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Flipkart on why it hid political Easter eggs in its advertising

Flipkart launched a brand film during the recent Indian elections and it chose to use the film to hide a series of references that pay homage to India’s constitution.

The ad used graffiti on the wall and bike number plates as ways to reference important dates and happenings that celebrate key moments in the world’s biggest democracy’s recent past.

The ad is part of a series of ads from the e-commerce giant that gets under the skin of important topics in the lives of Indian people. Apuarv Sethi, senior director of marketing at Flipkart, told the Drum the brand’s positioning is about being a partner to progressive thinking.

“Flipkart’s refreshed brand positioning of being partners to progressive thinking and living saw its debut with #PenguinDad in March, 2018. Since then, the brand has celebrated different customer cohorts who have removed ‘limiting beliefs’ that restrict them from achieving their full potential: days who’ve stopped believing that they can’t parent as well as mothers (#PenguinDad), senior citizens who’ve stopped believing that life ends at 40 (#ChooseYourAge), parents who’ve stopped believing that boys and girls should be raised differently (#GenE), and now-Indian citizens who’ve stopped believing that the ‘vote’ is only about getting someone into power: but that it’s also about reaffirming that the ‘real power’ belongs to us, equal citizens of India,” he said.

The idea of using the ads to tease out historical facts and dates was born from wanting to create a more immersive experience for an online video, according to P.G. Aditya, executive creative director of Dentsu Webchutney.

“Our constitution is one of the most revered documents in the world. It is the reason and inspiration behind the #EqualsDay film. And we wanted to give those who were drawn to the film, reasons to watch it again and again. Carefully placed Easter Eggs within the film allow an immersive experience: allowing viewers to understand snippets of our constitution by simply placing them as details in select frames,” said Aditya.

The political landscape is going through rapid change all over the world but 2019 was the year of many democratic elections in Asia Pacific. Many brands have used it as a chance to engage with customers on a deeper level, while for others it could be seen as a risky topic to get involved in.

For Sethi, it is a brand’s responsibility to take conversations around civil life to a more mature level, adding: “Politics has been an arena that brands prefer to stay out of to avoid controversy, but elections give us an opportunity to look at politics as a civil topic, and not just one associated with partisan politics. A brand’s responsibility isn’t just to encourage users to vote but to have a more mature and a higher-level conversation that elevates the perception of the brand itself. Perhaps, why legacy brands like TOI, HUL and TATA Tea (with Jaago Re) have chosen to exert their world-view from a political standpoint since years.”

Dentsu Webchutney's P.G. Aditya explains the Easter eggs: did you spot them?

1) 25 OCT 1951

The girl riding the bike on Howrah bridge. Look closely, you will spot the bike number plate with the number: WB 25 OCT 1951. 25th October 1951 was the day when the first Loksabha Election was held in India.

2) 326

Go further, and you will notice 326 written on the wall graffiti. Well, if you don’t spot it here, here’s another chance to spot it again - on the room number, behind the Flipkart delivery boy who is showing his finger. 326 connotes to Article 326 in the constitution.

3) Rains

The day constitution was signed, it was raining outside. Many considered it a good omen. Rains can be spotted on the window panes of a window in the scene where a mother is holding the kid.

4) Prem Behari Narain Raizada

Notice the t-shirt print of this boy in the classroom. It is a print of a Prem Behari Narain Raizada, the man who calligraphed the Indian Constitution in Italics.

5) BR Ambedkar

You can spot the photo frame of BR Ambedkar hung in the classroom

6) Universal Adult Franchise

In the classroom, students are discussing something. You can spot the Universal Adult Franchise (UAF) written on the green board.

7) 2.11.17

If you stop at the scene where the corporate guys are talking to each other, you will notice the time on the wall clock hanging on the wall. It is 2 passed 11 minutes and 17 seconds. It signifies the exact time taken by the Assembly to draft the Indian Constitution - Two years, Eleven months and Seventeen days.

8) Members of Union Cabinet

Notice the photo frame hung on the wall. It is of Members of the Union Cabinet with President Dr Rajendra Prasad. Sitting from Left: Dr B.R. Ambedkar, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Baldev Singh, Abul Kalam Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, John Mathai, Jagjivan Ram, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and Shyama Prasad Mookerjee. Standing from Left: Khurshed Lal, R.R. Diwakar, Mohanlal Saxena, N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar, N.V. Gadgil, K.C. Neogi, Jairamdas Daulatram, K. Santhanam, S.N. Sinha and B.V. Keskar

9) Dr. Rajendra Prasad with the staff members of the Constituent Assembly

Also, notice a photo frame of Dr. Rajendra Prasad with the staff members of the Constituent Assembly hung below the photo frame of Members of Union Cabinet.

10) One Person. One Vote.

This is what UAF suggests – one person, one vote. Spot it written on the blackboard behind a person standing behind the ballot box.

11) Constitution of India

This is the easiest one to spot - The first page of the Indian Constitution.

12) Pillars of the constitution:

The four pillars of the Indian Constitution are justice, equality, fraternity and liberty. You can spot all of them throughout the film.

Justice in the wrestler’s situation.

Equality as a tattoo on a hand that is putting a spot of ink on the fingers.

Fraternity on the metal board behind 2 hands making an equal.

Liberty on the red doors behind 2 people making an equal.

“Also, the Constitution of India has 448 articles in 25 parts and 12 schedules. This is the reason why we chose to plant 12 Easter Eggs in this film,” added Aditya.

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