Saturday, 30 June 2012

100 Years of Journey

Apart from unrestrained access to great music, one of the joys of working with a music label is to track brand movements from one agency to another. If this seems unrelated to what music labels typically do, I suggest you to check out my earlier 4 part series, “What’s behind the weaving of a film song in the storyboard of an advertisement?
Circa 2009, Samsonite was about to complete 100 years of the brand, and I was in touch with the creative agency which was handling the Samsonite account to pitch the songs and sounds from our catalogue that signified and conjured the images of a journey. The idea was to utilize these in ads commemorating the centennial celebrations of the brand and to release a limited edition Samsonite branded compilation, which the brand could distribute to its trade and consumers.
We also suggested our colleagues at Home Video division to pitch movie titles to the brand owner/agency in which brand Samsonite was visible (as in-film placement) or titles which had an element of journey such as “The Terminal”. The idea was to create a package of Home Video Titles with Samsonite branding on the cover, for distribution to its trade and consumers by the brand.
As I write this post, I don’t recall how the brand engaged with the medium of radio for its centennial celebrations in India, but in hindsight, I feel that it was an apt opportunity to create an interesting property on radio to engage the listeners with brand Samsonite in a manner which did not sound like an advertisement!
Questions based on the scenes from the prominent bolly (for example, SRK starrer “My Name is Khan” had an in-film placement of Samsonite) and holly films where Samsonite has been used, questions about the evolution of luggage or jingles from the earlier commercials of the brand, would have made an engaging contest property for the duration of the campaign. This did not entail any production costs, but only the cost of media and contest gratifications, when radio jockey read the live copy each time they posed a new question about the brand, on their segment.
Questions based on the facts and figures that established the brand legacy and attributes, like, “Identify this famous 2004 movie, a love story between xyz and abc, which also starred a Samsonite.” or, “Samsonite was known by what name when it was first launched in 1910?” or, “Out of the three, which one can Samsonite case withstand: a direct impact from an ant, a tortoise or a truck?”
Luggage is intrinsic to life milestones and there are innumerable stories associated with our luggage. Think about it, it’s not a luggage or carry case or travel gear…it is what I call A LIFE GEAR. If given a chance and a prop, everyone has a story to narrate. I have a story about my luggage I carried when I went to the hostel for the first time, someone would have a story around luggage when shifting house for the first time, a woman would have a story around it when she would have moved in to her in-laws house for the first time, a student would have a story about things they carry in their backpack…, prompting listeners to narrate such life stories and associated memories, sticks like a Velcro in the mind!
Check out Samsonite100…would have loved to hear such stories on-air during a relaxing drive back home!

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