Does Adidas's viral spot capture #TheRealKashmir?

Adidas ad film to celebrate its association with Real Kashmir FC has clocked over 1,790,806 views on YouTube (until the time of writing this article)

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Nov 6, 2018 8:37 AM
Adidas Real Kashmir

Adidas recently rolled out an ad film to celebrate its association with Real Kashmir FC which is the first team from the valley to play in I-League. Conceptualized by Cheil WW India, the ad is the second leg of the month long initiative to reinforce the story of Real Kashmir and effectuate positive change in the valley through sport. We take a look at this ad which has clocked over 1,790,806 views on YouTube (until the time of writing this article). What makes it standout? What doesn't?


The creative cut

The ad is a narrative shot from the point of view of an octogenarian Kashmiri who has seen the beauty of the valley taken over by the unrest and paranoia. Through this lens it shows to the audience how Kashmir is changing yet again, but this time its football that is bringing the transformation.

The film captures the emotions of an old man who is sitting on the stands of a mighty football stadium reminiscing, how he has seen it all change for the better and how he has felt football bringing in a positive change in the valley. It takes the audience on a journey, highlighting the efforts made by club fighting through the second division of I-League into the finals, garnering support from the locals.

Film concludes by revealing that the protagonist, Umar Mir is visually impaired yet could feel football change the valley for the better through his unbiased, unadulterated vision. In that conclusion the film beautifully transcends all history and leaves the audience with a powerful yet silent message. If a visually impaired person can feel the positive side of Kashmir through sports, why can’t the world around him feel it, with their eyes open?

Shamim Miraj, Founder, Real Kashmir FC and Aneesh Jaisinghani, Executive Creative Director, Cheil India shared more insights on the campaign.

Miraj said that Kashmir, is a big story, a football club from Kashmir, is an even bigger story and a football club from Kashmir that qualified for the I-League in just 2 years, is a gigantic story. “You don’t ask for much more than this in advertising to crack a campaign,” he remarked.

He shared that the film is LIVE on YouTube and Facebook. “There is a media innovation that is a part of the campaign where a famous newspaper, The Kashmir Monitor, has brought the sports page to its front page. Another leg of the campaign is a series of photographs shot by renowned photographer Prashant Godbole that shows Kashmir through the lens of sports. These photographs will later be exhibited across many cities in India as a part of the campaign,” revealed Miraj.

Jaisinghani shared that the most challenging part about this media agnostic campaign has been to ensure that the various legs come to life and the campaign is able to do its job of convincing people to change their perception and see The Real Kashmir.

Over to experts

Says Amit Shankar, NCD, Publicis Capital, "The TVC shows Kashmir in a different light. Showing how sports can unite people. The music lets you know from where the story is. As a brand, it is a step in the right direction for Adidas as it fits well with their narrative. And yes, as they always say, great stories make great content.”

Mithun Mukherjee, Associate Creative Director, Grapes Digital feels that using conflict as a backdrop to tell a creative story is not new. “It has been used to different ends in advertising - sometimes to raise money and on other occasions, raise awareness. Then there is a third kind, the slightly unexpected route. Taking the conflict and showcasing a different side of it through storytelling, and instilling hope in the mind of the consumer. This film by Adidas on the Real Kashmir FC is an example of this last kind, and a shining one at that,” he opines.

Mukherjee says that the creative execution gets the viewer cheering right along the excited football fans. “An absolutely stellar voiceover, along with a traditional Kashmiri song playing in the background throughout keeps the tension high. Shots of the Dal, the serene hillsides, warm cups of tea all make you want to tear through the barrier of your screen and step right in.” He opines that what makes the ad really stand out is the fact that the film manages to address quite a few conversations in a surprisingly small amount of time.

Ad-film-maker Satish Chopra likes how the communication essays the positive change in Kashmir through sports. “From the idea to the execution, it does tick the right boxes. I love how it brings out a different side of Kashmir,” he says.

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