A young couple is on a house-hunting spree. An estate agent is all set to con them. He takes them to an atrocious place and shows them around saying how spacious and lovely the place is and says this is your "two-bedroom flat."
Cut 2: Just as the husband walks into the room crow droppings welcome him and the broker grins, "You are lucky boss!" Then the broker takes the wife to another corner and claims that it is the master bedroom and then towards another, saying it is an open and spacious kitchen with 24-hour water in a month.
Cut 3: By the end of it all, the husband disgusted and shocked by the hurtling train a few feet away, comes across a magazine in the house and happens to chance upon a LIC Housing Finance Limited (LICHFL) ad. He dials the number and realises that they could easily avail a loan from LICHFL and could own a house of their own.
This is the 35-second television commercial for LIC Housing Finance, which went on air on March 20 on NDTV’s Big Fight and Saat Baje. Apart from the TVC, the company has also made a 60-second ad-film exclusive for the big screen.
Dwelling on the ad film, its filmmaker Ravi Deshpande of Ravi Deshpande Pictures says: "Haven’t we all gone through this experience at some time or the other in our lives? I could immediately connect with the situation and it was the real and elusive script that I have always been on the prowl for.”
Deshpande adds, the brief given to him was a one-line script idea that Ramesh Ravindran, ex-Creative Director of Mudra explained to him standing under the USL studio banyan tree in Mumbai.
LIC has been using the television medium for some time for its insurance products. But, this is the first time that the company is understood to be tapping the television and the big screen medium for housing finance schemes.
Financial analysts are of the opinion that it is the increasing competition from the private banks that is leading public sector companies go aggressive and push their products and schemes. Specifically with regard to LIC Housing Finance, they say that LIC is also trying to reach the higher strata of the consumers. LIC has always been perceived as an insurance company and their housing schemes are looked upon as old government-types. By going on a channel like NDTV, they are probably trying to do an image building exercise so as to be able to tap the high net-worth and English-speaking consumers.
The ad film has also seen creative inputs coming in from Chetan Shashital, who has done the voice for the broker. Shashital says, "I like the ad film. I think it is a very interesting way of conveying a message and getting through to your target audience."
Deshpande has also brought about his documentary filmmaking experience to the ad film, whereby he has deliberately included light flares in the lens, the colours of properties change as one moves on, the outdoors burns out, the faces go soft within the moving shot in order to bring out a real and, not an advertising feel to the TVC. It is, therefore, different and satisfying from all other TVCs on the tube. "I am happy that it is not like a typical advertising TVC,” Deshpande avers.
“The film's style and message reasserts my belief that advertising ought to work for and target the middle class. The eventual buyer-consumer is in the small towns and the small cities, a fact confirmed by the RK Swamy BBDO's research, showcased in the latest India Today”, explains Deshpande.
LIC Housing Finance’s 60-second ad film made for the big screen is already being played at different cinema halls in Mumbai and across the country in Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata and Bhopal.