Well, we’ll be the first to admit that we’ve not done too many Television ads, and that’s for a reason- we’re too damn fussy! We don’t like doing run-of-the-mill ads. We also find educational institutions and hospitals that advertise their facilities pretty damn tacky. And then came Spectrum Life School- wanting an ad, for an educational institution. But it was going to be something unusual and creatively challenging. Were we going to say “Yes”? Of course!
School Of Life
A typical school-life in India consists of-
- Mugging-up a LOT of stuff that’d never-again be used
- Never-ending homework that continues into the class
- Trying to dodge the teachers cane
And other such “fun” activities. Ah! Good times! But Spectrum Life is bent on doing away with all this! How on earth is it even a school without all this? Exactly what we wondered. It seems they’re trying to create an atmosphere where kids learn, explore and learn more- all on their own! This knowledge will stay with them for life; and help them all the way!
A Road Trip…
Spectrum Life School is located in the quaint little district of Namakkal. We wanted to see the school at work and understand the philosophy: up-close-and-personal. We decided to go. We didn’t know we were about to fall in love!! The school itself is located hugging a hill. And houses a farm within. Farm! Yeah! The school was spread out through a vast expanse of land, giving the kids a sense of space and freedom. Infrastructure was tops. And so was the food! We got a taste of the delicious balanced diet that was served at the school. And studied the kids for a day, seeing the learning process first-hand. By the end of it we were sure of one thing- we wanted to create something wonderful for the school.
All Set To Start
Okay great! So now that we knew the philosophy, it was time to actually get started.
The Tough Stuff: It had to appeal to the intellect of the adults and the fun side of kids
It had to attract other with its sounds and visuals.
The language had to be simple, because it had to reach a diversely educated target group.
It had to have something exceptionally intelligent about it.
The Good Stuff: The client specifically said, nay insisted, that we don’t speak about the school infrastructure, or indulge in any other garish marketing stunts we normally see on local channels.
We had complete freedom on the concept.
Life, Learning And Living…
Concept, yeah, well…that was not easy to come by. We ideated, and trashed, ideated and trashed…repeated the same in loops till we crashed.
Finally, an honest, slightly lyrical script started taking shape. It spoke of how education began with exploration and play. The logical route that “freedom-to-explore” gave: the route to wisdom.
Now we needed some visuals to complement it. Hah! Easier said than done. The first few scenes came easy, they flowed naturally with the visuals. We decided to theme the entire video around water. Water, that stood for life. Without which there was nothing. And also it was the water that caused rainbow- for Spectrum Life School. We were telling the story of a child who learns through play, practice, and teachers. Now the child had to discover something extraordinary, assimilating all that he/she had learned. But what?
Finding The Extraordinary In The Ordinary
So many ideas came to us, the kid could save a plant, it could use the water for something else…Umm …did we just say many ideas? Well, nah! We were really stuck. We couldn’t think of anything that wasn’t done already or wasn’t way too costly for a kid or took too much time explaining, something we didn’t want in our really short TVC. And so for a few days, everything we looked at turned into inspiration. Till one day we got a spark. We were looking at AC water, and noticed how it was all going to waste. We did a quick research and found out that AC water was basically clean water. What if we used this water for something else? Not growing trees, that’d be usual. How about storing the water for thirsty birds to quench their thirst?
Now For The Perfect Visuals
We chose simple, character animations combined with motion graphics. Each scene had to be elegant, world-class and beautiful, just like the message we were delivering. A special kind of vessel was designed just to store leaking water from AC. The colours used were soothing to the eye, yet attractive to the child. Animations had to be planned to have placeholders for the sounds that were going to come.
Then Came The Sound
We started with a rough Voiceover in the beginning and then added the voice when we found one that fitted perfectly. The music, as said was very important. Not easy, again, but with a lot of coordination, and with a perfect vision of the end result that we wanted, the musician worked tirelessly with us. Till finally we were satisfied!
And thus we wrap-up
From mind-wrecking brainstorming to mind-numbing research to mind-expanding thoughts to mind-pleasing ideas , we had it all in this one video. The video is now playing on the television sets on Namakkal and we hope, somewhere , some child is touched enough to think anew and somewhere some parent is touched enough to encourage that child!