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Godrej turns to Aamir’s sassy Sonia avatar to up the brand imagery

19-April-2013
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Godrej turns to Aamir’s sassy Sonia avatar to up the brand imagery

It’s not the ‘goatie’ of Akash, neither is it the long moustache of Inspector Shekhawat, not even the revolutionary look of Mangal Pandey, but this time it’s the sassy Sonia with long hair, trendy glasses and glossy lips. To showcase a cross section of Godrej’s portfolio, the brand has unveiled a new campaign, titled ‘Zindagi Muskuraye’, featuring Aamir Khan after an exile of almost one year. The essence of the campaign is based on the thought that it’s the idea in every product that helps celebrate life.

Godrej has a diverse set of products and it is challenging for the brand to come up with a campaign that highlights various products. In the TVC, Aamir plays himself, but gets into the character of a woman and befriends another woman. His desire to find out what makes her tick is the crux of the campaign. In this process, he discovers the wonder that is Godrej. Conceptualised by JWT, each film highlights a different product and celebrates a different innovation.

Elaborating on the campaign, Tista Sen, National Creative Director, JWT said, “The strategy was to bring alive the two pillars of brand Godrej - progression and empathy. The brand needed to up the imagery and be perceived distinctively and uniquely in the mind of the consumer designing products with ideas that help make life brighter and better.”

“Once we had the star in mind, we were clear that the execution should not be a run off the mill endorsement. We needed to be credible and engaging and since the execution involved many films, we needed a different approach. Hence, we hit upon doing a sit-com, where each product would be treated like an episode. They were charming, fun and very simple,” she added.

On association with Aamir Khan, she explained, “Our attempt was to portray a star who because of his personality, which is curious and inquisitive, works in the brand’s favour. He is researching a role. He is figuring what makes a woman tick and in the process discovers brand Godrej.”

She added, “Aamir’s comic timing, his versatility and his boy-like innate curiosity are what we worked on to create a campaign that was impactful, compelling and created a new paradigm in celebrity endorsement.”

Will the Sassy Sonia click?
The industry feels that the ad is entertaining and clutter-breaking due to the presence of Aamir Khan in a whole new avatar. However, the execution is average, but the ad manages to strike a chord.

Komal Bedi Sohal, National Creative Director, Rediffusion-Y&R remarked, “The treatment is modern and clean. The overall execution is also light-hearted. The products are cleverly integrated into the script and the products appear seamlessly in the various situations. However, the end frames of the ad break the continuity of Aamir’s character for some reason, and we are reminded of his endorsement. Would the ad be effective without the end reveal? Perhaps. Nevertheless, the overall execution is light-hearted and good. If the mandate was to use a celebrity, at least they’ve done it charmingly.”

On the insight, she feels, “If the idea is to showcase the uniqueness of each Godrej product and how it helps celebrate life, I’m not sure how a man dressing up like a woman actually conveys that. We see Aamir playing a woman and going to a friend’s house. But why is Aamir there as a woman—apart from the entertainment value of it, what is the hidden agenda? Is he acting as a spy for Godrej research team? What is his role? All of this is not quite clear. If you leave logic aside, it is quite an entertaining piece of creative. Surely, the ladies and many men are left with a smile watching Aamir in this avatar.”

“The fact that you got Aamir Khan to dress in drag for Godrej is quite impressive and funny. Even though he may not exactly fit into those clothes, he does fit into the role of a man dressed like a woman—and still looking good,” she added.

Raghu Bhat, Founder Director, Scarecrow Communications said, “Aamir cast as a lady is a bold casting. It is admittedly an attention magnet and acts as a clutter-breaker. The plots are simple and weave the products seamlessly. In short, they do the job. The campaign features product ideas that enrich life. Some of the product ideas are eye-openers and succeed in further shifting the needle regarding Godrej’s relatively traditional brand imagery.”

He added, “After seeing Aamir as a teenager in ‘3 Idiots’, one could assume he is capable of playing anyone. The only question mark here is, could he have been made to look like a woman, using transformational makeup and technology?”

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