On 23rd December 2011, the day the mega blockbuster ‘Don 2′ got released, there was another release that happened quietly – Google Chrome in Indian released its new campaign on digital medium and at select cinema halls. The ad is about a simple artist from Tamil Nadu, G Rajendran who deploys the power of the web to resurrect the languishing art of Tanjore paintings, and in the process not only ends up increasing the sales of his paintings but also becomes a successful businessman rather than just an artist. Interestingly, Rajendran plays himself in the film that uses the Tanjore art form to tell this story.
The film is part of a global campaign themed around ‘ the web is what you make of it’. All the campaigns basically talk of people’s real life stories – about how their lives have changed after using the Internet. Shares Nikhil Rungta, country marketing head, Google India, “The current campaign is keeping the same global thought. Specifically it speaks of how a business that had started stagnating got back its lost glory.” The global campaign has been conceptualised at the company’s US headquarters along with their creative agency BBH, and then markets across the globe were asked to scout for real life local stories.
The first in this series, globally, was the ‘Dear Sophie’ campaign in which a father sends multimedia messages to his baby daughter. In India, the first campaign ‘Archana’s kitchen’ was about a small town working woman Archana who was passionate about cooking, and how she started a cookery blog that made her famous – again based on a real life story. She now has a faithful set of followers online, which has led to a catering service along with a book deal and appearances in TV shows. That campaign worked very well for Google chrome in India and made it the No 1 browser with a market share that is currently pegged at nearly 37% – up from 12.5% in 2010, according to Rungta.
For the current campaign, the creative agency BBH India was asked to create communication about a business that punched above it’s weight using the power of the web, and they started looking for stories that were more than just business
successes, but have actually made a difference to culture. Shares Arvind Krishnan, Brand Partner, BBH India, “In our search for unusual businesses, we found Tanjoreoviyam. It was a story of an art in search of an audience and a business looking for traction. The irony was what made this story so interesting. Here was an ancient art, in the most traditional sense that used the youngest platform and the most modern marketplace to achieve success.”
Technology might be magic – but the real magic is in what it can be used to do – which is where the Tanjore artist succeeded. Sunil Rajendran, son of G Rajendran, shares the story of his father, “It has been a family business and even though it was not doing very well, we did not want to leave it. We wanted to make it bigger and reach out to more people but did not know how?” He adds, “The size of the business did not justify lavish spends on ads in TV or newspapers to popularise the business and that’s when we thought of using the Internet medium. We deployed Google adwords.” Within no time the business started picking up and the online orders started growing (business increased by over 80% from the time they started using adwords and their reach has spread across the world).