Every one of us has been held hostage, albeit willingly, at some point in time, by that one mesmerizing jingle that keeps playing on loop within the confines of our heads. The damned ditty just refuses to fade away, clinging on to us with the obduracy of a leech. While hanging on to the handrails of an overcrowded bus, crushed between an impatient and sweaty mass of humanity, or when showcasing an eager employer’s offerings to a demanding client, the mulish tune keeps wafting in with a severe purpose. Whether, while in a state of contemplation, or bracing to face a ball about to be delivered by a sprightly bowler, a consistent hum assails our auditory faculties. The world of Indian advertising has over the years bestowed upon its enthusiastic viewers many such jingles. Unforgettable musical achievements that have threatened to even overshadow the brand they are invested with showcasing, thereby paradoxically making the product/service cherished. From chocolate to bathing soap, these jingles have captured the imagination of a populace transcending age, and gender, colour and creed. Paraphrasing Brandy Miller of Creative Technology, a communications firm, “The motor center is activated in order to process the rhythm, the auditory center is activated in order to process the sound, the language center processes the lyrics and the limbic system processes the overall emotional core of the song. It’s a powerful recipe.”
So here goes the first installment in my personal “top ten adorable culprits”, whose mellifluousness has never left my mind and for which I am more than just delighted.
Razzmatazz, Clutter, Colour, Effervescence, Mischief, Hope, Laughter, Boisterousness, Innocence, Gratitude and Empathy are some of the words that instantly come to mind when one hears the immortal Nerolac jingle. Whilst multiple versions, short and extended have graced our television sets over many a year, Nerolac Paints India has, to a significant degree, never veered away from the original tune “Jab Ghar Ki Raunak Badani Ho” (roughly translated as “When the lustre/shine of the house needs to be embellished”), and this is exactly what has made this jingle so indelible and enduring. The leitmotif of a happy effusion of colours coalescing with a happy family tugs at the deepest chords of sentiment and emotion. An innovative medley of music proceeds in perfect lockstep with the clash of colours, that understandably forms the heart of the commercial.
It would be a challenge to identify any one Nerolac Commercial as being the best, since the viewer is spoilt for choice. Hence, I have chosen the following 3 variants as my personal favourites. So, go ahead, shake a leg, wield a brush, wear a smile, shed a tear and enter a world of unbridled happiness! “Kuch Change Karo; Kuch Paint Karo!” (Change something; Paint something”)
(Note: Even though the alluring commercial has been dubbed in multiple languages, my review is restricted to the Hindi version, even though the tune is equally catchy in all the dubbed languages. )
- The Original
It is but logical to begin at the very beginning. Premiering during the early nineties, the original and iconic Nerolac jingle was mellow in stark contrast to the contemporary version. The commercial has a trio of friendly and cheerful painters giving the walls of a house an alluring coat of paint. While they are at their job, a young girl and her brother engage in some mild mischief. Lasting all of 30 seconds, the commercial ends with a splash of red framing the “Nerolac Tiger.”! I personally felt it was sheer genius to give the viewers such a delightful piece of music and abruptly terminate it just when they were lolling on the couch immersed into it. A perfect case of Oliver asking for more!
- The Paint gets a Song!
A case of Oliver getting what he demanded, the popular jingle got an extension. Almost a full two minutes lengthier than its original predecessor, Nerolac Paints was no longer a condensed and concise jingle but a “hummable” tune approximately half the length of an average song. The Company again demonstrated how it could pull off the extraordinary with the least degree of fuss and furore. A group of young men and women celebrate the sanctity of relationships. Clad in white they represent an unsullied purity as they vibrantly dance, and drum away while in the background the Nerolac song plays on. The only complaint that one can perceivably harbour about this commercial is that although the background at the outset has a dazzling profusion of a brilliant array of colours, the rest of the song is enveloped in a white background thereby taking a bit of the deserved shine from the dancers who are also clad in white. Watch out for the lady drumming on barrels of Nerolac Paints as the song climaxes to an energetic finish!
- King Khan and Kids
Nerolac India and their advertisement agency captured the pulse, mood and fervor of a nation by getting one of India’s biggest actors to shake a leg and wag a brush in the company of a bunch of egregious kids. This was nothing short of a coup by Nerolac. The “festival” series of commercials where Shahrukh Khan in the company of his child brigade brings colour to an otherwise dull and drab household which is none too eager to welcome either the festival of lights, Diwali or the biggest Muslim celebration of Eid, warms the very cockles of the heart. Who ever thought that a man wielding a roller brush could induce such a surge of electric vitality, vivacity and verve! Beginning with a whistle before climaxing into a crescendo of drums, guitars and a medley of other instruments, the jingle induces the viewer to almost experience the camaraderie and an almost telepathic sync between Shahrukh Khan and the children. This is a joyous case of a seasoned professional and a set of innocuous and adorable brats living and celebrating the reel role given to them. The iconic jingle was thus given a transformational face-lift. Have a look!
- Bonus Footage