Diwali is not just a time of lights and crackers, but also a celebration of family bonds, love and relationships, and most importantly, of heart-warming campaigns. Brands don’t just want to be there for you, they wish to join in your celebrations and help usher in the festive spirit in your life. While most Indian families get together with friends and relatives, with exchange of sweets and gifts as part of the culture, brands look forward to play a key role in Diwali celebrations, both in building brand recall and purchases.
2015 saw a rise in the short film format for the digital age and Diwali was the perfect occasion for a heart-warming family film. Several brands joined in the film bandwagon to roll out meaningful, fun-filled videos, executed carefully so as not to look like an advertisement. Read: “12 Best Diwali Videos Of 2015 rom Indian Brands.”
This year, too, most brands have rolled out beautiful Diwali digital films that are not only moving, but also help effectively establish the brand connect. The story is the hero while the product is embedded subtly within the plot, and all this as the film communicates the brand message.
Here is a random list of 2016’s Diwali films that made us smile, got us thinking or simply made home inside our hearts:
Lenovo India “Back Seat”
A taxi driver sees big dreams in his rear view mirror in Lenovo India’s Diwali film “Back Seat”. Conceptualized by Ogilvy Bangalore, the 2-minute film captures a conversation between the taxi driver and his son, in which the father aspires for a bright future for his son, just as the executives from multinational companies he ferries around in his taxi. Part of the #GoNew campaign launched earlier this year, the film features Lenovo’s newly launched detachable laptop, the Miix 310, while building an aspirational story for people not bound by their circumstances.
Amazon India “Adjust No More”
Amazon India’s digital films explore human emotions to the fullest: the joys, the laughter, the humour and the positive vibes generated by gifting. This Diwali, the ecommerce major has rolled out a short 50-second spot that reiterates the brand’s longstanding proposition, ‘Adjust No More’. The film captures a pre-Diwali conversation between a father and his daughter, that ends with a sweet twist in the plot.
Reliance Fresh “#BadiDiwali”
The grocery store chain by Reliance Industries rolled out the most amusing yet thoughtful Diwali film titled ‘Badi Diwali’. Conceptualised by Utopeia, the 40-second spot is the story of a woman and her domestic help during Diwali, as they go about festive preparation, including deep cleaning and preparing the festive delicacies. What begins with a strict yet friendly lady boss ends up as a sweet surprise for the girl (as well as the viewers!). The underlying message: ‘Dil Bada Toh Diwali Badi.’
OnePlus India “The Journey”
Big Bazaar ‘#SabkiWaliDiwali’
For the hypermarket chain, festivals are all about the brand’s continuing proposition of”Shubh Shuruaat.” Last year, it had introduced a novel way of celebrating a pollution-free Diwali by introducing ‘paper patakhas’. The idea has been carried forward this Diwali too, in a 1.2 minute film featuring a Big Bazaar staff and how he makes it a beautiful Diwali for visually impaired kids. Conceptualised by DDB Mudra West, the driving thought behind the story is ‘Yeh Diwali Sabki Wali.’
Flipkart Big Diwali Sale ‘Balcony Bros’
The ecommerce brand chose to bring back its kids this year as a way to stand out from the clutter. This Diwali, it is the kids who are pitching in the big offers from the brand’s Big billion sale and now the Big Diwali Sale. ‘Balcony Bros’ features three little men boasting about the purchases they made from Flipkart’s Diwali sale, while an adorable little old woman isn’t amused at all!
The recently revamped ecommerce site with ‘Unbox Zindagi’ as its central driving theme, has chosen to put the spotlight on those everyday heroes who work even during Diwali – the police, the traffic police, the fire department staff, hospital staff. Snapdeal has initiated a way to celebrate these heroes by sending them a Happiness Box this Diwali, with chocolates in them. A 1.2 minute film captures these unseen heroes during the festival as festive shoppers go about enjoying the spirit of Diwali, as they go about their duty.
Paytm “#Thoughtful Diwali”
The mobile payment and commerce platform is always to the point – “Paytm karo” seeking to make Paytm Cash the preferred gifting option. In a 50-second spot released for Diwali, Paytm has reiterated how Paytm Cash is the perfect gift this festive season and how it is the most thoughtful of all the gifts you can give. A family get-together brings forth the modified tagline, “Iss Diwali gift main thoda thought bharo, Paytm karo.“
Pepperfry ‘Iss Diwali Kuch Badalke Dekhiye’
The online furniture portal has been firmly establishing its brand image around ‘Kuch badalke dekhiye‘ in its marketing campaigns, while its furniture acts as a material gift sparking happiness in the recipients. In a 45-second spot conceptualized by Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi, Pepperfry blends the festival of joy with the army theme, featuring the story of a junior and senior army captain. The junior captain is pleasantly surprised at receiving the gift of a wardrobe from his senior, into whose quarters he has moved.
The jewellery brand has been looking to become the preferred choice for all gold buyers every Diwali, by building on a chain of ad films highlighting the idea of a ‘Tanishq Wali Diwali’ as a special Diwali made memorable only with gifting Tanishq jewellery. What is standing out this year is the treatment meted to the storyline. Last year, Deepika Padukone was shown celebrating a ‘Tanishq Wali Diwali’ with her parents, however, this year, the brand has gathered a handful of ‘Tanishq Wali Diwali’ stories from across different households. Featuring the new Shubham collection, Tanishq is looking to tap all consumer segments this Diwali, and not just the elite.
Surf Excel #AbLagRahiDiwali
HUL’s detergent brand takes its ‘Stains are good (daag achhe hain‘) positioning to another emotional high this Diwali with a 2.40 minute tearjerker of a film starring pure-hearted children. Once again, the brand manages to stir our hearts with a beautiful story executed to perfection. This Diwali, Surf Excel wants us to look beyond our home and family, and shift our gaze to the many out there who don’t get to celebrate the festival of lights in its true spirit – the istriwala busy ironing your saree, the watchman in your building, the pizza delivery guy… some bound by their circumstances and others by their duty. Conceptualized by Lowe Lintas, the ‘Ab lag rahi Diwali’ film seeks to tell us to “help bring light and joy to their homes and lives by sharing a little of ours,” through a sweet little boy.
Droom ‘Resale ka MRP”
How does one find out the value of a used automobile in India. Simple – use Droom’s Orange Book Value, an algorithmic pricing engine that gives a fair market value of a used vehicle under 10 seconds. Droom, the marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles has launched a marketing campaign titled ‘Resale Ka MRP’ to promote Orange Book Value and how it can completely alter the dynamics of the industry. The minute-long film conceptualized by Team Contract, captures a group of friends at a Diwali card party debating over the price of a used car of one of the players.
Cadbury Celebrations “Iss Diwali Khushiyan Le Chalo”
The chocolate gifting brand from Mondelez India has taken forward its continuing message of ‘Khushiyan Le Chalo‘ hoping to position the Cadbury Celebrations chocolate box as an ideal gift while visiting friends and relatives. This Diwali, the brand has rolled out an ad film conceptualised by Contract Advertising, where instead of gifting mithai boxes at a family get-together, every member is seen gifting the chocolate boxes. The story is an interesting one though, revolving around a father who plans to sell the house the children grew up in, and hence this get-together.
Cashkaro ‘The Priceless Gift’
The cashback and coupons site rolled out a refreshing Diwali film reflecting the times we live in, featuring a darling daughter who has now all grown up and just too busy with her work, even during Diwali. In the 2.3 minute film, while her mother keeps calling her throughout the day to ask if she has opened the package she received in the courier, the daughter is not so keen about it. It is not until she opens it at late night and sees a photo frame holding a picture of her childhood days, does she call home. When she learns why they sent this photo, the idea about the priceless gift hits back at you.
Netflix India ‘Diwali on Netflix’
Bewildered by the avalanche of Diwali ads, then Netflix India has the perfect ad for you. Featuring Anurag Kashyap and others as a typical happy family going about the typical Diwali activities, it is a fun jibe at all kinds of Diwali ads. The movie and TV shows streaming site has been talking about its ad-free viewing since some time now.
IDFC Mutual fund “#HappyDiwala”
The mutual fund company chose an absolutely hilarious approach to get people to spend their money wisely this Diwali. IDFC MF rolled out a 3.39 minute digital film aptly titled ‘Happy Diwala’ unofficially, but is still funny with its official title – “You won’t believe the stuff Indians buy during Diwali.” The film takes us through a young couple’s Diwali celebrations where the man is so excited about the huge Diwali discounts, that he ends up availing all of them, without sparing a thought for whether they need the product or not. His wife isn’t amused about his temporary insanity, and eventually they end up with a ‘diwala nikal gaya‘ situation!
Pepsi India ‘Sun in a bottle’
A recycled one liter Pepsi bottle and a little bit of sunshine is all you need to light up homes. Liter of Light foundation – a global open source movement aiming to provide ecologically sustainable and cost-free lighting for simple dwellings with thin roofs – makes this dream a reality through very simple means. This Diwali, Pepsi India joined the movement to light up homes in villages of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. It has rolled out a 2-minute film titled ‘Sun in a bottle’ where a little girl’s dream of catching the sun for her grandma turns into a reality.
Diwali is an apt festival to light up things – homes, ambitions, wishes and happiness. Telecom giant Airtel chose to light up smiles of some lucky children through solar powered wall paintings. The initiative called ‘#LightUpASmile’ powered by Airtel’s smartphone network, has been captured in a 3-minute film where happy kids are busy painting on the walls in the daytime, and using the illuminated wall after sundown. Airtel also added a social media angle to spread the word – For every comment on the film, the telco has promised to empower one person by making them digitally literate.
Dunkin’ Donuts India ‘#NayiShuruaatNayiMithaas’
The donut maker has introduced donut cakes and wants our Diwali celebrations to be marked by sweetness of another kind. Dunkin’ Donuts India has rolled out a 2-minute digital film welcoming new beginnings with a new era of sweetness. The film takes us through the life of a little boy named Ahaan and the strained relationship with his mother, but something happens on Diwali day that changes him for the better. His dad brings home a box of donut cakes (instead of mithai), Ahaan likes the idea and eventually softens to his new mother’s regular attempts to bond with him. Yes, she is his stepmother and the ending scene in the film is a touching one.
Truebil ‘Zindagi mein aage badho’
Virtual marketplace for pre-owned cars, Trubil rolled out its first-ever digital campaign on the occasion of Diwali called ‘#ZindagiMeinAageBadho.’ Targeting the increased buying activity during the festive period, Truebil launched a 1.43 minute film as part of the campaign that focuses on the ambition of a middle class Indian family to buy their own car. The woman isn’t ready to go to a friend’s party as they did not have a car, and is worried about her husband’s promotion. But the young couple need not wait for a promotion at work to be able to buy their own car, Truebil is the solution for those who aspire to own a car!
Do let us know your favourites.