By Malay Desai
From: Argentina, by Ponce
This advert for a foot carespray begins with archival-looking footage of a marathon winner whose upper body is later shown on television. As the voiceover goes on about how one’s feet take the utmost hardships among all other organs of the body, they don’t receive as much credit. The film moves on to a ballet dancer, a celebrity making an impression of her hands on clay, a man walking in snow, a woman in heels, a biker and a soldier. Shots of each character are followed by their faces and upper bodies getting recognition.the spot winds up with a person picking the product and spraying it on their foot. ‘the protection you already trust’ tagline gets suffixed by ‘now for your feet.’
Why we like?
You’ve probably read somewhere that your feet perspire nearly four times as much as your armpits, but would take a minute of marketing from one of the world’s biggest FMCG companies to do something about it. Before you jump and go ‘just get this product here already!’ let’s tell you about the advertisement first. ‘If you can convey your message and engage your viewer without the help of sound, you have a winning production.’
Film students and behind-the-scene talents of TV shows would know this mantra and this spot is a neat example of it. With just a montage of well-paced images — portraying people from different eras, the film makes a strong case for both messaging and engagement.
Though if you indeed mute your TV while watching this TVC, you’d miss out on its outstanding copy, for the voiceover, right from beginning till end, adds simple value to the film. Sample this: ‘Although each step has the power to change history, they will never win the glory’, it goes about the visuals of soldiers’ feet.
In true Unilever style, the focus here is on people of multiple cultures (also er, mostly white people). The interspersing of simple and complex characters here has been done deftly; the runner followed by a ballet dancer and then a celebrity, a child’s sketch followed by war images, then an infant’s foot. Blow hot and cold. Also, all this may seem complex, but after each sequence showing our feet’s hardships, there is a shot of ‘hands’ or ‘faces’ getting all the limelight. Quite fluidly done. The ‘foot-care spray’ visual gives a comforting vibe, and the trivia about their sweating ways is enough for your eyebrows to rise.
In our market where there are lotions for facial fairness, underarm fairness, um, vaginal fairness and then some hundred deos, we wonder if there’s space for a product with real utility. Wait, you can always wear clean socks and maybe put talcum powder to have dry feet this monsoon, but why not buy into Unilever’s marketing! Anyway, to your colleague with smelly feet this rainy season, play this spot out loud.
To watch the ad, visit Vimeo.com/42430381