By Malay Desai
From: WAT Consult, Mumbai
Emami’s men’s deodorant brand ‘HE’ is celebrated International Men’s Day on November 19 with a song featuring young men asking to be loved. Starting with comparisons with what they have to do every Women’s Day, Teachers’ Day and Valentine’s Day, the men go on to sing and enumerate what all is ‘not fair’ for them. This includes rants such as them being the default chosen ones for cleaning fans, fixing flush tanks, warding off lizards and have to make efforts such as remembering important dates. The video with a recurring ‘so not fair’ chant winds up with the all the men getting together and calling to celebrate men’s day as the copy asks everyone to wear blue on the date.
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With the launch of this ad, I declare the feminist commercial season paused. The ‘strong woman fighting for her rights’ route that had populated mainstream advertising as a reflection of increased reporting of rapes and Indian women’s issues now has a clutter-breaker.
FMCG biggie Emami, which rules the mid-tier spending segment with blockbusters such as Navratna cooling oil, Zandu balm and Boroplus launched the obviously named ‘He’ line of deodorants in June. Now every young man in rural and urban India knows how many deo brands are after his attention, many trying to stand out by offering ‘less gas’, more sprays. With Hrithik Roshan as a brand ambassador, Emami didn't need that.
This film, a result of increased spending on digital, is timely, has a fresh concept and most importantly, has hit the ‘cool viral’ spot. By launching it a week prior to International Men’s Day, something none of us knew existed, it banked upon an existing phenomenon to fortify its brand.
The two and a half minute song has a good amount of cool-th in it, featuring sufficiently young ‘professional’ guys acting all sheepish to create humour. The route is a tad risky, given that it could be perceived as being anti-women, and these aren’t good times to be that, but the lyrics are well on the safe side.
The men, a colourful combination of dark, fair, angry and odd-looking, have a pertinent point to make – why is it only us to fix things, scare the rodents away and spend considerable time on occasions we think are useless –Valentine’s, anniversaries etc. It’s not really a real complaint, but a light-hearted poke at women, and a call to brothers to stand up and celebrate being a man. This isn’t the same thing that Old Spice, Nivea for Men and a bunch of undergarment brands are saying, it’s much subtle and hence unique.
Emami’s agency has backed the film up with a social campaign as well as complementary videos on its YouTube channel, and the primary one is travelling across networks already, the HE branding in your face.
Well done bros, but now we can go back to being obnoxious beings again.
To watch this film, look up #ShowMenSomeLove on Twitter
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