Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and national creative director, O&M India, has never practised voice modulation or undergone voice training of any sort. Yet, if you’re from the ad industry and are watching TV in your living room, you might just wonder where you’ve heard that deep and mellow male voiceover (MVO) before. Pandey has given voiceovers for various Indian commercials, starting with Fevicol in 1999 (Lagao Lagao, Aur Zor Lagao), going on to SBI Life Insurance (Taaki Rishton Ke Beech Dooriyan Na Aayein, featuring an old couple), Asian Paints (Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai and Inviting Home series) and LG’s corporate campaign (when O&M had won the account).
Piyush PandeyHe has also dubbed for various radio commercials, including the one for SBI Life Insurance which won him the Radio Voice of the Year title at the Mirchi Kaan Awards 2006. All this and no training? “I do it for fun,” grins the adman. What is also interesting is that Pandey doesn’t take home the dues he earns by giving voiceovers; he asks the film maker in each case to donate his share to charity. “My voice is just a bonus and not meant for earning; I have another livelihood – advertising – for that,” he shrugs. A recent addition to his list is the latest corporate ad for Asian Paints. It has Pandey talking about how some homes are so welcoming that even people who don’t live there (but drop by often) almost feel at home. The film rekindles the Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai positioning, first established by Asian Paints nearly seven years ago. Since then, the company deviated briefly to the theme of Har Rang Kuch Kehta Hai. With the launch of this corporate campaign, the story has shifted back to the previous track.
Frames from the Asian Paints TVCIncidentally, Pandey had dubbed for the very first Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai film. Another one followed, in which he dubbed along with actor Tabu. The next film in the series had a father doing up the house with colours while his family was away, while the fourth in the series spoke of ‘laal rang’(the colour red) meaning different things to different people. The fifth corporate campaign was the Cutting Shutting commercial, while the sixth one featured a grandmother with her grandchildren in the Dadi-Chocolate Wall film. The new one is the seventh in this series. “We have always maintained that with Asian Paints, your home is a reflection of your personality,” says Amit Syngle, vice-president, sales and marketing, Asian Paints. “That emotion of home making is what we have tried to capture.” The film has shots of people sharing joy and laughter in a house that radiates warmth and love. Pandey’s voiceover is the thread that ties all the frames together (for the script of the film, click here). The film depicts Asian Paints homes as spaces where friends meet over endless cups of tea, where conversations flow all day long, where laughter is not measured, where gestures are laced with generosity and where colours are always bright and joyful. Abhijit Avasthi, executive creative director, South Asia, Ogilvy & Mather, says, “Some of our earlier campaigns were centred around the joy of doing up your house and on how you feel about your home. The new campaign talks about how others feel when they enter your home.”Avasthi, Shekhar Jha and Mahesh Gharat have worked on the ideation of this film, along with Pandey. The poetry in the ad, penned by Shekhar Jha, lends a lyrical touch to the film. Shot by Prasoon Pandey of Corcoise Films, the commercial has been shot in a graphical, still photography style (one can’t see faces in the film and no one looks into the camera). This has been done for two reasons: to show the spontaneity in the home, and to focus attention on the depth in the words. “There is genuine warmth in Piyush’s voice, which is why we knew he was perfect for the job,” smiles Avasthi. Pandey admits that the film involved some effort on his part. “A voice can change a lot over seven years, and the same was the case with mine,” he says. So, his brother Prasoon made him dub twice for this film to get the correct feel. So what does Piyush Pandey aim for when giving voiceovers? “Just clarity and a natural sense to it – the moment I try to get an artificial note in my voice, it messes things up,” he concludes.