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.
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