Bollywood movies are famous for being ridiculously long, but now, a TV commercial out of India is vying to earn the same reputation.
Ogilvy & Mather India has created a spot for television provider Tata Sky -- part of Indian mega-conglomerate Tata Group -- that clocks in at a whopping three-and-a-half-minutes.
Directed by Vivek Kakkad, the slick ad features a group of jailed convicts in an Indian prison who plan their escape on the day of an India-Pakistan cricket match. As you can imagine, the matchup is a popular one, and the convicts expect that the wardens in the jail would be too busy watching television to figure out what was going on. But they get surprised when that doesn't turn out to be the case.
The ad is being billed as longest-ever commercial in Indian advertising history, and according to the newspaper The Hindu, will start airing April 26. It's good timing too, as plenty of cricket is currently on -- the Indian Premier League began its sixth season April 3 and ends May 26.
Abhijit Avasthi, a national creative director at Ogilvy, told Creativity via e-mail that the director and the agency knew that "the script lent itself to making a compelling long-length film," and the client loved it when they saw it. The full film will run on TV, and shorter edits will follow after the initial run.
As during NFL Playoffs, or March Madness in the U.S., office workers in India probably lose quite a bit of productivity when big sporting events are on. TataSky is hoping to cash in on this fact by positioning its service as a way for people to get their work done and watch television too, thanks to its HD recording features.
Although the TataSky ad is the longest India has ever seen, it's far off from the world record. According to The Guinness World Records website, the longest-ever commercial clocks is an hour long, and was created for Nivea.