Aspects of India’s colourful history, richly woven tapestry of ethnic and cultural diversity, architectural wonders and geographical splendours, have inspired writers, artists, photographers and filmmakers for decades, if not centuries.
Other notable inspirational examples that have made indelible impressions globally are; the practice of what we universally know today as Yoga, which originated in India 5,000 years ago, and of course, India’s celebrated cuisine that has become part of the popular culture of many countries.
India’s Vibrant Film Industry
With an annual production of plus-minus 2,000 films, Indian cinema is the world’s largest film industry and a glowing testimony of the country’s famed creative artistry and entrepreneurship.
Bollywood, the Hindi-language sector of Indian moviemaking based in Mumbai (previously known as Bombay), is India’s largest film production center.
1. Sony Bravia, The Boy Who Stole The Moon
Advertising Agency: Hakuhodo Percept, New Delhi, India
This charming story of a young boy capturing the moon in a jar is a wonderful visual metaphor for making the unimaginable imaginable.
Film director Albert Kodagolian was quoted on BestMedia.com as follows: “When I first read the script, I felt an emotional connect. I wanted to make sure that the intimacy of the story comes through and does not get lost in the grand scheme of things.”
“The storytelling is in a very simplistic human emotional zone. Bravia commercials have already set the bar quite high, so my intention was to show India like never before. This commercial is just serendipitous and the little boy is an angel.”
2. Clinic Plus Shampoo, My Strong Girl
Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, Mumbai, India
Directed by Shashanka Chaturvedi, this online, 2019 ‘Daughter’s Day’ commercial for Unilever’s Clinic Plus Shampoo, features intimate vignettes of mothers telling their daughters, while braiding their hair, to be brave about not making the same sacrifices they had to make in life.
The response to #MeriBetiStrong in just two days, was overwhelmingly positive and continues to gain momentum nationally.
3. Samsung Service, We’ll Take Care Of You
Advertising Agency: Cheil, Gurugram, Haryana, India
Superbly directed by Anupam Mishra who elicts genuinely portrayed performances from his cast, this short film is an emotive story of remarkable impact.
What at first appears to be a predictable scenario, leads to a totally unpredictable and touching conclusion.
It was the world’s most watched commercial on YouTube in 2017 with a staggering global audience of 150 million viewers.
The soundtrack features the music of Dhruv Chanekar and the resonant vocals of Mohit Chauhan.
4. Samsung, Caring For The Possibilities
Advertising Agency: Cheil Worldwide, India
This highly emotive, tear inducing, ‘Caring For The Possibilities’ online commercial, is part of Samsung India’s corporate social responsibility initiative and integrated communications campaign.
The campaign centers on the seemingly insurmountable problem of providing deaf-blind people with a means of communicating.
Cheil and Samsung India however, devised a laudable solution. They created a ‘Good Vibes’ App that uses the principles of Morse code and Smartphone vibrations to give deaf-blind people access to information, as well as allowing them to convey messages via a pattern of taps.
Their revolutionary app invention also converts voice and text into vibrations, and converts vibrations into voice or text messages.
To date the ‘Caring For The Impossible Good Vibes campaign has won 18 international awards including a New York Festival Advertising Silver for Technology Innovation, a Grand Prix in Communication Design, and a Gold Abby for Technology.
5. Sony Bravia, Domino City
Advertising Agency: Bates141, Singapore
Directed by Nic Finlayson, this spectacular commercial was filmed on location in the Indian states of Rajastan and Uttar Pradesh.
The soundtrack features original music composed by Song Zu Music & Sound Design Studio, Singapore.
6. Benetton, United by Half
Advertising Agency: Creativeland Asia, India
Production Company: Oink Films
Photographer: Suresh Natrajan
To commemorate International Women’s Day in India, the Italian fashion brand, United Colors of Benetton, asked women to join the social justice crusade to be seen as an equal gender.
The Benetton Group has a long-held commitment to a sustainability program aimed at supporting the empowerment of women worldwide.
India is Benetton’s biggest market outside Italy and is particularly popular among men who were therefore, a key target market. The message aimed to persuade them to recognise women as equal partners and acknowledge the need for genuine equality.
The campaign received an overwhelmingly positive response. After 7 million plus views on YouTube in less than a month, Benetton decided to spread the ‘United by Half’ message globally.
7. Nike, Da-Da-Ding
Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Delhi, India
The Delhi Agency’s first advertising campaign for Nike was created to motivate registration and participation in Nike’s Training Club events and Run Club sessions in India, under their ‘NTC Live’ banner.
The campaign has a strong feminist focus based on the Agency’s human insight of sociological evidence that female participation in sports impacts positively on self-image and self-assurance by instilling a sense of control, competency and strength.
The ‘Da-Da-Ding’ launch commercial, directed by François Rousselet, was a creative triumph. Featuring Bollywood star Deepika Padukone and many of India’s top female athletes, representing a wide range of sporting disciplines, it rapidly went viral and motivated 2,8 million views on YouTube in less than a week.
Deepika Padukone posted a video on social media that generated further interest and many ‘shares’ with her message: “Everything I am today, and everything I have achieved, comes from my years of playing sport,”
“My goals, my commitment, my focus, my dedication, my discipline, my sacrifices, my hard work; I’ve learned it all through sport. Sport has also taught me how to handle failure and success. It has taught me how to fight. It has made me unstoppable!”
The soundtrack, Da-Da-Ding by Gener8ion featuring American rapper Gizzle, turned the Cannes Gold Lion award winning commercial into an Internet music video phenomenon.
8. Tropicana India, Gift A Tree
Advertising Agency: Mindshare Content+, Mumbai, India
Mindshare, India’s largest full service media agency, in collaboration wirh Tropicana, the popular fruit juice brand from PepsiCo, initiated the laudable ‘#GiftATree’ campaign.
Tropicana pays tribute to Jadav Payeng in this short documentary of “The Man Who Planted A Forest”.
Jadav single-handedly converted an environmentally desolated land in Assam, India into a 1360-acre dense forest that provided a new sanctuary for an array of wild animals.
His remarkable story bears inspirational testimony to the huge impact the concerted effort of just one person can make on environmental restitution.
9. The Legend of Shalimar
Agency: Guerlain. Artistic Director Benjamin De Lapperent and Advertising Production Director Jeannine Burglé
‘Shalimar’, which in India’s Sanskrit language means ‘Temple of Love’, was created in 1921 by Master Perfumer Jacques Guerlain, as a tribute to the 17th century Persian love story of Shah Jahan and his Empress consort, Mumtaz Mahal.
The Taj Mahal mausoleum the Shah built for his wife, who died at the age of 37, is a World Heritage masterpiece of Indo-Islamic art and architecture, and a monument of undying love, that is surrounded by a historically designed, exquisite Persian landscape also known as the ‘Shalimar Gardens’.
The spectacularly cinematic love story was directed and filmed by Bruno Aveillan on various locations in India, from Jaipur to Udaipur and the Taj Mahal in Agra, using a 35-mm high-speed, megapixel ‘anamorphic phantom’ camera.
Russian Actress and Guerlain supermodel, Natalia Vodianova stars as Princess Mumtaz Mahal, and the soundtrack was specially composed and scored by Hans Zimmer for this epic short film.