There's a new Amul in town! It's team BBH India and BookMyShow

BBH’s campaign films for BookMyShow on the themes of Tiger Zinda Hai, Padmavat, Padman, Raid, and now cricket have added an unmistakable quirky character to brand BookMyShow.

e4m by Venkata Susmita Biswas
Published: Apr 18, 2018 9:00 AM  | 6 min read

Bhai ke biceps dekhe? Nahin? It must be a touchy topic for you then. But don’t you worry, BookMyShow is here to help. That’s how BBH India and BookMyShow kick-started the brand campaign for the ticketing website earlier this year.

BBH’s campaign films on the themes of Tiger Zinda Hai, Padmavat, Padman, Raid, and now cricket have added an unmistakable quirky character to brand BookMyShow. The campaign is meant to prompt people to use BookMyShow to purchase tickets in advance so that they do not miss out on all the fun. This quickly turned into a humorous take on topical developments. 

Padmavat was the first movie for which BBH created a rather tongue-in-cheek digital film. “We were scared people will pelt stones at our office when the BookMyShow-Padmavat digital ad went live,” confesses Russell Barrett - Managing Partner & CCO - BBH India, sitting in his office that is protected from the elements by one large sheet of glass.

The ad was simple, it made the joke everyone on the internet was making about the release of the movie Padmavat. Drop the last letter and it’s good to go! BBH stretched the joke further and based the brand campaign for BookMyShow on this very joke.

“We did not want to tell anyone that we had made this ad,” quips Barrett. It was funny alright, but given the violent protests surrounding the release of the movie, this irreverence could have cost BBH and Bookmyshow severely.
“In fact, this creative was not originally commissioned by the Bookmyshow team,” reveals Yohan Daver, Creative Director - Copy, BBH Mumbai. The news leading to the release of the film naturally lent itself to the ad film. “We presented it, they loved it, and a few sleepless nights later, the first animation film for Bookmyshow was ready,” gushes Sapna Ahluwalia, Creative Director - Art, BBH Mumbai.


It's a touchy topic:

The Padmavat animation film tickled viewers with the right touch of irony and humour and now animation films are part of the BookMyShow mandate for BBH. Padmavat was followed by a digital film for Padman. That’s because - a period drama (Padman) that gets delayed because of another period drama (Padmavat) is a joke waiting to be cracked.


On the heels of these two movies came the Nirav Modi scam and the timely launch of Raid. Barrett clarifies: We did not orchestrate the PNB-Nirav Modi scam. This time around, it was the BookMyShow team that suggested pegging the ad on the scam. “We are not just working in partnership with the client but in cahoots with them,” Barrett says. By now, the BBH team is a bunch of stand-up comics with a penchant for advertising.


The humour has not stopped, because the news cycle is always on. With the latest brand film, BBH and BookMyShow have gone beyond films - this time it’s cricket. The current film pegs its creative on the Australian ball tampering scandal. It says: ‘khujao, zaroor, khujao, par field pe khujli karne ki pyaas kahin aur bujaho.’


The BBH team worked on tight deadlines, sometimes giving the voice over for a part of the film and at other times appearing in the film itself (go figure). Some creatives got their final go ahead just hours before they went live. The team picked up on the smallest of details about BookMyShow to create the ads. For example, the original Bookmyshow jingle tune -- book book book bookmyshow -- has been retained across the films albeit in a subtle manner.

The live action films are targeted at the non-metro audience who are known to head to theaters to book tickets in person. BookMyShow has been positioned as a solution to all those times when a film-goer has met a ‘housefull’ board at a theatre.

The animation films have become a favourite among movie-goers and peers in the advertising world. It is hard not to compare the Bookmyshow ad films to the Amul campaign that has endured for decades. “Only time will tell if this campaign can endure. Amul could do it for all these years because it benefitted Amul,” Barrett explains.

As long as this kind of work benefits Bookmyshow, BBH will make such ads. “It is of course a seductive idea. And I would love for BBH to have such a legacy. That said, none of the work we do is for creative indulgence. Our objective is effectiveness and the route to that is creativity. The campaign has to deliver results. If that does not happen we are not a business house, we are a hobby house,” says Barrett.

Barrett and his team have driven results with this bunch of ads. “These ads have increased recall for brand BookMyShow,” says, Marzdi Kalianiwala, VP-Marketing and Business Intelligence, BookMyShow. “We have seen an exceptional response to all our recent ad films and we know our audience loves watching them. We will definitely look at devising more topical and relevant communication around films as and when the right opportunity presents itself,” Kalianiwala added.

Expert Speak:

Manish Bhatt, Founder Director - ‎Scarecrow M&C Saatchi

As a consumer I was intrigued by the Padmavat ad and watched the whole video. I like that the ad addresses both the product and product attribute, instead of creating separate communication for each. This approach of picking up a flagship product and highlighting it is a good strategy. Certain brands can pull off topicality, Amul has built its brand by doing this. If BookMyShow can sustain this and be entertaining with their ads, it would be great.

I would have liked consistency in the films. Even though tonality is the same, it is confusing when they do animation and live action films. As a consumer this does not impact the brand communication. But if there is a possibility to bring consistency, that would be the icing on the cake.

Robby Mathew, National Creative Director, FCB Interface

I find the ads to be witty, and very cool. By making fun of things and being unabashedly irreverent BookMyShow has appealed to its TG. Making the ads topical in nature keeps the brand fresh. These ads are turning out like the Amul ads, in fact. Together, over time, these ads will build a great brand.

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