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Google Chrome’s Tanjore art commercial opens up a new world

The eye-catching campaign made by BBH India is running online and in cinema halls

Neha Saraiya | Delhi | December 28, 2011

Taking a cue from the Google Chrome communication developed by BBH New York – ‘the web is what you make of it’ – the Indian counterpart of the agency has replicated the campaign of the search giant in the Indian context. The commercial, based on the life of an artist, is yet another in the multi-ad, multi-country campaign for Google Chrome where real-life stories are celebrated, and also show how many things can be achieved when the web is used imaginatively.

The Indian version of the Google Chrome campaign highlights the story of G Rajendran, an artist from Tamil Nadu, who leverages the power of the web to keep alive the languishing art of Tanjore paintings. Through effective use of the medium he not only ends up increasing the sales of his paintings but also becomes a successful businessman rather than just an artist.

Talking to, Arvind Krishnan, Brand Partner, BBH India, who had scouted for and finalised the story for the commercial, said, “The Internet has moved from 'viewing’ to ‘doing'. The platform of web is what you make of it, celebrates individuals who have gone way beyond their normal capabilities to harness the power of the web. The story of ‘Tanjoreoviyam’ is one such story, of an art that finds an audience and a business that gains traction through the power of the web.”

The 90-second spot opens up with a brief description about the on-the-verge-of-extinction art form of Tanjore paintings with Rajendran sitting dejectedly among his paintings. The next scene shows the protagonist surfing Google Chrome for a manual to make a website. He then pays heed to the each element of the construction phase of the website. Interestingly, this has been depicted without a single use of any computer in the commercial. Instead, several windows resonating different sections of his website are shown in a physical state.

But just creating a website does not give him the required traction. So, he once again revisits the web to find out ‘how to get more customers’. This then gets promoted through the platform of ‘Google Ad Words’ that helps people to boost their existing customer base by highlighting keywords. This time, with the help of the ad words platform, and two key words – ‘Tanjore Paintings’ and ‘Temple art’ – the artist increases the online sales of his paintings with the inclusion of foreign clients.

The TVC ends with Rajendran posing happily, having transformed from an artist into a successful entrepreneur, with a note: ‘The web is what you make of it’.

The film has been directed by E Suresh at RajKamal Studios in Mumbai. It was a three-day-long shoot during which every scene was shot meticulously. Like the construction of the set where Tanjore artists 'put up their website' took almost seven hours to capture.

Russell Barrett, Creative Director, BBH India, who was present on the sets, commented, “This commercial had many firsts for a lot of us in the team. It has the longest single shot most of us have seen. Also, to make it in a way where not a single computer was shown and wherever possible to 'Tanjor-ise' the Internet was entirely the genius of Suresh. But I believe that it was a risk that seems to have paid off.”

In order to give a authentic South India look and feel to the film, besides the script and art direction, the film also banks on music scored by Shri Sriram, a UK-based music director  (of ‘Badmarsh’ and ‘Shri’ fame). Additionally, being a true story, the agency decided not to cast the actors, but use the real hero of the story, artist Rajendran.

Through the campaign Google aims to recognise people from different walks of life and find out how they have been able to adopt the Internet to do something beautiful, either for themselves or for society at large. The commercial is currently online and is being played in theatres as well.  The agency is also in the process of designing skins and browsers that use Tanjore art that people can download for their use.


Agency: BBH India

Managing Partners: Paul Ward, Partha Sinha, Raj Kamble, Subhash Kamath

Creative Director: Russell Barrett

Creative team: Nikhil Panjwani, R Venkaraman, Kunal Sawant, Malhaar Rao

Planning: Sanjay Sharma

Account Management: Arvind Krishnan, Rajeev Roy

Agency Producer: Sushma Joseph

Production house: Eeksaurus

Director: E Suresh

Music: Shri Sriram

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Comments (1)
  • Harsh- 7 years ago

    WHOA. If only someone promoted veena making the same way :|