Remember the good old pre-Covid days when cinema culture was booming? Crowds would flock to theatres to catch the next big flick and brands would follow closely, playing their ads in between the trailers. Yet, I could not help thinking how unimaginative it was for brands to just play their normal made-for-TV ads to a captive cinema audience, rather than take the opportunity to do something more creative, memorable and tailor-made.
Luckily, we (the agency) got our chance to create a cinema-based communication when a well-known throat lozenge brand approached us. Instead of running their regular ad prior to the movie, we proposed recreating iconic movie scenes (famous monologues in particular) and having the actors cough and wheeze before they could finish their speeches. (Imagine Braveheart in all his glory saying “they can take our lives… but they can never take… our…” cough cough hack wheeze. Or the Joker asking “Why… so…” cough cough hack wheeze.) And immediately someone in the scene would offer them a lozenge to clear their sore throats. The snippet would close with the line: ‘Don’t let a sore throat spoil your scene’. We even recorded a dummy audio to give the client a feel of how hilarious it would be. The idea was truly boundless and linked seamlessly to cinema. It was a winner, a trail-blazer that would have probably changed the way all brands approached cinema-based communication.
Sadly, like an underrated script, the idea was passed over by the brand team. If I’m not mistaken, they later said they didn’t even have the budget to go on cinema, which defeated the purpose of the exercise. Post rejection, we tried to take the idea to the brand’s global team, however, the local team didn’t support us (probably because it would have made them look stupid for passing it up). So we let it go. That’s a wrap!
Taimur Tajik is Creative Head, Interwood.