Ambuja Cement’s The Great Khali Ad Gets The Brand Talking On Social Media

Ambuja Cement brings The Great Khali for its new TVC to show how his strength has turned into a problem. The brand comes to his rescue making it viral on social media

Ambuja_Cement Ad

As per the India Brand Equity Foundation research report dated August 18, 2015, India’s cement demand is expected to reach 550-600 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) by 2025. To meet the rise in demand, cement companies are expected to add 56 million tonnes (MT) capacity over the next three years. The cement capacity in India may register a growth of 8% by next year end to 395 MT from the current level of 366 MT.

But do you recollect any brand in the Indian cement industry that has stayed with you, apart from trying hard to barge in with the common message of how strong they are for building your house. One ad that comes close to my mind is the last year’s ad spot created by Ambuja Cement ‘Arjun Deewar’. The 60-second ad stressed on the fact that we should break the walls that are creating divisions among people, and for stronger walls let’s use Ambuja Cement.

However, Ambuja Cement in its latest advertising campaign featuring the world-renowned wrestler The Great Khali has given a twist to the communication. While keeping strength as the central theme of the communication, the TVC depicts the helpless pain of the giant man who has never been able to enjoy the bliss of being at home.

The ad shows several comic instances which speak about, how his strength - which was the cause of all recognition and fame once - has now become a problem to him and his family. Finally he is suggested Ambuja Cement, and that is when he realizes the true joys of being home.

Designed and conceptualized by Publicis India, Bobby Pawar, MD and Chief Creative Officer shared that the brand wanted the campaign to come and stay on. “The basic idea was to show the strength of Ambuja Cement. So, we decided to get The Great Khali and make our point by showing the impediments he faced.”

On the strategic front, Partha Sinha, MD and Chief Strategy Officer, Publicis India pointed out that mostly the cement brands derive recall from entertainment and Bollywood but Khali has given a completely different look. The brand was gung-ho on Khali as he represented great strength. “The campaign was like putting one giant against another. For this campaign, we had the advantage of high reputation of Ambuja Cement and Khali.”

On YouTube the ad has fetched more than 400K views in the last three days. On Facebook the post with the video has so far received more than 17K views and has been shared more than 500 times.

With insights from Unmetric, social media monitoring product, one can comfortably say that the latest video has given the brand the much needed spike. The below screen grab shows you how the brand’s YT channel got a spike from 10th October, the day on which the Khali ad was uploaded. The same remains true for the subscriber growth rate too.


Twitter saw some positive reviews for the new ad:

However, if the brand was active on Twitter it could have yielded better leverage on social media. Another example where the brand has not given importance to sync TV and digital in its strategy. Seeking to communicate with dealers and independent home builders, the campaign is running across various TV channels and also has a digital and on-ground leg to it.

Publicis India has done the job with the TV creative. Keeping the age old brand message of strength and syncing  with the celebrity power of Khali is the showstopper here. How a man’s strength turns into his pain and is revived with the brand is interesting and will connect with the audience. Even though the scenes are funny, the agency chose to bring out the human emotion. “We did not go for a slapstick comedy because it does not have longevity,” informed Bobby.

One may debate that it isn’t an original one and inspired by Mr. W commercial but does that matter? The storytelling and execution has been perfect keeping the target audience in mind. At the end of the ad Khali’s innocence steals the show.

However, the brand could have invested some money on digital by formulating a digital campaign in sync with the TV campaign. Uploading the video on YouTube and Facebook won’t give you long term results and the brand has anyways lost out on capturing Twitter conversations.

Nonetheless, Publicis India has made sure to reserve few awards from its latest creative while Ambuja has become vibrant in one of the most boring categories of advertisement.