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Asian Paints gives birth to professionals at its Colour Academy

Conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather, the digital ad film shows how by learning the skill of art at the Asian Paints Colour Academy, unskilled workers can turn into experts and change their lives

Asian Paints gives birth to professionals at its Colour Academy

Conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather, the digital ad film shows how by learning the skill of art at the Asian Paints Colour Academy, unskilled workers can turn into experts and change their lives

Akansha Mihir Mota | Mumbai| July 18, 2016

Asian-Paints Click on the image to watch the digital ad film.

Asian Paints has come up with a digital ad film to make people aware of its Asian Paints Colour Academy and how it has changed people’s lives. The ad with an emotional touch has been conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather and produced by Filmicians.

Team Ogilvy & Mather, said, “The brief was to define brand Colour Academy, which is the educational arm of Asian Paints that promises to transform unskilled labour into professional experts.”

The five-minute 43-second film narrates the story of a girl, Saroj, who leads the ‘first all-woman applicator team of designer finishes’ and how the Asian Paints Colour Academy changed their lives completely.

Team Ogilvy & Mather added, “Saroj's story ‘Dignity’ is inspiring because she speaks on behalf of all those hard-working women who haven't got their due for the contributions they make. The skill leads to respect and recognition which brings alive the central thought, ‘Naam Hoga Toh Kaam Hoga.’”

‘Naam Hoga Toh Kaam Hoga’ is the first recruitment campaign that started 18 months ago. On-ground, radio and print were lead mediums when it started. To recruit participants from small towns and villages, this video was developed to inspire them and played at 'labour mandis'. The academy has trained more than 25,000 individuals to date.

Until the first half, no one could get to know the ad is for which brand, until one sees the logo placed below. When asked about the brand’s integration with the ad film, team Ogilvy & Mather said, “The effort has been to tell a real story in such an engaging manner that people stick to the end of the film. Branding is situational but impactful as it is not forced at all.”


The production work

The background score and the anthem music are both by Rohit Sharma, known for his work in 'Ship of Theseus' and 'Buddha In A Traffic Jam'.

Recollecting the shooting days, Team Ogilvy & Mather, said, “The film has been shot in Mumbai in real locations. Casting process went on for over two weeks, and perhaps was the most time consuming part of the project, as we wanted believable characters as it is a true story.”

The marketing strategy

The marketing strategy is mainly focussed on promoting the film through on-ground activation so that it reaches and inspires unskilled workers across India and that is the reason why Colour Academy is present in remote places like Gorakhpur.

The Ogilvy Team said, “Apart from on-ground activation, we have promoted it on social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, to connect to more people so that they can nominate more such spirited individuals to come forward and take change their lives.”

The film’s success can be gauged by the three lakh views it received on YouTube.

Saroj was a simple girl with a humble background who used to work as a beautician and contributed to the family’s livelihood. Her life changed when Ram Milan Gupta, a civil contractor, introduced her to the Asian Paints Colour Academy. Saroj gathered a few more girls from her locality to be trained at the academy with much difficulties and challenges. In the academy, they learnt art from experts in the industry. The actual challenge was when Saroj’s team has to carry out the project with their first client. They not only managed but created work to impress hundreds of customers.

Creative fraternity speaks

Anoushka Adya Anoushka Adya

Anoushka Adya, Founder and Partner, Di-Mentions Studios, appreciates the efforts put in by the company to show an ad focused on women empowerment. She said, "The concept of empowering women, especially those who do not have the cushion of education degrees, is a powerful one. The niche here is large, because we see a huge number of women who do jobs that are laborious in nature but not well-paying. What they put across beautifully is that yet another conventionally done-by-men job is as ably handled by women.”

She added, “I think they could have avoided depicting the job of a beautician as any less rewarding than a trained painter's because women all over India hire the services of hardworking female beauticians who set up parlours in our neighbourhoods and even make trips to our homes, helping us look the best."

Adding to Adya’s views, Yash Rege, Associate Creative Director, BBDO India, said, “Every brand is doing more than just sell itself. It is creating an emotional connection with its consumers. Some do it well, some not so much. This one definitely did well. The film brings out a new idea that women can be professional painters, traditionally a man’s job, in a very real way. And that Asian Paints is enabling them to do so. It immediately becomes inspirational and viral because we can all think of someone who we can point towards the Asian Paints academy.”

Anusree Menon Anusree Menon

Anusree Menon, Director Outreach, DigitasLBi, is in total awe of the film, she said, “This film is an ode to spirited women whose passion lies in the work that they do. The film started out at a slow pace; however it picked up well and got me hooked right till the end. The brand has brought forth their message in a simple, direct ad film which felt like a five-minute mini-movie. By the end of the film, I was intrigued and wanted to know if the story was inspired by a real life Saroj. The creators anticipated this and introduced us to the real and reel characters simultaneously. The Asian Paints ads have always connected with the audience and this is not an exception. Unlike the other ads that only talk about commercial paints, I was happy to know about their other initiatives. The film made me happy. The simplicity of direct story-telling aided by strong audio-visual clues is a big winner.”

Akashneel Dasgupta Akashneel Dasgupta

Further appreciating, Akashneel Dasgupta, Executive Creative Director, Dentsu Creative Impact, said, “Prima facie, I think this ad portrays Asian Paints as a brand with a purpose beyond just selling paint, which itself is a great thing for any brand. Though it might be for a particular service offered by the same brand, it would leave a positive impact on anyone who watches it for the overall brand. Asian Paints being the leader is best placed to look and sound inclusive, which it does in this piece of communication.”

But Dasgupta pointed out, “Brand integration is perfect but wish people do not skip after the second minute when things start getting predictable. The opening is very strong, insightful and well written. Execution is certainly above average, connects well in the first few set-ups but slackens as we get to know what’s in store later. Overall it begins beautifully; wish the end was slightly crisper and less obvious.”

Is the film a little bit stretched?

The film is five minutes and 43 seconds long and because of the story angle and execution, it somehow manages to keep the viewers’ attention until the end. Although as the film develops, what was coming started becoming a little too obvious, this became a hindrance in keeping the viewers glued to the screen.

Varun Duggirala, Co-Founder, The Glitch, finds the film lovely and beautiful, but said, “The narrative could have been less linear and maybe shorter, would have proved to be more engaging as a film. It feels overtly stretched and could have started in a more interesting manner to garner interest from a digital audience.”

To this Ogilvy & Mather team said, “The story decides the length of the film. These are basic principles of storytelling. Impact has direct correlation with how effortless are the performances, how seamless in the music and how honest is the intent. It has got nothing to do with duration. We have more stories coming up from Colour Academy and each one of them will be of a different duration as it is not in our hands.”

On the contrary, Adya thinks that the length of the video is not an issue at all. She said, “It’s not about the duration of the film because the short film and webisode kind of a format has really picked up online and if the connect is strong, it shouldn't be a deterring factor in the video being shared across social networks.”

Rege also added, “Stories should be stories. When they are rushed, they become ads. People ignore ads. But even today, especially on social/ digital media, they seek out a good story. This is one such story. Kudos to the client and agency team for doing justice to a good story with the long format!

The digital ad film:



Client: Asian Paints

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Production House: Filmicians

Director: Rahul Dadda

Creative Team: Creative Director: Anshu Sharma

Associate Creative Director: Sushil Chintak

Creative Supervisor: Prashant Pradhan

Writers: Anshu Sharma and Prashant Pradhan

 Art Team: Sushil Chintak and Prasad Gurav

Servicing Team: Executive Vice President: VR Rajesh

Group Account Manager: Shloka Shetty

Account Executive: Jinay Desai

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