Iconic Ads: Asian Paints – Pongal Celebrations

Every festival has a unique reason to celebrate. It is also seen as an opportunity to refresh, bring in the new & brings people together.

Every festival has a unique reason to celebrate. There is a religious element, but it is also seen as an opportunity to refresh, bring in the new, spend time with relatives, friends etc. It brings people together.

Asian Paints does so regularly. Among Tamilians, Pongal is an important festival. Asian Paints wanted to leverage this to get people to give their homes a fresh coat of paint.

The film followed the Ogilvy playbook of basing advertising on life experiences. The story is of a person not telling his family that he is, then surprising them and thereby delighting them.

This was very Indian in orientation, taking into consideration emotions, aesthetics and the milieu. It was classy, showed the culture, respect for tradition, all in a family setting. There was a certain enthusiasm to bring in the festival – all in an emotional manner. The son coming home in time for the puja to the delight of his mother.

Rajiv Menon directed this commercial. Sonal Dabral was driving the execution.

After a day’s shoot, in the evening, Rajiv took Sonal to meet a young and upcoming music composer – Dileep Kumar, at his house in Chennai to brief him about the commercial. At midnight, they went back to Dileep’s studio, to hear the score he had worked on in the last few hours. They were blown away. It took a very good film to a wonderful emotional experience after the soundtrack.

For those who don’t know Dileep Kumar is now known as A R Rahman. For the record, this TVC was shot in the early 90s.

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