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The new ad for the Samsung Galaxy J2 2016 phone series featuring actor Shahid Kapoor, his father, actor and director Pankaj Kapur, and a character called Johnny (played by Vikrant Massey), hit the top spot on the Mint-Ipsos-TVAdIndx survey for July.

Created by advertising agency Cheil India, the new campaign for the Samsung Galaxy J Series is in line with previous campaigns which featured Kapoor and Johnny, a friend who constantly doubts the capabilities of Kapoor’s phone.

This time around, on learning that Kapoor’s phone does not hang, Johnny conspires with Kapur in a friendly bet to disprove Kapoor’s claim. They claim that they can get his phone to hang in under a minute. Kapoor looks at them in disbelief as they do whatever they can to temporarily disable the phone. They simultaneously open all the apps, messages, the image gallery, take a selfie, upload the image on Facebook and WhatsApp, take a video and get set to email it to everyone.

Just when they decide to send the hi-resolution video on email to everyone in his phone book, they cross their time limit. Kapoor takes the phone and says, “Time’s up." His expression changes as he looks at his phone, and his father and friend hope they have indeed succeeded in their task. They haven’t. When Kapur asks, “Ho gaya hang (Has it hung)?" Kapoor declares with a grin, “Johnny boy hang hoga (Johnny boy will hang)." The ad concludes with the line, “New Samsung Galaxy J2 with Turbo Speed Technology that keeps the RAM free so that apps open 40% faster."

The ad, the first in this campaign, will be followed by another shortly, says the agency. “The J Series has always stood for compelling and relevant innovation in that price category," says Kundan Joshee, senior vice-president, Cheil India, explaining that this made the role of communication that much more challenging. “The challenge for us was, how do you bring to life that compelling innovation and those relevant benefits, in the most entertaining manner, without diluting the proposition?"

The agency and the client decided to take the Johnny series forward by introducing actor and director Pankaj Kapur into the mix. “For the last two years, we have been doing films with Shahid Kapoor and his friend Johnny. In the first year, it was about Johnny trying to get one-up on Shahid. Then it was about them becoming friends. While they were very popular, we needed to infuse some freshness into the storyline this time round, and we thought what better way to do it than to introduce Shahid’s father Pankaj Kapur into the equation," says Aneesh Jaisinghani, group creative director, Cheil India.

The senior actor-director brought his own experience to the film, improvising during the shoot and introducing his unique touch. Such as the point when he takes a selfie with Johnny and says, “Kya lag raha hun main yaar, by god (I’m looking so good)!"

“When it comes to close friends, most of us know their parents fairly well," says Jaisinghani, adding that most people could relate to the film. “We wanted the story to be believable, and not over the top. At the same time, the phone had to be integral to the story," he says.

The film managed to achieve that, say experts. “To start with, the feature being highlighted is very relevant and differentiated. A phone that opens apps faster and doesn’t ‘hang’ makes sense to an audience that is hard-pressed for time and constantly multitasking. The creative delivery is engaging, owing to the natural performances and snappy interchanges between Pankaj Kapur and Shahid Kapoor. The shot of Pankaj Kapur taking a selfie is quite endearing. Overall, a likeable ad that communicates the product benefit clearly," says Raghu Bhat, founder director, Scarecrow Communications Ltd.

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