Reinforcing the emotional quotient in its communication approach, Airtel has unveiled the second part of its Express Yourself campaign. Currently on air across channels, the TVC features legends from various walks of life, who communicate, through arresting vignettes, the power of expression. The TVC has been conceived by Rediffusion DYR.
The 60-second black and white commercial features snapshots from recent history – the Salt Satyagraha march of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King delivering his famous “I have a dream” speech, umpire David Shepherd giving Sachin Tendulkar out, ‘breaking a billion hearts’, Winston Churchill giving his famous victory sign after the Allied Forces defeated the Fascist ones. The Dalai Lama, an old nun, Lata Mangeshkar, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the collapse of the Berlin Wall – all appear in the ad with different supers accompanying them.
However, most of the supers read like the ‘Power of One’ tagline from another well-known campaign.
Martin Luther King is accompanied by the super ‘one dream can change the world’; Tendulkar getting out has the super ‘one raised finger can break a billion hearts’; Winston Churchill and his victory sign is accompanied by ‘two can win a world war’; The Dalai Lama, ‘a whisper can inspire hope’; the super running through when the old nun appears reads ‘a touch can instill faith’; Lata Mangeshkar is accompanied by ‘some voices can move a nation’, while the super accompanying Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan reads ‘some can dissolve boundaries’; the scene of the Berlin Wall collapse is accompanied with the super ‘one act of defiance can spark a revolution’.
The concluding scene shows people holding candles to form a giant peace symbol accompanied by the super ‘one hundred thousand candles can end a war’… ‘That’s the power of Human Expressions. Express Yourself’.
Sharing his thoughts on the campaign, K S Chax, National Creative Director, Redifussion, said, “Rahman marked Airtel’s first bold claim to being a national brand to reckon with. We followed this two years ago with ‘Express Yourself’, which really appropriated for ourselves the highest category position. The new ‘Express Yourself’ Leaders really builds on this and presents the brand as a truly world class telecom company that is all about inspiring and empowering the consumer. It deliberately stays away from any attempt to sell – it is about a certain tone and manner that clearly sets the brand several leagues above the competition.”
Elaborating further, Chax said, “Except for four shots (Sachin, Churchill, Martin Luther King and Lata Mangeshkar), the film painstakingly recreates historic moments that usually changed the course of history. Reactions of the audience, scenes of jubilation, the epic scale of the Salt Satyagraha march, the hushed grandeur of a monastery, the climactic scene of hundreds of candles forming the peace sign – all were recreated with the highest degree of historical authenticity.”
The commercial has been written by Kartik Smetacek and directed by Ravi Udyavar, who is the person behind the original Express Yourself TVCs.
Elaborating on the complexities with the execution of the campaign, Chax said, “A tricky part of the process was seamlessly blending the few archival shots with all the fresh recreated footage. While the shoot part was extremely complex and spread over many days and locations, with stills being simultaneously shot by Executive Creative Director and award winning photographer Prashant Godbole, the really difficult part was getting permissions and clearances from the celebrities.”