Nataraj better than kuchchi pencil through 2D animation: O&M

New Delhi: Using 2D animation technique to depict the strength of Nataraj pencils over its counterparts, O&M Mumbai has recently released new television commercials for its client Hindustan Pencils.

The commercials, to be aired in different languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and others, use humour and engaging storyline to showcase Nataraj’s superior quality.


On the brief from the client, O&M senior creative director Sumanto Chattopadhyay says, “There are lots of slightly cheaper pencils in the market that are of inferior quality and break easily. The brief was to show that Nataraj is of superior quality, so it does not break easily. It was to be communicated in a manner that appealed both to the rational thinking of parents, the buyers, as well as to the emotions of children, the users.”

Chattopadhyay worked with associate creative director Zenobia Pithawalla and senior art director Goral Ajmera on the campaign. While television is a key element of the media mix, the agency has plans of using other mediums as well.

The animated TV spots feature a kuchchi pencil as an over-smart type of character that is a bit of a show-off. He comes in with a flourish but goes out looking not-so-good. In one of the spots, he starts writing a sentence: “Meri Mummy hai ek bahut badi gaay...” At this point the kuchchi pencil point breaks.

“So it seems like it has written a sentence which means “My mother is a cow.” Now the Nataraj pencil, which is the pukki pencil, makes its entry in a confident manner and completes the sentence as it was meant to be by adding “ika” to “gaay”. So the sentence reads, “Meri Mummy hai ek bahut badi gaayika.” The kuchchi pencil is totally deflated. The Nataraj pencil comes out the winner. You end with the Nataraj pack shot and a super that says 'Pukki Pencil',” explains Chattopadhyay.

As the campaign has been worked out in different languages, the creative team worked out different lines, written during the spots. “The whole idea is Nataraj versus other pencils. There might be some variations when you consider there are different languages and there are two-three different executions. It wont be correct to share more information at this moment,” said Chattopadhyay.

Considering the brand has been on air over the years before it disappeared for a while, the creative professional felt the main challenge was to sustain the legacy normally associated with the brand.

“Nataraj pencils have a wonderful heritage. We have all used them over the years and I, for one, have fond associations with the brand. Working on new advertising for the brand meant keeping that great heritage in mind and simply updating it - giving it a contemporary spin,” he said.

On the decision to prefer animation over live-action, Chattopadhyay said, “Our scripts called for animation. And since children are part of the target audience, we felt it would add the fun element that would appeal to them. We all felt that working on a category like this allows one to think in a childlike manner. And to be creative in any sphere you have to, in any case, tap into the child inside. So, all in all, it was a highly satisfying experience.”

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