By Malay Desai
From: Yekaterinburg, Russia, by Voskhod
A new spot from the Russian packaged meat brand Cherkashin is set outside an elderly couple’s village home. Just as the old man sits on his porch to have a meat sandwich with his wife, a gust of wind shuts the window behind them. Just as he’s opening it, the gramophone record stops. After rectifying that, he runs into several small incidents which ‘change’ the setting, such as a tree fruit falling and a cloud cover building. After correcting all of these when he finally returns to his sandwich, the window shuts again. ‘sometimes you have to do a lot to change nothing,’ the voiceover says in the end.
Why we like
A Romanov shot for all of you, for this column has stumbled upon its first ever gem from Russia. The brand is a range of meats – sausages, bacon, et al coming from a firm that began operations in 1995. That’s not quite an Old Spice-esque legacy to boast of, but this spot makes you believe so nevertheless.
The first thing that gets you about this one-minuter is the setting. A simple countryside yard of a wooden home has been brought alive by superb production and perhaps clever visual effects. With an old folk song playing at the background, one cannot help but like the slow-ness of the ad. Not slow motion, but simply a laidback feel.
There is much happening at this yard though. Our man with freckled skin and a white beard cannot allow his lunch time perfection to be ruined by anything, and he goes to any lengths to set things right. There is much hilarity here, as he clips a fallen fruit back on its branch, shoos a kid for picking up a horse-shoe which was lying on the ground from long… even fires a rocket in the sky to clear the clouds. This is a charming build-up for what is to follow, even as the viewer perhaps knows what’s coming.
This little story meets with an end so classic, even Pushkin would be proud. The window, first of thingsthat- were-rectified goes wrong again before the punchline is delivered. And it’s a line that’s not just clever wordplay, it’s a brand proudly making a statement that change isn’t always good for some things; and it takes much effort to sustain the same quality over a decade and a half.
We like that the client hasn’t objected and said ‘why show old folks having our product?’ because only an old man can be this compulsively cranky and therefore memorable. Perhaps the agency convinced them so, for it has delivered a string of spots for this brand in the past. Quite fittingly, its Facebook page says ‘We work for our clients’ customers’. A little nudge to the makers of Parle G, who’ve made our glucose biscuits thinner with rising costs. Don’t fix our staple if it ain’t broke.
To watch this film, feed this link into your browser: vimeo.com/67722648