Video showing a boy proposing to a girl in a mall goes viral across social media, keeping viewers guessing if it’s genuine or an ad
Sohini Sen | Mumbai | September 12, 2013
The latest Bournville campaign has gone viral on social networking sites. The campaign, created by Ogilvy, is an extension of the brand's identity ‘Not so sweet’. The previous Bournville commercial featuring four girls sitting in a cafe and talking about a pet kitten had introduced the idea of 'Not so sweet'. The challenge now was to hammer that thought in.
O&M decided to do something in the online space that would perfectly showcase what ‘Not so sweet’ is all about, that is, the feeling we get when someone is too sweet. The other challenge was the same as every other challenge in the online space. They had to generate ‘buzz’, tap social media and go ‘viral’.
"Creating a hit on the internet is like creating Sholay – you can’t process knowledge and trends in order to create success. It just happens. Having said that, the Bournville viral does have some science and creativity by design. Executed, of course, to near precision," said Abhijit Avasthi, National Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather.
The TVC was shot in a very realistic way, using one camera and a long continuous shot. It opens with a boy and a girl in a mall, where the boy, apparently smitten by the girl, goes on to describe how his life has changed since he met her. The only other people in the commercial are the other shoppers, a couple of hired musicians and a small toy train which crosses in between the camera and the couple just once during the whole show. The toy train has the Bournville branding on it. The boy, meanwhile, shares sweet nothings, remembers the date and place they met, and tells her how he wants to spend more time with her. He starts to go down on one knee when the girl, much irritated, smacks him with a musical instrument and leaves the scene.
The idea behind a public proposal, as seen on various online sites, can be silly, gooey, romantic and entertaining. By using only theatre actors, and not cluing the shoppers in to what was happening, they managed to keep it real and genuine.
The next part of the campaign execution was also well thought out. The video was uploaded on YouTube by a random user. In less than four days, it had upwards of 3 million hits on YouTube. On Facebook as well, the video went absolutely crazy. Shared separately on a bunch of different pages that feature funny videos, it reached South-east Asia followed by America in a matter of days.
It featured on TV in the US on a channel that was covering funny videos (with a special mention about Bournville), on TV in the Philippines, blogs across the world, the cover page of the Daily Mail UK, was featured in The Huffington Post, there was another article in the Daily Mail telling people that what they had featured was NOT a proposal but an ad for Cadbury Bournville, The Mumbai Mirror and the Mid Day (in print) and many more.
Numerous comments also went on to make the campaign go viral. While many of the comments berated the rest of the people for fussing over an ad that is clearly done by Bournville, a lot of people thought it was real and shared it with more friends for the obvious ‘LOL’ factor.
"Another person’s misery and the voyeuristic nature of the piece are intentional and make it immensely watchable and sharable. The realistic nature of it makes it believable. The suspicious nature of the realism makes it debatable. All adding up to the massive buzz it whipped up on the internet. We hope to take the learning of this exercise to make even more evocative/provocative communication for Bournville as well as other brands," added Avasthi.
Creative Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai
Creative Directors: Manoj Shetty, Vijay Sawant
Creative: Siddhartha Menon
Client Servicing: Bhavna Thakur, Smita Padmanabhan, Shruti Paranjpe
Plannning: Divya Bahirwani, Manasi Rajagopal