Dec 5, 2008

Mktg - Asian Paints;When Saif paints up a storm

Devina Joshi

All work and no ‘Play’ makes Saif’s wall a dull wall.

A new commercial for Royale Play, the special effects textured paint from the Asian Paints family, has brand ambassador Saif Ali Khan getting fed up of his boring walls and painting up a storm. The ad has been created by Contract Advertising.

Colourful story
The concept isn’t altogether new. Last year, Royale Play launched the ‘Masterpiece’ commercial that showed Khan, with his sister, Soha Ali Khan, going through a host of paintings before he realises that the wall he has painted with Royale Play is the real masterpiece.

The new TV commercial, titled ‘Musicians’, opens with Khan waking up to another day and staring at his boring penthouse. An idea dawns upon him and he invites his friends, who are part of a music band, for inspiration. As the band starts jamming at his place, Khan goes crazy with the paints, playing with them as the band cranks out an upbeat, high-voltage track. A ‘jugalbandi’ of the music and painting culminates in Khan painting a beautiful, featured wall, while the band members look on in admiration. ‘Feel the Change,’ goes the tagline.

Playfully yours

Khan has been endorsing Royale since 2004; the popular ‘Guitar’ commercial was the first in the series. He has endorsed Royale Play since its inception in 2007.

Says Amit Syngle, vice-president, sales and marketing, Asian Paints, “Royale Play isn’t just about the end result of achieving a great look, but also about enjoying the process of creating it, which is the core positioning of this brand.” The thought is to appeal to the creative side of the consumer.

Raj Nair, senior vice-president and executive creative director, Contract, tells afaqs! that the challenge this time was to firmly reinforce the fact that with Royale Play, one doesn’t just transform one’s walls and interiors with vibrant textures, “but also uplifts the mood of his home”.

Moods and paints aren’t something that hasn’t been tried before in the category. In fact, every other player is linking the idea of imagination to paints. Syngle admits that this path has been trodden before, but states that the creativity shown in the ad sets it apart.

Nair says, “At the risk of blowing our own trumpet, the youthful exuberance, energy, style and aspiration shown in the ‘Play’ story is distinct from the others, and is relevant for anyone looking to inject their homes with some vibrant colour, panache and pizzazz.”

The idea of playing with paints, according to the Contract team, is inherent in the very name Royale Play. To bring this alive in the storyline, Khan was shown in a contemporary, but almost clinically minimal apartment, so that when the transformation occurs, it is a stark contrast to the earlier dullness.

A palette of paints and music
The film has been directed by Sunil Sippy of Highlight Films. Incidentally, all the musicians cast in the film are band members in real life too, and were selected by Sippy.

“The girl drummer was an inspired find,” says Nair of Contract, revealing that the bassist, the lead guitarist and the men on the slide trombone and the trumpet play those very instruments in their respective bands.

The music, created by Ashutosh Phatak of the Ashu-Dhruv team, was designed to lend breeziness to the storyline.

The film targets urban, nuclear families in the age group of 30-45 years. The other media that are being leveraged include radio, below-the-line and outdoor.

Soha Ali Khan, who came on board for the brand last year, is still endorsing it, but the Contract team explains that this script didn’t demand her presence. The Contract team on the account includes Malobi Dasgupta, Raj Nair, Ashish Bahl and Royston Netto.

afaqs! sought the opinion of Santosh Padhi (Paddy), the exiting executive creative director and national head of art at Leo Burnett, on this film. He says, “It’s a nicely produced one, shot well with a good music track.” He says he appreciates the idea of owning the brand name, ‘Play’, and demonstrating creativity with colour to punctuate it – a thought that was well established by earlier Royale commercials.

“However, while it is subjective, I’m not too kicked about the way Saif notices the paleness of his house one fine morning,” remarks Paddy. “To me, the story could have been a lot more playful, which would have increased its re-watchable quotient significantly.”

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