Expert Speak: Cherry Blossom attempts to shine again

Polish to Shine

For its comeback, the century-old shoe-polish brand Cherry Blossom has knocked the digital doors this time launching the Polish To Shine campaign. Experts decode its stance…

The Brand Father of Indian advertising, Late. Alyquee Padamsee once told his clients, “Humour has no language,” and translated this thought into one of the most cherished advertisements from the 80s. We are talking about the hilarious Cherry Blossom’s commercials featuring the legendary Charlie Chaplin look-alike- lovingly called Cherry Charlie.  The vintage ads of Cherry Blossom had everything essential- right from humor with silent comedy to upbeat music to a hard-hitting product selling proposition.

After 10 years, the brand is back with a digital ad campaign titled ‘Polish To Shine’, this time minus the Cherry Charlie, not a humor-led approach but a serious stance tasked with sensitizing consumers to the need of regular polishing of their shoes.  The campaign attempts, in a warm and engaging way to communicate how the simple act of regular polishing also exudes the characteristics of responsibility, discipline, and sincerity.

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About the Films

Conceptualized and executed by Tilt Brand Solutions, the films are helmed by Rahul Sengupta and showcase different scenarios which have been conceptualized to the overarching message ‘Polish to Shine’. The first film based on a school girl highlights responsibility and discipline; the second ad on a father-son duo showcases sincerity.

Campaign Insight

While this particular category seems to have lost it’s the charm in the market and is poised to be dull, Cherry Blossom aims to revive its position with a different take this time – may be changing with the changing times. The brand, like several others, has gone the preachy way to inculcate necessary values of life in its consumers.

Cherry Blossom has always been touted as the integral part of the Indian household for dressing up smartly. Through the campaigns released on YouTube-first, the brand reaffirms the importance of polishing and what this everyday act conveys about the wearer of the shoes. The impact of smart, clean, well-shined shoes is incomparable. “These ads will definitely enhance brand recall in the audience’s minds,” affirms Sukhleen Aneja, CMO and Marketing Director, Hygiene Home, South Asia, Reckitt Benckiser.

The Creative Angle

For Shriram Iyer, Chief Creative & Content Officer, Tilt Brand Solutions, working on this campaign has been both a privilege and a great responsibility. He added, the films in this campaign while being warm and touching, aim to deliver on a very clear brand task – that of encouraging people to keep their shoes well-groomed at all times.”

“The ‘Polish to Shine’ campaign has been designed to be empathetic while being persuasive in reminding the youth that everyday discipline, responsibility & sincerity will always be timeless building blocks of success; in this case, in the context of the regular habit of shoe polishing,” shared Kedar Teny, Chief Strategy Officer, Tilt Brand Solutions.

After a decade long hiatus which is a long time for a brand to stay away from its consumers, Cherry Blossom is renewing its place in the hearts of its Indian customers by emphasizing the need for polishing shoes, a habit which has diminished in society today. But in this case, it gives the iconic brand a different vision and story to narrate that makes people recall and connect to it. Now whether a century-old Cherry Blossom is successful in making it a reality is a wait and watch game. Over to the experts…

Experts Speak:

Joey Pathak, Creative Head, Socio Sketch

The Cherry Blossom brand has been an integral part of Indian homes for decades. It’s the brand we grew up with and one that was the go-to brand for shoe polish. Their iconic (and lovable) Charlie Chaplin campaign still invokes nostalgia, and consumers tend to inherently root for the brand.

 In this context, it was good to see an old brand come up with a new campaign. The casting is spot on, with Manav Kaul and Ashish Vidyarthi as the leads. The concepts are drawn from everyday life, and so have an instant connect with the consumer. The story-line is light, yet poignant, with beautifully scripted dialogues and powerful punch-lines.  The use of the double entendres (“Dhyaan se, garam hai”, “Ab lagta hai kaam karega”) in the sign-offs, I feel, are the cherry on top of a very delicious cake.

I feel this campaign will revive the latent importance of polished shoes, and more importantly, enhance the recall of a well-established, albeit out of public consciousness for some time, brand.

RS Raghavan, Founder & CEO, Animaker Inc.

This is a well-designed Ad adhering to all the marketing rules. We call it as ‘Benefit Marketing’ which focuses more on people, emotions and value proposition than the product itself. In that perspective, this Ad should be given a thumbs up. On the other hand, the situations over which the story revolves around could be better, more intriguing and relatable for users. However, this initiative seems to be a video series and there is a scope for betterment in every step. We are sure that a brand like Cherry Blossom would definitely consider the missing parameters and continuously work to woo the audience and stay on top as they do always.