Not a childs play!

Written by Malabika Sarkar | Malabika Sarkar | Updated: Sep 22 2009, 07:51am hrs
What was the core message of Taare Zameen Par That there is a potential super-duper achiever in every child. Thats also the moot point of Aegon Religares latest brand communication for their Star Child Plans that comes with the tag line Kum Insurance lene ki bimari.

The television commercial opens with a cuddly baby tossing around a football and making a few cool moves with it. There is an energetic score belting in the background. The mood climaxes with a voice overif you want to make a footballer out of your child, invest in Religares Star Child Plans!

Sounds too pat The execution, ask the creative team from Contract Advertising was infinitely more complex.

We wanted an educational campaign. Its our way of empowering a parent, jibes Raghu Bhat, executive creative director, Contract Advertising. The TVC burst started on September 1 and would run for another two months. From the word go, the plan was to feature frisky babies in a never-seen-before manner. The team also wanted to attempt a technically- challenging ad, so they jettisoned the idea of featuring a mature child. Babies were more appealing for their spontaneity and lack of camera consciousness.

The ones we had in mind had to do innovative acts to create continuous engagement. Eventually, we did manage to capture many interesting actions, recalls Bhat. The team was especially cautious of retaining a certain element of babyishness in the shoot so that the actions would not come across as too adult. This would have struck a false note. We countered that possibility at the editing table with the use of nave facial expressions and wobbly movements, explains Bhat.

Experts from six countries including France, China and Singapore put their heads together in working over the campaign. Real babies were photographed in total detail and on the basis of that grayscale babies were created. A few were animated to replicate complex actions.

Since babies cant be too certain and definitive in their moments, these actions were imbued with a certain babyishness, explains Bhat. Finally, the skin tone and expressions were grafted to complete the picture in an effort that took a full three-and-a-half months to fully execute!

Initially, the plan was to cast Irrfan Khan as a parent, but good sense prevailed and the present route appeared more clutter-cutting and memorable. The ad also has the potential to go viral. The media mix includes television, print, digital, radio and outdoor. The digital campaign will be used on Facebook and Twitter and a specially created microsite. The film has been shot by Shiven Surendranath of Old School Films and is animated by VHQ, Singapore.