First Valentine? Sure. But, why Borosil?

I’m most definitely a fan of Borosil’s products.

Here’s proof:

But, I’m adequately baffled by their new film for Valentine’s Day 2019.

Here’s the film.

It’s a nice enough film; functional and to the point. But, why Borosil? ‘Because they can’, is hardly an answer. So, let me try to argue with myself in a couple of ways.

Should they not stand for this theme? Not at all – they can. It’s a free country. Any brand/anyone can talk about this theme. It’s topical and the angle (first Valentine’s Day since the decriminalisation of Section 377) is a genuine ‘first’.

It’s almost like the agency came with this ‘first to…’ idea, pitched it to a few clients and Borosil agreed to bankroll it first.

But, what is in Borosil that makes this theme relevant and contextual? If you remove the Borosil mention and have Ambuja Cement instead… would it work? Or, Amrutanjan. Or, Kailas Jeevan. You get the idea.

Any brand can tell this story, but they need something contextual – from their past communications, or a product connect, to make it seem relevant. As against it seeming like ‘they are just jumping into the bandwagon’.

Is jumping into the bandwagon wrong? Not at all. Hey, Borosil’s money – they can do what they want.

But, when they did the ‘Thirst For Gold’ campaign last year, Borosil was the official ‘hydration partner’ for national athletes representing India at Olympic events (meaning, Borosil provided the Indian athletes and officials with their hydra range of bottles).

And when they did a video for Independence Day in 2017, they literally used their products to produce our national anthem!

Or take the video for Women’s Day, 2018. The context was the little boy making breakfast for his sister, who was enacting the role of a working woman (for fun). The boy was using Borosil products to produce something that the products are intrinsically associated with.

But, in the First Valentine video, I do not get a Borosil connect beyond mere product shots.

The other way to look at this effort – what about other brands that have approached this theme? The most famous one that I can remember was Myntra’s Anouk. If you don’t recall that film, watch it here.

So, let’s apply the same question that I posed Borosil, to Myntra. What is in Myntra that made it relevant to speak that theme, beyond a few product shots?

One, it wasn’t for Myntra, but for a new range called Anouk. Now, Anouk’s positioning was ‘Bold is Beautiful’! The video was bold in its theme.

And two, it wasn’t just that video. It was part of a series of 3 videos that espoused the ‘Bold is Beautiful’ theme. Here are the other 2 videos.

Single parenting:

The wait:

Any other brand? Oh sure. There’s Fastrack. This video, helpfully called ‘The Closet’:

Fastrack is known for edgy communication and has a long history of adopting bold themes. This was just part of the larger trend they had adopted.

With Borosil, there’s neither a brand connect, or a positioning connect, or even a history of talking about bold. edgy themes, leave alone LGBTQ themes in their communication.

So, final argument – why can’t this be the point where Borosil is starting to stand for LGBTQ rights, or talking about bold themes that enhance the society’s views? Yes, they can. And this is one logic I cannot argue with because I’d need to wait for their subsequent communications before offering a counter-argument 🙂

Related: 9 observations on Closeup’s new, bold #FreeToLove campaign

On a larger note, 3 brands (including the one above, by Borosil) and a non-branded film made bold moves this Valentine’s Day. Here are the other 3 (besides the Borosil film you have already seen).

Uber India:

Really creative use of print media. In a way, Uber has made newspaper ad interactive! And the best part is Uber has a history of communications on this topic, so this doesn’t seem like a one-off either! (Pic courtesy: Twitter)

Netflix India:

“Intezaar”, by Keshav Suri Foundation & It Gets Better India

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