It isn’t very often that one comes across a short film by a company that doesn’t directly promote the brand, and focuses instead on its underlying values. Again, it isn’t often that a beverage startup, neck deep in competition, doesn’t rely on stalwarts such as Gulzar to pen down the lyrics, but joins hands with a small firm (Humour Me), believing they will create magic. And magic they have created.
Homegrown beverage brand, Paper Boat- a division of Delhi-based Hector Beverages, recently released a heart-warming short film titled, 'Rizwan - Keeper of the Gates of Heaven'. In less than two days of release, the gripping tale has garnered over 7, 20, 000 and 5, 73, 000 views on YouTube and Facebook, respectively. Rizwan also marks the company's foray in to legitimate story-telling on film. According to the team, "It's not a "video" in our new-age understanding of that term, but is really small-scale cinema."
In the past, Paper Boat has released several such short films such as ‘Ride Down the River of Memories’, ‘Waiting for Ma’, ‘My Struggles with the Treasure Chest’ and ‘Hum honge kamyab’ – all of which aim to bring out the child in everyone! And Rizwan has indeed managed to do that.
Rizwan, the protagonist is an old man living alone in a remote village, with his dog being his only companion. Reliving his childhood, Rizwan fondly remembers his mother, a woman who loathed a city-life, believed in fairy tales and named her son, Rizwan in a hope that he would be a 'protector' of Mother Earth. She would often tell him a story of how he would save a princess from the demons. And there does come a day, when Rizwan manages to rescue a princess, or so he thinks. The gripping tale reveals Rizwan's truth - he is visually-impaired, yet content, living in the world of imagination his mother had painstakingly built for him, where he is 'Keeper of the gates of heaven'.
Commenting on the success of the short-film, Neeraj Kakkar, Co-founder and CEO of Hector Beverages, says,
As a brand, we believe in two values – alive and authentic and every single effort goes into marrying them both. The story of Rizwan is a reminder of childhood, innocence, and memories. And as a brand, we are competing with many such memories, which are nothing but pure and beautiful. We wanted to touch people at the core of their heart and send out a message of hope –that life is still beautiful.
While there is no denial that Paper Boat’s story-telling is heart-warming, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the ideation isn’t novel. In the past, stalwarts such as Amul and Cadbury have come up with innumerable promising, novel ads. While Amul has tugged hearts by ensuring the famous Amul girl has a take on everything current - from political situations to comedy, Cadbury on the other hand bases its ads on the importance of relationships, festivals and memories. More recently, startups such as Urban Ladder and Paper Boat have taken the cue, and are winning everyone’s hearts for all the right reasons!