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Monday, September 18

Bollywood Remakes : TVC 2.0

Bollywood is ahead of advertising yet again! You must have read about the impending slew of classic remakes. Don, Jai Santoshi Maa( this one's a cult in it's own regard), Umrao Jaan, Saheb Biwi Aur Gulaam and Sholay. Is there a major omission?

Now, there are various schools of thought on the 'remake genre'. For purists, the idea is profane, then there is the 'great- expectations' school, the 'all-will-be-duds-but-will-watch-it-anyway' school!

As an advertsing person, with my limited understanding of the way Bollywood brands work, I feel the 'remake genre' on a larger scale fulfills the need gap of 'nostalgia'. Reliving the happy, landmark moments of the past through the experiential lens of a meaningful and audio-visual 'entertainment brand'.

Just yesterday was watching Brand Equity on Times Now. There was a section on 'Gold Spot' - the 'Zing Thing'. It felt real good. In an instant the mind replayed all the positive imagery for the brand hidden in the remote recesses. And this for a beverage brand that was taken off the market a decade back!

Coming back to Bollywood. It has a better risk appetite because of lack of accountability, more entreprenuers than bean-counters, low MBA head count and some underworld funding! But there are lessons for the more corporatised ad brethren!

Remakes of old TVCs may bring back the fondness for the brand. In categories not plagued by rapid technology progress and consequent obsolescence, remakes are a good way to showcase brand history and heritage, relive brand memories.
Many a time consumers want to hear the same old brand story! Of course the agencies will always resist remakes. Because this doesn't allow them to be 'creative' and perhaps it could start the trend of clients going to the producers themselves for the 'remakes'.

Well there have been two remakes recently. One for Bajaj Bulbs and the other for Pan Parag. But these look like desperate efforts at reviving the fortunes of dying brands rather than a well thought out strategy for nostalgia marketing! The only great brand TVC remake I can rememeber is the all time favourite Bajaj Auto - 'Hamara Bajaj' TVC! Maybe Bajaj should make a remake every decade:-)

I feel many Indian brands have much more to gain from 'remakes' than the MNC brands simply because they have hung around for a longer time. And therefore, the masses have more positve residual imagery of them! So can we hope for remakes of Parle G, Thumbs Up, Limca, Vimal( they ought to sack the agency that made the new TVC), Garden, Pan Pasand, Raymond...

Some questions need to be answered.
- Will remakes make the brand look older?
- How does it handle the disconnect it might have with the younger consumer?
- Is this a lazy way out for brands?
- Consumers and cultures move ahead. Should the brand be caught in a time warp?

Do post your Qs and As.


harshal said...

Ah yes, good ole "Humara Bajaj" - one of apro Elvis's best. I suspect there the idea was the logo change and in a sense, heralding the changes the company was to take at that point in time.

Not too sure if nostalgia is the only real reason folks tend to do remakes. Maybe it's simply another interpretation of a classic plot/storyline.

For instance, a rudimentary search on imdb got me looking at a remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice - a movie sitting right here, waiting to be watched on my trusty dvd player :)

One very interesting by product thought from your post was maybe a planning "study" to understand a sort of brand nostalgia index or cachet. Maybe file it away for a sort of things-to-explore time?

Apropos to the Bollywood bit, do check out Percept Picture Co. - they're getting their act together on some very interesting stuff, and in a pretty nice fashion.

Manish said...

Nostalgia is from the consumer's side. For the brand, it is revisiting old memories, a connect with the old consumer. TVC 2.0 is like an old friend whom you meet after a long gap. Yes, for Bollywood, it is definitely another interpretation and all that...Lend me 'the postman always rings twice'. Havent seen it. Thats a lovely idea - Brand Nostalgia Index...Am filing it somewhere. To be revived sometime soon. Do share my blog with the percept picture guys. Maybe I can do some thinking for them:-)