Indian Navy beckons the youth, maybe with more heart than might: Experts

The Indian Navy has launched a multimedia campaign aimed at attracting the best talent to join the Navy. The campaign, conceptualised and executed by Carat Communications, comprises two 60-second TVCs, seven follow-up 30-second TVCs, OOH, radio and digital. The campaign takes forward the ‘Ocean of opportunities’ theme of the previous Navy campaign, also created by Carat Communications.

The latest campaign talks about working with the Navy, which constantly offers more on every parameter and thereby influencing career choices amongst young men and women of today.

The objective

With a gamut of career choices now opening up for the Indian youth in the private sector, the defence services have a difficult task in attracting the best talent to become officers. The objective, therefore, was to present the Navy as a career option that offers something extra – the privileges of working with cutting-edge defence technology, the satisfaction of serving the nation, the pride of being a naval officer.

The agency brief was to project the Navy as a modern technological force in the forefront of extending Indian influence across the oceans, offering fulfilling careers at sea, on land and in the air.

The most credible ambassador for the Indian Navy to talk to the youth is the naval officer. Therefore, they are the faces of the campaign. They voice their reasons for joining the Navy, the fulfilment of their expectations, their security for their future.

The films

The two 60-seconders show Navy officers preparing for duty, donning their uniforms. Their voiceovers describe their motivation to join the Navy, the role they play in the country’s defence and the tangibles and intangibles they get in return. Intercut with their preparations are shots of the Navy in all its aspects and in all its glory that sync with what the voiceovers are describing. The films end with the naval officers exhorting the youth to follow in their footsteps. “The Navy gives you more,” is their message.

The seven 30-seconders talk about the different values the Navy imparts to its officers. These values are once again fronted and voiced by officers. Each film takes a single letter that unites these values, for example, Ability, Action, Authority; Confidence, Courage, Career; Desire, Duty, Destiny, etc. Again, the sign-off is “The Navy gives you more.”

Watch the films:

Commenting on the campaign, R Ravi Shankar, National Head, Carat Communications, said, “It was an absolute privilege to work on a campaign of this size and scale for the Indian Navy. The campaign is essentially about how the Navy scores favourably on every parameter that the youth of today seek in their career of choice. We used our proprietary research tools to zero in on these parameters and discussed them at length with senior officers in the Navy before translating them into creative. The result is a 360 degree campaign that not only builds on our already established ‘An ocean of opportunities’ theme, but also projects facts about a career in the Navy, which make it such an attractive and unique option.”

“We decided to keep it simple and show the Navy for what it is, and the officers for who they are. Let them speak for themselves. Our objective was simple – “rongte khade hone chahiye” (Give one goosebumps). When youngsters consider the armed forces, we want the Navy to be first on their list,” added Kaevan Umrigar, Creative Head, Carat Communications.

“We lived on an aircraft carrier like a sailor to shoot mid-seas action. We shot inside warships, submarines, and fighter aircrafts. There are no rehearsals when you are shooting warships in action. The film-making challenge was to produce Hollywood-style war film images while shooting in a documentary mode,” said Zahir Mirza, Producer and Director, Labradog Films.

Peer comments

Bodhisatwa Dasgupta, Senior Creative Director at JWT India, felt that the campaign looked exactly like an AV or a pictorial presentation. He added, “This basically just talks about how joining the Indian Navy would help you prepare for battle and lot of that and go underwater and this & that. So for me it sounds almost exactly like the client has dictated what the film should be and I understand as a Government sort of account there are restrictions, I mean most government accounts do tell you exactly what is to be done; but there are ways to go about it in such a way that you strike a perfect balance between what the client wants and what the client should have.”

Continuing further Dasgupta said, “Just by telling the youth that there is more to life and we give you more, you are not really saying that what more it is that you are giving. The youth is attracted to wealth, the youth is attracted to the fast life and the perks. The campaign doesn’t talk about this. It sounds and looks exactly like an AV and I’m not sure if it is going to do anything for the Indian Navy as well in terms of recruiting people.”

Yogesh Rijhwani, Creative Director, Scarecrow Communications, too, felt that the campaign could have been better. He said, “The attempt to evoke a sense of patriotism seemed quite forced, but for the sake of the cause, I do hope it inspires our youth.”

When asked if he were to make this ad, what his approach would be, Dasgupta replied, “I would approach it in a slightly more warmer way. Right now the commercial is quite cold. In a sense that it is very product-oriented. I would approach it more in terms of human life and what the Indian Navy can do for you. Right now the commercial is more like what you can do for the Indian Navy, what you can do inside the Indian Navy. So I would actually swing it around and say what the Indian Navy could do for you. And that’s a more personal story.”

On the other hand, Rijhwani said that he would have chosen a more emotional story centered on one protagonist. “Alternately, the current format could have gone several notches higher if it was written with more heart and voiced by someone with stature, say Naseeruddin Shah,” he remarked.

Campaign credits:
Client: Indian Navy 
Creative agency: Carat Communications
Creative Head: Kaevan Umrigar
Creative team: Kaevan Umrigar, Ganesh Naik
Account Management Team: Vineet Neb, Deeshant Bhandarkar
Director (of the film): Zahir Mirza
Producer: Zahir Mirza
Production House: Labradog Films
DOP: Rakesh Haridas


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