Why Shine.com’s #LagGayiVaat TVCs Need A Complete Rethink

#LagGayiVaat, Shine.com's recent ad campaign to promote its mobile app has backfired, with two of the three ads not going down well with people and eventually being pulled down

shine laggayivaat

Post appraisal season sees a lot of job shifts in the industry. Employees negotiate for higher salaries elsewhere, or chart growth opportunities at other companies. However, there are a few who literally ‘screw up’ at work and are thrown out for their disgustingly unprofessional behaviour. Shine.com, HT Media’s online job search portal, tells them not to worry, because they can always look for another job wherever they are on the Shine mobile app, through the portal’s latest campaign #LagGayiVaat.

Shine.com that now claims to be India’s second largest jobs site with a database of over 16 million job seekers, over 14000 companies and a dedicated portal of e-learning offerings, roped in actor Jaaved Jaffery as this office bumpkin who bumps into awkward situations at the workplace and loses his job.

Shine’s mascot – an intelligent mouse named Mr. M introduced last year – then comes to his rescue with the mobile app. “Dost, life mein lag gayi vaat, so what? Download Shine.com mobile app…ab tum jahan, jobs vahan.”

A series of three TVCs have been created by Dentsu Creative Impact and rolled out with due impact on social media. The hashtag #LagGayiVaat trended on top 10 Twitter India trends, amplified greatly by the tweets of youth celebrities like Rannvijay Singha, Mandira Bedi, Soha Ali Khan, Rajeev Masand, and others who said the TVCs had them in splits.

The Shine.com YouTube channel now hosts only one TVC – ‘Naagin Dance’, while other two, namely ‘Day Dreaming’ and ‘Kamzor’ are no longer available. They have probably been taken down following a Firstpost news story that accused the brand of portraying ‘sexual harassment’ at work as funny. In fact, in a press release dated today, it has been stated that the campaign has only two ads, of which one is on-air.

In ‘Naagin Dance’, Jaaved is at a party dancing the Naagin dance and completely in the act. Everybody is dancing away wildly when Jaaved starts the snake’s striking dance move. Accidentally, he strikes the behind of a woman, leaving everyone including himself in shock. The woman is his boss’s wife and the rest is disaster. Jaaved is sitting on the road as Mr M, Shine’s mouse mascot makes his pitch.

 

In ‘Day Dreaming’, Jaaved is ogling at his female colleague in the workplace. Per FirstPost ad description, it is only when he makes kissy faces at her that his bubble is broken. A colleague is also disgusted at this and remarks it as ‘cheap’.

In ‘Kamzor’, Jaaved is portrayed as a weak guy who cannot control nature’s call. Finding the office restroom fully occupied, he relieves himself in a pot! [UPDATE 25/6/2015] This TVC is now on the brand’s YouTube channel under the title ‘Gamla’.

 

Reading these ad descriptions alone has made me feel creepy, how does a job portal justify ogling at a female colleague, and peeing into a pot as ‘not to worry’ behaviour at the workplace. What’s more – even youth icons like badminton ace, Saina Nehwal; youth reality show host, Rannvijay Singha, actress Soha Ali Khan, singer Sophie Chaudhury and others got into the act.

On the brand’s Facebook page, it has shared more realistic office situations where you are indeed in a soup or, like the ad campaign says ‘Lag Gayi Vaat’. Sharing a few #LagGayiVaat stories from Shine.com Facebook page.

Shine laggayivaat story
Source: Facebook
Shine laggayivaat story2
Source: Facebook

These are truly hilarious situations that could have been used for the TVCs instead. Talking about the campaign, Rohit Ohri, CEO, Dentsu Branded Agencies (APAC), said, “It’s a VUCA world. The new Shine.com campaign  reflects the unpredictability of today’s job environment where ‘Job mein vaat kabhi bhi lag sakti hai’ and showcases how the Shine.com mobile app comes to rescue of people at critical moments of job stress by helping them get their ‘dream job’ from anywhere, anytime.”

Apparently, the concept of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) was also applied by the brand in its prompt action on the campaign. Taking down the ad before it could garner any negative sentiments on social media has been a clever move. Especially, when it is targeting young job seekers.

In the past, we have had several instances when social media outrage led to many brands being forced to take down their ads. Read “Can Social Media Force Brands To Rethink Their Ads?

It remains to be seen, however, what the replaced ad films (if any) will be about. Shine.com’s #LagGayiVaat needs a complete rethink from the drawing board.