walk in and join the chorus. As the tune reaches its crescendo, a student walks to the baffled professor and hands him a gift book with “Farewell Prof." written on the cover. Surprised, he flips through the book which has pictures and notes celebrating the time he’s spent with the students. When the chorus ends, the teary professor reaches the last page of the scrap book and finds a Titan watch with a “Thank you, Sir" message.
Aircel: In a bid to announce an extra talk time offer while buying internet services, telecom company Aircel celebrated the joy of receiving something extra. In 2013 along with McCann Worldgroup India, Aircel executed a campaign set in an examination hall of a school. The film opens with the bell ringing and the teacher announcing “Pens down", but soon she notices that most students have a worried look. As she grants them five minutes extra time, a sigh of relief and joy fills the classroom. The film ends with the voice-over, “Thoda extra milta hai toh, accha lagta hai na". Watch here
Surf Excel (‘Daag Acche Hain’): Under its Daag Acche Hain proposition, the Hindustan Unilever-owned detergent brand Surf Excel narrated a heartwarming story of a young boy who on finding that his school teacher Rosy Miss has lost her dog tries every measure to cheer her up. The film opens in a noisy classroom when a student asks another about the absence of Rosy Miss. The friend informs that the teacher’s dog had passed away. On his way after school, the child visits the teacher’s home and finds her sitting lonely and sad at her doorstep. Watch here
Upon noticing the deceased dog’s leash beside her, he understands what she’s going through. He immediately puts the leash around his own neck and starts behaving like a dog—fetching a ball, rolling in the mud, even peeing and scratching. Eventually, his innocence brings a smile on the teacher’s face ending the commercial with the tagline, “Agar daag lagne se kuchch achcha hota hai, toh daag achche hai" (If the stains are for good, then stains are good).
Mentos Classroom: Perfetti Van Melle India, makers of Mentos, along with Ogilvy and Mather used tongue-in-cheek humour using a college classroom as their theme in 2005. The ad film drew a parallel between the ‘Mentos Life’ and an ‘Ordinary Life’.
The ad begins with a young student who tries entering a class and is being reprimanded by the teacher for coming late. It then cuts to a second situation (the ‘Mentos Life’) where the student walks backward as if he is leaving the classroom, at which point the teacher sternly asks him to take his seat immediately. The underlying thought being Mentos consumers are always sharp and street smart. Watch here
Raymond (‘The Complete Man’): The textile brand, known for its memorable ads, touched many hearts with its two-part heartwarming campaign featuring a loved school teacher. The first part, set in a school, features a senior school teacher on his last day at work. A bunch of his emotional students bid farewell to their favourite teacher by gifting him a Raymond suiting with a message, “To the man who taught us everything, thank you." Watch here
The second part of the campaign, released a few years later, is set in a wedding party where the teacher arrives wading through the crowd. Soon, the groom, who is shown recalling the farewell of the teacher, reaches out to him and instantly touches his feet. They both smile at each other and are soon joined by the groom’s school friends and the bride for a group photograph as the film ends with the tagline, The Complete Man. Watch here
Action Schooltime: One of the most memorable ads of the ’90s, the Action Schooltime spot introduced us to a lively curly haired boy (played by child actor Tejan Diwanji). As he gets ready in the morning, a rather hummable jingle plays in the background. He goes on describing a regular day at school, class work, home work, punishment and lecture, and the jingle still goes on. The campaign not just captured hearts but also convinced many young kids to buy the branded shoes. Watch here