Advertising that connects, connects because of the relevant truths they are rooted in. Whether it is truth in the product, truth in culture or personal truth, among others. Citing examples from his enviable body of award-winning work to emphasise the above was ECD and Writer Kash Sree, on day three of Goafest 2022.
Presenting work on Vaseline during his time at BBH, he recalled, “This was the brand of your parents and grandparents but they had completely missed the beauty boom. They gave us some 15,000 pages of documents. They gave us the formula for the advertising that worked in their testing and wanted us to create ads using that.”
The proposition was ‘healthy skin’. The agency chose to look the other way and delved into a product truth — that while Vaseline gives you healthy skin, healthy skin is beautiful.
A body of work that celebrated skin followed. In a year, the brand saw sales increase by 97 pc, revealed Sree.
‘There are two things that last longer than time. Love is one of them’ said a film for De Beers that urged people to capture ‘Your Forever Moment’. View the case study of the work by JWT New York here.
In an economically challenged environment, the brand wanted to give people a chance to celebrate their love in an enduring way, through the campaign themed ‘Unbreakable Kiss’. In other words — as special as a diamond.
Commenting on the response to the campaign, Sree said, “If you do something that people like, offer what people want, they will advertise for you.”
Elsewhere, in Japan, there was a time when the craze for Nintendo Mario games was so high that schools had to close early, for fear of kids playing truant. “We thought we could work with that,” quipped Sree. View the work below.
There’s also truth in culture that brands can borrow from, observed the speaker. He pointed to the case of a Korean pizza brand that wanted to venture into the US.
At the briefing, the team was told that the brand made pizza ‘the original way’. As Sree reveals on his site KashSree.com, “Which got me thinking Korea has a bit of a reputation for claiming things as their own. How could they claim to make pizza the original way, unless… they invented pizza.”
The outlandish campaign saw the brand making outrageous claims that they invented the pizza, and even contending that the concept was stolen by Marco Polo. It sparked a debate on Korean nationalism, before people started realising that the ‘conspiracy’ was actually satire.
The work showcased by Sree included Nike’s shift to the stance that everyone is an athlete.
Another piece of work for the brand stemmed from a personal truth — the ECD remembered an instance from 21 years ago, when he saw his wife walk in a zig-zag manner instead of walking straight. He realised that she was trying to walk in the shade. That was the inspiration. The work is below.
“‘We’ are the most advanced technology. We’ve got that gut feeling, we’re connected and we’re conduits for culture. We shouldn’t remove ourselves from culture,” said the celebrated creative.
To a question on the cancel culture and curbs on creative freedom, Sree underlined, “If you are doing something right, it will p*** off people. Expect it. Be prepared to have it. It means you are probably doing something right.”