It was obvious for brands to focus on dads to mark Father’s day but Raymond and LG broke the stereotype and saluted single mothers who are managing their professional and personal lives with elan. The Raymond’s digital campaign is conceptualised by Famous Innovation and LG India’s digital film is made by HS Ad India
Akansha Mihir Mota | Mumbai | June 21, 2016
Like every year, this time too brands left no stone unturned to tap the market on Father’s Day on June 19 -- celebrating fatherhood through different techniques or coming up with ads to mark the day. But it was only Raymond and LG India that took a bold step to break the stereotype of celebrating the day meant for fathers.
While brands such as Gillette, Bank Bazaar, HelpChat and Google Chrome produced videos with focus on fathers, LG and Raymond came up with digital films to celebrate single mothers. Both the digital ad films were launched purposely for the occasion of Father’s Day.
The Raymond’s digital campaign is conceptualised by Famous Innovation and LG India’s digital film is made by HS Ad India.
The new Raymond film depicts this beautiful mother-son relationship. Through a beautiful narrative, Raymond breaks away from the cliché and salutes ‘Single Mothers’ on the occasion of Father’s Day. A piece of communication that wonderfully decodes the brand’s philosophy – The Complete Man, a soul we celebrate. Through this film, Raymond has brought in a twist to portray some of life’s real circumstances, in this case a salute to single mothers.
The LG digital campaign celebrates the spirit of today’s women breaking rules and taking charge of their lives. Wearing the hat of a doting mother, a supportive father and a thorough professional with a smile is not only tough but needs a lot more than courage. So LG too planned to acknowledge the single women in our society who take care of their kids while simultaneously managing their professional lives.
Raymond’s #SalutingSingleMothers ad campaign
The Raymond ad film opens with a mother and son sharing a leisurely moment in their living room. The protagonist is reading a newspaper while her son is carefully trying to distract her and places his present hidden behind a cushion next to her. She unwraps the gift and there lies a mug that reads—World’s best dad.
Raj Kamble, Founder and COO, Famous Innovations, said, “This is a scenario of ‘today’ and only a brand like Raymond can be true to bringing this alive in a contextual and progressive manner to the audience, recognising the rejoicing role of a single mother. We along with the Raymond team wanted to create something that evokes the right emotions and touches the human angle.”
Explaining the relevance of the tagline ‘Complete Man’ with the concept of the ad film, Kamble said, “‘Complete Man’ is just an idea and it is not necessary that it has to be a ‘man’. Rather, a ‘Complete Man’ could be any individual.”
Madhu S Dutta, Head Marketing, Raymond Lifestyle, said, “This Father’s Day, the Complete Man salutes every single mother. The film captures the honest emotion and understanding of our world through the lens of a little boy. An embodiment of love, our little protagonist realises his mother’s contribution in shaping his life and playing the role of both his parents. And he makes sure he communicates his love to his mom in his own innocuous way.”
Dutta added, “Raymond - the Complete Man is a soul, an epitome of humane essence. This beautiful soul transforms …to a father, a brother, a sister or a friend; the possibilities are endless. This soul is the strength of the brand”. #SalutingSingleMothers.”
Kamble feels a key part of the strategy for brand Raymond is the definition of the Complete Man. He said, “We have always maintained that the Complete Man is not just the perfect man, but more like an ideal or value. Using this yardstick we have been exploring different roles, forms and expressions that the Complete Man can own. Single mom is one such expression and we all know that a mother's job is no less than that of a father, possibly more. That's why we felt Father's Day is the perfect context for brand Raymond to celebrate single moms."
Talking about challenges, Kamble said, "It's a web film, so we didn't have a very big budget but Raymond does have a standard of quality in their films which we didn't want to compromise. It has six lakh hits in one day so I'm not complaining."
The Raymond ad is trending on Twitter and has been getting a rave response on all the social media platforms. Some are appreciating the brand for breaking the stereotype, while the others feel that a day should have been spared for men, with no women in picture.
LG India Father’s Day digital campaign
The ad seemingly looks like a Father’s Day video but is actually directed towards the powerful community of single mothers. It starts with kids of varied age group talking about their aspirations, likes and how their dads contribute in their everyday life. The first kid talks about how he supports his dad spending some quality time with friends, while another kid discusses how his dad’s leg-shaving skills came in handy for his first shaving lesson. This odd conversation about dads is funny, weird and keeps the audience glued. What truly hits is the end, when these little ones disclose that their actual dads are their single mothers. The mountain who protects and keeps everything together are their single working mothers, who is every bit a woman, not afraid to take the world by storm.
Amit Gujral, Marketing Head, LG Mobiles, LG India, said, “Our brief was to create a clutter-breaking piece of communication that has a strong message and is not clichéd. LG wanted to tap into the opportunity to further position and promote its newly launched G5 range of advanced modular mobile phones.”
Vivekananda Rao, Manager, Digital Planning, HS Ad India, said, “We had to have an idea that was different at two levels. One- It had to be beyond just happy Father’s Day and two- It had to have a treatment that touched the right emotional chord without being too sentimental and weepy. We concluded to target single moms, based on insights gathered where we asked the role of their fathers in shaping their lives. However, the most telling stories came from those who were brought up by single mothers. Her challenges touched us and we decided that we can reach out to the larger audience by addressing this small but important community.”
Rao added, “Thankfully the client was not rigid on the treatment and was open to a creative treatment provided the messaging was strong and had the potential to touch hearts. Going viral would be a result of the same. So we decided to have a light treatment to the ad and end each of the opening frame with an intriguing statement like ‘My dad wears heels’ or ‘My dad goes shopping with the girls’, etc. Here we even had the client spellbound. Once the plot opened, the client loved the idea and the rest is history.”
Gujral further said, “The production house (Auto Edit Productions) has captured the video essence perfectly both in terms of casting and direction. From the brand’s communication point of view, special days are all about standing up and thanking or expressing love for that special someone like say your mother, father, friend, etc., to whom we usually do not communicate our love. As a brand, we saw Father’s Day as a wonderful opportunity to create a communication that epitomises the brand’s positioning as well as reaches out to the larger audience with a strong emotional message addressed to a few but strong group of people – the single mothers. It was important to address this community because many times life for a single mother can be unforgiving at different levels, a little acknowledgement of her efforts and achievements could go a long way.”
The LG digital campaign will be purely promoted on the digital front as Gujral considers digital as the way forward and the leading platform for content consumption today, largely for its capability to be shared and referred to repeatedly.
The LG ad gained almost 600 organic views in less than 24 hours of its release. But numbers aside, Gujral said, “We’ve managed to hit the right chord with the larger audience as evident in most of the comments. People love the treatment for its happy tonality and yet serious messaging.”
What do the creative people think?
The ads focus on mothers and celebrate single motherhood. BestMediaInfo got in touch with the women creative fraternity to know their perspective on the ads.
Anupama Ramaswamy, Executive Creative Director, Dentsu Creative Impact, said, “Both the ads are nice in their own way. I personally like Raymonds a bit more. It is subtle and comes to the point quick.”
Applauding the work done by the two brands, Ramaswamy said, “It’s quite refreshing to see a new perspective. When the social media is full of brands talking to dads, this definitely makes the cut and gets noticed. It depicts the new India. The India not shy to open up. Not afraid of challenges that single parenting brings. And most definitely not shy to speak about them to the kids.”
Ramaswamy emphasised the fact of not being gender biased, “She is not a mom or a dad. The word is ‘parent’. I am not talking about any kind of gender bias or as a feminist. It holds true for a man too. When a man becomes a single parent, does he need to prove himself as a mom? Single parents are much more. And we as advertising professionals need to move above this too.”
Pallavi Chakravarti, ECD, Taproot Dentsu, said, "Celebrating single mothers on Father’s Day is an interesting idea. Both the Raymond and LG ads did it quite well. The responsibility shouldered by single moms deserves recognition, and Father’s Day is a good occasion to do this. But it’s equally important to celebrate fathers and their influence on a child’s life. After all, single dads have to double up as moms too. I feel parenthood isn’t about gender; it is about unconditional love and a sense of responsibility. And these things do come from both parents. Between the two ads, I think this message coming from a brand like Raymond is more relevant, simply because it’s a brand for men.”
Plaksha Prakash, Copy Partner, Infectious, said, “I think the message is not incorrect but very complicated. I have never seen a single dad’s campaigns on Mother’s Day. By such ads, you are kind of underplaying the role of a father. These ads talk about single mothers. How do you define a single mother? What does a single mother do that makes her more of a dad than a mother? I just want to know from where the thought comes. You cannot make everything about women because at the end of the day this is Father’s Day. Over here in the ads also, these women are just being mothers. Be it single or not, mothers are going to take care of their children in whatever capacity they can. I would have loved a campaign more if it was done on single dads on this day. This hypocrisy just makes me wonder at times on the issue.”
On the contrary, Divya Radhakrishnan, MD, Helios Media, feels that the ads are beautifully executed and subtle and said, “There should be no debate on the fact that the ads are focused on single moms or fathers on the occasion of Father’s Day. The ads represent the way the society is changing. The only thing I should point out that, there should not be any demarcation between a father or a mother’s role in bringing up a child.”
She added, “The ads are fairly breaking away from the stereotypes. Just celebrating fatherhood on the occasion would have been a blind spot. By making ads focussing on mothers, the brands have tried to break-through the communication.”
BestMediaInfo also spoke to a few men from the creative industry to share their viewpoints.
Mustafa Kapasi, Senior Creative Director, Scarecrow Communications, said, "Unconventional approach to a conventional brief. Raymond was bold enough to add subtlety while LG relied on the time-tested shock value."
About the idea of the ad films, Kapasi feels anything that breaks the clutter meaningfully is worth the effort. He said, “Though I saw a lot of trolling on the Raymond ad, I personally it in good taste. Both these ads were not for mothers, it was about mothers who take on the role of fathers, in others words, it was a Father’s Day ad in true sense."
Ads on same-sex relationships, dark bride, second marriage, daughters buying car for dads are a sign that the netizens have accepted and applauded the change in societal norms. And it’s high time that the rest of the nation does too, added Kapasi.
Ananda Ray, Creative Head, Rediffusion Y&R, Chennai, commented, “Many women have told me that they feel commoditised and objectified by advertising that appears to be jumping onto the bandwagon to ‘emancipate or empower women’. That doesn’t mean all ads elicit this response, nor all women feel this way. Still, it may be worth keeping in mind.”
There is another aspect about these ads that Ray find genuinely distasteful. He said, “I lost my mother long ago and my dad brought me up. He never replaced my mom, who I loved dearly nor did he intend to. He simply attempted to be a great dad to me, and I loved him for that. There was never a competition.”
Ray also pointed out, if one had to create an ad on single parents then why not celebrate single dads on Father’s Day? He said, “I am curious to discover how these brands follow up these ads on Mother’s Day? With an ad featuring dads? If yes, then it would perhaps feel obligatory. Perhaps these ads were well-intentioned. But it could equally be all about members of an advertising team patting each other on the back upon coming up with a ‘unique twist’, which may be sentimental, but not respect where it's due.”
Rajesh Ramaswamy, Executive Director, Lowe Lintas, said positively, “The ads are a reflection of the changing role of women. But having said that, had this ad come out in the ’80s or the ’90s, I think it would have been relevant even then. I think it’s more a reflection of how communication has progressed with better and refreshing content.”
The Raymond ad film
Credit list for the LG ad
Company: LG India
Agency: HS Ads
Production House: Autoedit Productions
Director: Puneet Khanna
Creative Planning Manager: Vivekananda Rao
Credit list for the Raymond ad
Company: Raymond Lifestyle
Agency: Famous Innovation