Iconic Ads: Ericsson – One Black Coffee Please

Both the Pandey brothers co-wrote the script of a film focusing on the small size of Ericsson phones.

The mid-90s were the early days for mobile telephony in India. Everybody who was somebody was trying to get a piece of the pie. Ericsson was one of them, and Nexus Equity was their creative partner.

And all brands had similar positioning & the same language. 

Rajiv Agarwal, CEO of Nexus Equity, called filmmaker Prasoon Pandey (then a part of Mahesh Mathai’s Highlight Films), was holidaying in Jaipur and entrusted him with the films.

The brief was for 3 films, each highlighting a separate feature – the toughest phone, single-hand operation and small size. Prasoon Pandey thought these may not be the best way to differentiate. He rejected all the scripts (one of those rare instances where the filmmaker rejected scripts).

Prasoon had to come up with an alternative and fast. He spoke to his brother Piyush who was in Jaipur too.

Beer does wonderful things sometimes. Over chilled lager at their favourite Narayan Niwas, both the brothers co-wrote the script of a film focusing on the small size or ‘surprisingly small’ as the film put it. The other phones then were huge, nearly fit the whole palm and weighed a lot.

Prasoon made the film in Mukesh Mills, Mumbai. He was responsible for the fantastic casting of Kavita Kapoor and Kamal Chopra. The music was by Louis Banks. The cameraman was Barun Mukherjee (famous for many of the Lux films).

Rajeev Agarwal & the team presented the film to the client. The Indian client initially did not appreciate it and almost rejected it. But a representative from the Ericsson global headquarters, who was in India, saw the film, loved it & got it approved.

The rest is history.

The film won awards globally. It won a Silver Lion at Cannes – the 1st in India. The same film idea was recreated in approximately 25 countries, customized to local preferences.

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