Paper Boat Drinks is at it again: transporting us adults back to our childhood, back to the stories told by maa, back to the sights and smells built through our memories. The traditional drinks brand by Hector Beverages has rolled out a short film titled, “Rizwan: Keeper of the Gates of Heaven,” once again strengthening its brand proposition of ‘Drinks and Memories’.
Created by Humour Me, the 3.30 minute film is a celebration of that timeless, fragrant journey called ‘innocence,’ a recurring attribute that Paper Boat has always lived by in its promotional campaigns.
The story is told through an old man named Rizwan, reminiscing his childhood while at the garden with his pet dog. He shares how certain smells and tastes have the quality to transport you back in time, before he begins his story. He remembers his mother, their sweet little home and the village, and how heavy rains felt like lions were outside.
He recollects his mother telling him that he was different from other children as he had come from the stars. She had named him Rizwan meaning ‘Jannat ka Rakhwala’ (Keeper of the Gates of Heaven) as he was to be the caretaker of Jannat (heaven). She told him he could protect other children and that nothing bad will ever happen to him.
As he returns to make some tea, he recounts more stories of those days and while sipping tea, he is enamoured by the fragrance of the ‘Raat ki Rani’ (Queen of the night), the night blooming jasmine. It takes him back to another interesting story told by his mother. He was often told to go and save his rani from the evil monster.
Even now in the evenings blooming with the fragrance of the jasmine and the heavy rains, Rizwan remembers that night he had actually helped save a little girl from a wolf, all the while believing that she was the rani he was destined to save from monsters. He recounts his brave little rescue story in all innocence.
Then comes the twist. Rizwan is petting his dog while revealing to us that he is blind. His idea of this world has been weaved through his mother’s tales. He is automatically transporting back in time and back to his mother’s stories every time he encounters a familiar smell or taste.
The text says, ‘The sense of smell can transport you. The sense of taste even more so’
A digital storytelling win
Paper Boat has well positioned itself around ‘innocence’ time and again. It is refreshing to see this film despite knowing it is a promotional campaign by a brand, simply because it has been risky enough to not have Rizwan sipping from a Paper Boat pack. I watched it a second time just to make sure I did not miss on a Paper Boat pack lying on the table somewhere. The only branding comes in at the very end, and that makes for a shareworthy video on social media.
‘Rizwan’ is armed with a beautiful story about a little hero’s brave journey, told through the innocence of a blind old man who built his entire world brick by brick made up of his mother’s tales. The concept of a blind person’s sense of taste and smell, has been well turned around for a memorable story in ‘Rozwan’, while taking care of sensitivities. Additionally, the use of animation taking us back to Rizwan’s description of the bygone days, adds a certain recall to the overall user experience.
Neeraj Kakkar, founder and CEO, Hector Beverages told AFAQS that the biggest challenge was telling the story in an honest manner, without being pretentious. “It should not appear as though we’re trying to earn some sympathy votes. It is a sensitive matter; we had to be extremely careful not to overdo, or downplay, anything while telling the story.”