Getting used to subtitles can get you slapped

Taproot TVC for FOX Movies Premium makes the case for subtitle-free regional feed, in Thailand

May 31, 2012 02:09:00 PM | Video | Shephali Bhatt Share - Share to Facebook

FOX Movies Premium, an Asian movie channel owned by FOX International Channels, has rolled out a new ad for the Thai market. The TV commercial, conceived and created by Taproot India, aims at communicating that the channel now offers foreign movies dubbed in regional languages.

The film delivers the message by showing a slightly diffident employee who has trouble communicating in English; he finds it difficult to understand his female boss's statements in that language. After each sentence of hers, he desperately looks down at her bosom expecting subtitles he's accustomed to on television to appear there. To her, it seems like he is staring at her cleavage. And when she notices this, she slaps him.

"Too used to subtitles?" asks the next frame. The film ends with the reveal that FOX Movies Premium now offers movies in the regional language, saving viewers the trouble of keeping track of subtitles at the bottom of the screen.

Commenting on the brief, Santosh Padhi, chief creative officer, co-founder, Taproot India, said," The brief was to communicate that Fox Channel now offers subtitle-free movies. The challenge was how to say it in a way that Fox Channel gets on top of the viewer's mind. Whatever we said had to be entertaining in the first place. Since it’s targeted for the Thai audience, the second challenge was not just humour, but a distinctive humour  - they are known for their mad sense of humour.Therefore, the whole idea of the campaign or creative device is based on the behaviour of a person who watches movies with subtitles."

Manan Mehta, managing partner, Taproot India, added pointed out that while English language channels had struck a chord with audiences in non-English speaking markets due to subtitling, the next stage was the regional feed. He explained, "This allowed the English channels to be relevant and gave them a chance to come closer to their audience. Thus, this campaign was conceptualised with the brief of making the audience aware that FOX Channel is available in South East Asia in the regional language."

The advert has been directed by Razneesh Ghai of Asylum Films. Ghai added, "The rampant usage of subtitles has taken away the cinematic experience of watching films. It has now become a habit to read the subtitles, taking your eyes off the action. We took this simple problem and wanted to highlight it in a funny manner. The humour in the film is very subtle and not in your face. Also, there had to be a simple thread of communication so as to convey it to a global audience, since subtitles are everywhere.”

Unplugged moments:
Padhi recalled a few moments from the shoot in Thailand (Bangkok). He said, "It was a funny coincidence that the male model in the film was actually a bit slow when it came to taking instructions in English. Therefore, there was a lot of miscommunication on the sets till the time the crew started helping us in translating our instructions in Thai language for the male model."


Client: FOX International Channels
Agency: Taproot India
Creative director: Santosh Padhi, Agnello Dias
Writer: Santosh Padhi
Account servicing: Manan Mehta
Director: Razneesh Ghai ( Razy )
Producer: Anju Vaswani
Associate producer: Bhavna Singh
Editor: Jay Chandran
Sound design: Joseph George
Thai crew
Line producer, Thailand ( Picnic Features): Kornpanote Semros
Director of photography: Sinthop Sophon
Art director: Achira Nokthet


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