The new commercial for Godrej Sara Lee’s insect spray Hit forms a ‘Quit India Movement’ against household pests. The commercial has been scripted by Prasanna Sankhe, NCD, Publicis Ambience. The film has been produced by Manoj Shroff from Equinox Films, and directed by Ram Madhvani. Prime Focus has done the special effects and the post-production work.
According to Sankhe, the whole thought process was based on the brief that Hit being in the aerosol insect spray category with nearly 60 per cent market share, the objective was to stir up the market to increase market size itself, rather than pushing the sales.
The commercial was shot in and around Shanghai with Chinese cast to create an authentic Chinese news report. Amid the clutter of Hindi TVCs aired in India, the sudden appearance of an authentic Chinese news clip complete with a Mandarin speaking news anchor had the right impact on the target audience.
Sharing more details on the making of the commercial, Sankhe said, “The creative route decided was to show what would be the ultimate state of India if everybody had access to a can of Hit – all insects would be forced to leave India and migrate to neighbouring countries. And what would best capture the mayhem of this unexpected intrusion by trillion insects, than a panic-stricken Chinese news clipping. However, the fun was that Ram and I would review the SFX takes everyday, and we used to have lengthy discussions on the exact shade of brown of the cockroaches.”
The challenges were looming for Sankhe and the production team. Shroff pointing the production challenges said, “For us, the difficult part was to make the commercial look as real as news footage. The sole agenda of Ram Madhvani Prasanna was to protect their vision of the film and make it true to life in a completely non-compromised manner.”
Merzin Tavaria, Creative Head, Prime Focus, explained, “Creating advertisements that have 3D as well as live action elements is a tough task to execute for post production facilities. However, when you have to merge 3D with wildly erratic live action motion captured on a HD hand-held camera, the task becomes that much harder. With the Hit ad, Prime Focus had to content with exactly that.”
Tavaria further said, “We faced a very unique challenge during the tracking process of the advertisements. The tracking department at Prime Focus had to deal with one-take-shots which were about 12 seconds long, complete with violent camera moves, tilts, zoom-ins and outs, motion blur and a lot of characters moving across and over the camera lens. It was crucial for us to recreate a digital environment that would precisely match the location the shot was taken in, by solving the physical hand-held camera from the shoot and translating its position and orientation to a digital camera in the computer generated 3D environment.”
The campaign is supported by two 30-second edits that had been planned even before film was shot, to maximise the impact of the film. This specific campaign creative is scheduled to be on air for at least another three months.