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Philips’ silent film on breast cancer hits home

The ‘The Silent Couple’ campaign, conceptualised by Ogilvy CommonHealth, urges husbands to share some household chores with their wives so that they can then use that time to do the breast self-examination test at home

Philips’ silent film on breast cancer hits home

The ‘The Silent Couple’ campaign, conceptualised by Ogilvy CommonHealth, urges husbands to share some household chores with their wives so that they can then use that time to do the breast self-examination test at home

Sarmistha Neogy | Mumbai | October 27, 2014

Philips-TVC Click on the image to watch the TVC.

On account of Breast Cancer Awareness Week, Philips India has launched a beautiful two-minute video titled ‘The Silent Couple’. This is part of its ‘Husband Initiated Movement’ (HIM) and is also supported by a microsite. The film, conceptualised by Ogilvy CommonHealth, educates both men and women on how it is important to do a 10-minute breast self-examination test at home. The campaign highlights the responsibility of husbands in encouraging their wives by helping them with household chores, so that the wives can use those 10 minutes to do the test.

The film features a married couple who communicate with the help of sign language. One day, the husband finds out about the HIM initiative on the internet and gets a printout of those pages. He comes home early and starts cooking to help his wife, and also takes care of their daughter at the same time. When his wife returns home, she is surprised on finding him home so early and asks the reason behind it. While they are communicating with each other, the wife smells something burning in the kitchen. Her husband covers up by saying that the smell is from the incense sticks.

On entering the kitchen, she gets irritated at her husband because of all the mess he has made which she’ll have to clean. The man hands her the printouts containing steps to do the test, and asks her to do it right away, while he does the cooking and cleaning up of the mess. The video ends with the message: “Because actions speak louder than one chore your wife does.”

Commenting on the creative strategy, Rana Bawa, Business Director, Ogilvy CommonHealth, said, “We saw there was a lot of noise around the topic of breast cancer and, therefore, our challenge was to make a clutter-breaking ad for which we decided to use the power of ‘silence’. Through the film, we wanted to elucidate the fact that it is about action and not words. Secondly, Philips saw that the ‘deaf and dumb’ section of our society is often marginalised; therefore, our aim was to change the entire concept by highlighting the message that ‘if they can do it, why can’t we?’ It was, therefore, a creative person’s delight to work on something like this.”

Bawa added, “Even though it took us around two weeks to complete the campaign, all I can say is that what you are seeing is a product derived after a lot of hard work and burning the midnight oil. First, we had to get the target group right, and second, the behavioural change had to be elucidated because we have this tendency to think that ‘it has happened to her, but it won’t happen to me.’”

Vivek Sharma, Head of Marketing, Philips India, said, “The brief was to bring out the insight that husbands shoulder the responsibility and prod their wives to do self-examination at home and secondly, ratify the fact that self-examination is important and should be done by every woman, because it can help detect breast cancer at an early age.”

The campaign is primarily a digital one with the intention of making it viral. There will be marketing promotions in theatres in the NCR region, promotions on Tata Sky Channel 100 and lot of office activations will also be implemented. In Punjab, mobile vans will conduct mammography tests and every female employee working with Philips will also have check-up facilities arranged.

The video was uploaded on the YouTube channel on October 19, 2014 and has clocked more than two lakh views since then. To join in the cause, husbands can pledge their support with the hashtag #HIMInitiative and also upload a selfie while they do the household chore, on social media platforms.

‘Silent and brilliant’, say ad folk

KV Sridhar KV Sridhar

KV Sridhar ‘Pops’, Chief Creative Officer, Sapient Nitro, said, “There are generally two kinds of people in this world – people who care for others and the ones who don’t. I have really liked this film because it shows how a man cares for his wife, and motivates her to do the self-examination test for breast cancer, which is such a nice gesture.”

“Women by nature are very reluctant to take care of themselves, they may care for superficial things like how they look, but often ignore their health until and unless the problem magnifies. From childhood they are taught that they need to take care of others, but no one tells them how equally important and precious their lives are. Due to these reasons and several others, women need to be constantly motivated to make them realise this. Therefore, the best part of the film is not the message, but the way it has been executed with the help of a silent, loving couple and also by highlighting the responsibility of a loving husband,” added Sridhar.

Saurabh Dasgupta Saurabh Dasgupta

Saurabh Dasgupta, Executive Creative Director, Innocean, too loves the film. He said, “When I was associated with WHO NCCP Program, I have done similar work as well, therefore it is especially close to me. The best part of the film is the use of the deaf and dumb couple who have essayed their roles so well. It makes us realise that if they can care and convey their message so well, why can’t we?”

Dasgupta added, “The idea of the film earns all the brownie points because it makes the video more endearing. We all know that enough has been said and done about breast cancer, but sometimes it is very important to be endearing to deliver a message.”

Sudha Natrajan, Founder- Director, TMC, remarked, “It's a very thoughtful and sensitively made commercial, especially with the touch of the silent couple added to it. What I really liked about it was that it wasn't just a ‘feel good’ commercial, it was action-oriented, had a small, simple and implementable action point, which was pretty well brought out.”

Ambika Sharma Ambika Sharma

Ambika Sharma, Founder, Pulp Strategy, believes that the ‘silent’ touch to the video makes all the difference. “It is a very nicely done film and the best part of this video is that it is a silent movie, which helps us to concentrate on each and every expression. The film has attempted to influence the spouse and help in the prevention of breast cancer, through the subtly embedded message in the video.”

The TVC:



Agency: Ogilvy CommonHealth, Mumbai

Creative Director: Saritha Shivshankar

Copywriters: Archana Sudarsan, Kimline Dsouza

Art Directors: Amarjeet Singh, Kalpesh Vibhandik

Business Director: Rana Bawa

Account Director: Varun Kohli

Account Manager: Niyati Kochhar

Producers: Gaurrav Dhar, Monica Gambhir

Sound Design: Alex

DoP: Rubyz

Production house: Cutawayy Films

Director: Nikhil Chalam

Post production: Teamworks

Editor: Akshay Mehta

Music Director: Vipin Mishra

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