Apis tells a sweet tale of Ramadan amid Covid bitterness

Pankaj Mishra, CEO – Apis India, lets us in on all the behind-the-scenes trials they endured to put out the heartwarming brand film during trying times

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: May 4, 2021 4:26 PM

Yet another COVID-19 lockdown in 2021 and a new set of challenges. From the ad industry’s perspective, organising and shooting an advertising campaign in these conditions proved to be the big roadblock. However, despite that, some brands have continued to create work that truly inspires.

Honey manufacturer and exporter- Apis India managed to pull off its Ramadan-themed ad campaign amidst the lockdown by adhering to Covid norms and creating meaningful work. Pankaj Mishra, the CEO – Apis India Limited, shared with exchange4media how the brand managed to do so and put an inspiring message out in these trying times.

Pankaj Mishra: CEO – Apis India Limited

Mishra shared that the idea was to do an ad film that could resonate with the theme of Ramadan, keeping intact the emotional aspects associated with it. “As the brand is into healthy product range and on top of it, have Dates in our category, which is the most consumed food item in the month, the idea was also to impart a message on the importance of a healthy living during the month,” he remarked.

The philosophy behind this campaign is that Ramadan brings family and friends together, and strengthens the bonds of kinship and brother/sisterhood and part of that bond is built when you share food together.

Mishra revealed that the idea was conceived just a week before the start of Ramadan and primarily the crushed timelines were the biggest challenge. With the Covid cases only shooting up, he adds that the going only got tougher when it came to do the execution.

“Since the Covid-19 cases were on the rise, we decided to do everything before the shoot virtually. The script was finalized in just 2 days and once the entire script was ready, the cast, location, time everything was decided, then came the real challenge of execution as the venue for the shoot was Old Delhi near Jama Masjid and many of the team members were travelling from Mumbai. Besides it’s a highly crowded location on weekdays, hence the shoot was done on Sunday with full precautions,” he shared.

Moreover, he notes that there were artistic elements that needed to be arranged to make it look like a real experience for the viewers and amongst the Covid-19 situation; it was quite difficult to bring every piece together. “However, the team managed it well. Hearing a script is a beautiful experience; however, while you are actually on set, it isn’t as rosy and fancy as it looks. From making sure that what we imagined is directly reflected in every shot to the apprehensions we had for the final video. The output justified the hard work and rest is the viewers' feedback across social media which speaks for the team,” said Mishra.

The ad film is the story of a man’s good deeds and takes the audience through the journey of sharing food. Mishra added that the casting for this too was very particularly done in order to make sure that each character is well established and delivers their best. “Mr. Avijit Dutt (the father), was the most appropriate choice we could have made for such a character, he has been a natural and flawless actor and so was reflected in the film. The boy who played the character of Farhaan, completely justified it with his innocence and sweetness. The mother and the daughter with their perfect expressions and dialogue delivery performed their best. The characters were so well in themselves that it wasn’t easy to get our eyes off them,” he remarked.

The brand is leveraging digital largely to give the campaign the canvas of visibility. “With an objective to reach maximum hearts we will be leveraging major social media platforms, influencer marketing, google ads, programmatic ads, YouYube ads along with a few more,” Mishra asserted.

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