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McDowell’s: Cheers to friendship

With lyrics by Sonal Dabral himself, DDB Mudra has created a heart-warming seven-minute video titled ‘No.1 Yaari’ about real friendship

McDowell’s: Cheers to friendship

With lyrics by Sonal Dabral himself, DDB Mudra has created a heart-warming seven-minute video titled ‘No.1 Yaari’ about real friendship

Sarmistha Neogy | Mumbai | November 25, 2014

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

McDowell’s No.1 has unveiled a seven-minute-long video titled ‘No. 1 Yaari Hain’ which captures the true value of friendship. DDB Mudra has created a heart-warming narrative about real friendship which every person will be able to relate to. Sonal Dabral, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, DDB Mudra Group, has penned the lyrics of the song which celebrates the most important relationship in the life of every young adult. Mohit Chauhan has lent his voice to the ‘No.1 Yaari’ anthem, composed by Rajiv Bhalla.

McDowell’s has always endeavoured to connect with its consumers through compelling stories of friendship over the years. It realised that affiliation and friendship was a narrative being used by a lot of other brands across categories and, therefore, there was a need to own a distinct point of view on friendship. Thus, the new campaign talks about the journey of three friends and showcases how these ‘close buddies’ together navigate through life with the security and comfort of each other’s company. The three meet after many years and reminisce the beautiful moments spent together. The film ends with them visiting their favourite teacher in college in order to ask her who her favourite was out of them. She tells them that her favourite was not any one of them, but the friendship they shared.

Sonal Dabral Sonal Dabral

Sharing his experience of writing the lyrics, Dabral said, “Beyond the transience of social networks, there is a friendship that is deep and genuine. I wrote the ‘#No.1Yaari’ song as a tribute to such cherished, meaningful friendships that enrich our lives. ‘Aisee waisi dosti nahin’ is exactly how I define these rare, special friendships. It’s a track that will transport everyone to the wonderful moments that have made these friendships special and sure to bring a smile to their face, as it will remind them of their own No.1Yaari.”

“McDowell’s has been an iconic brand, a great client and some magical moments of inspiration. It's been a pleasure working on this campaign and writing this Yaari anthem, which, I'm sure, will become the soundtrack for the best of friends raising a toast to their precious friendship anywhere across the country,” he added.

Unnati Sinha, Senior Vice-president (Marketing), United Spirits Limited, commented, “Real friendship is one of life's strongest and most rewarding relationships. We're very proud of our new McDowell's No.1 film that portrays real friendships that bind people together through the years. This is the first time that McDowell's No.1 has used a long musical narrative to communicate the brand proposition through nostalgia. Consumers and the trade have loved the film particularly, as McDowell's No.1 is at the heart of their own special memories of celebration with their closest friends.”

The video has crossed one million views on YouTube and is being promoted across media.

Too good…but a tad too long

KV Sridhar KV Sridhar

KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, Sapient Nitro, liked the video and appreciated it for its craft and beautiful music. The only thing he thought was amiss was the length of the video, because people have the tendency to drop off in between. He pointed out that even the Oscar winning short films are 10 minutes long and people usually don’t go beyond six minutes. “It is a struggle for everyone, including us, because these long format videos are usually made by filmmakers for whom this medium is new and therefore, when they get this huge canvas to paint their thoughts on, they forget that the viewer’s attention is limited. So, my only piece of advice to them would be: ‘restrain yourself from attempting more of this in future’. Otherwise, it is a beautiful video with wonderful lyrics, and my message to Sonal is ‘Dabbu Pass Ho Gaya!” he commented.

Naresh Gupta Naresh Gupta

Naresh Gupta, CSO, Bang In The Middle, said, “From sheer execution perspective, it’s been shot very well; the music is very nice, the locales are fantastic, the moments of bonding are nice. But if you talk about the duration, it is way too long for my comfort. The story does not seem to leap and jump and move in an unexpected direction. It could have been more cinematic, and lot more dramatic. I guess this follows the template of ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’, takes that concept of male bonding and builds a fresh story. The sub-stories are nice, but it needs to be tighter and shorter.”

Swati Nathani Swati Nathani

Swati Nathani, Co-founder, Team Pumpkin, said, “Nostalgia seems to be the flavour of the season, where starting from Pepsi's #GharwaliDiwali to McDowell's #No.1Yaari, brands are trying to strike the emotional chord with people. The ‘No.1 Yaari’ video tries to get into the emotional space and does leave you with a smile on your face. However, execution could've gotten better with cutting the video short. It felt like too many themes are taking place at the same time, whether it is about the girl involved, or the teacher or the location. At one point, it almost felt dull and repetitive, but caught up soon. Other social media channels could've have been synchronised better with some exciting contests and quizzes built around this theme to create a buzz. Nevertheless, the video does serve its purpose of creating the brand recall value with a hummable jingle that plays on your mind for long. On YouTube, a video is counted as viewed even if you see the first 5 seconds of it, so even if some people may have dropped the video in the middle, the count is still incremented.”

Siddharth Roy Siddharth Roy

Siddhartha Roy, COO, Happy Creative Services, thinks that the message of friendship – which is also the core brand essence – is omnipresent in the video. However, according to him, what could've made it more engaging is perhaps the addition of layers or granularity in the narrative. “Right now it seems like a montage of 'happy memories'. But it's the trials and tribulations that make a friendship memorable and endearing. A long format offers an exciting opportunity to capture such layers - which, in my opinion, got missed out. Overall, sweet, a bit too much I guess,” he said.

Zafar Rais Zafar Rais

Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive, said, “McDowell's has always played on the No.1 angle and this video brings out the same positioning further by creating a characterisation and emotional connect based on friendship and togetherness. Long-format videos are popular currently after the success of Tata Sky, Google and Pepsi creating their commercials in a similar format, working on building a story and an emotional connect with their audience. Some work, some don't.”

Rais further said, “Ever decreasing attention spans and the plethora of crisper content are distractions for long-format videos. Currently, video content that summarises the same sentiments and messaging within 15 seconds is doing the rounds and gain far wider outreach and talkability among the target audience. The length of this video could also be a deterrent towards repeat viewership.”

The TVC:



Agency: DDB Mudra South & East

Chairman & Chief Creative Officer: Sonal Dabral

Member of Creative Council, DDB Mudra Group and Creative Head, DDB Mudra South and East: Vipul Thakkar

President, DDB Mudra South and East: Ranji Cherian

Executive Vice-president, DDB Mudra South and East: Sujay Ghosh

Creative Team: Sourabh Doke, Vimalkirti Deshmukh, Praveen Sekar, Vignesh Raja, Hitesh Harish, Ajun Abraham

Brand Communication Team: Deepak Rajagopal, Arjun Krishnadas

Senior Agency Producer: Vishal Sane

Account Management Team: Deepak Rajagopal, Arjun Krishnadas

Account Planning Team: Amit Kekre, Rajesh Sharma, Padmapriya Muralidharan

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