[Tech Ad Ons] Lenovo Yoga 720: A great dish, but where is the main ingredient?

A great story, even if it does not push a sale

by: - Last updated on: March 12th, 2018

Lenovo launched the Yoga 720 last year at the Mobile World Congress, and while has been quite some time since the notebook hit the market, the company is not giving up on it. Not just yet. And to make sure it stays right in front of the audience’s eyes, Lenovo has recently launched an ad for the Yoga 720 titled, “Let your child reach the stars. #GiftThemDreams.” But is the ad going to make Lenovo Yoga 720 shine?

A typical story, executed a little differently

Part of the #GiftThem ad campaign, the “Let your child reach the stars. #GiftThemDreams” is a two-minute-and-forty-seven-second ad. The ad starts with two siblings sitting at the dining table. The younger child asks his elder sister what she is she reading, at which the girl picks up the book which says ‘Mars’ on its cover. Right after this, the girl’s uncle ask her what she wants to become when she grows up, a doctor or an engineer? To which she responds, that she wants to be an astronaut. The uncle (a little dismissively) tells her that in their village if someone reaches Delhi, they are considered successful; and if someone reaches London or America, they become examples. He concludes by saying that she should think about reaching Delhi first and think about reaching the moon later.

But this does not keep the young girl from dreaming. She paints a black helmet white (like those worn by astronauts), to which her mother tells her to stop wasting her time and start studying for her final exams. Her mother later tells her husband that he should have a word with their child and tell her to study instead of wasting her time on this “childish phase.” Or else she will not be able to top her class this time. The father’s reply? They would fail as parents if they made their daughter kill her dream.

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As time passes, the girl’s passion grows. She works on small projects on her own, makes herself a tiny rocket, and a starry lampshade using a pot. Her mother sees her daughter’s efforts and passion for astronomy, most noticeably when she switches on the lampshade and sees the room in which her daughter is steeped, bathed in stars. The next day when the girl goes looking for her white helmet, her mother tells her that she has kept it in her room. When she gets to the room, she finds the helmet, and right next to it, a Lenovo Yoga 720 notebook. As she smiles happily, the mother tells her daughter that people who reach Delhi become successful; the ones who reach London and America become examples and that she should become their village’s dream by reaching Mars. “Sit on this rocket and fly high,” she says, indicating the Yoga 720. The girl Googles a 360 degree view of Mars and then twists the device’s display to see the surface of the planet she plans to visit. The screen fades to white and #GiftThemCuriousity appears on the screen which is followed by #GiftThemDreams. The ad ends with Lenovo’s logo.

There is a folk song used as the background music on and off throughout the ad, which blends in with the ambiance – the ad is in Hindi.

Beautiful story but where is the Yoga 720?

The Lenovo Yoga 720 ad reminds us of what we have been through ourselves or something we have seen happening to our friends and cousins. It is the typical story of a girl child dreaming big even while society and even her parents do not approve of it, assuming they think they know what’s best for her.

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But the differentiating factor here is how the company has executed the ad. In most such ads, generally the father of the girl child is unsupportive of her dreams while the mother struggles and changes things around. But here, we like the fact that the roles are reversed and the supportive figure is the father. We also liked the fact that even though it is about society being dismissive of a girl child’s dream, the company has not focused on the issue of sexism. In the ad, the girl is being pushed to do well in her studies to achieve the goals that her parents and relatives think are good for her. It is not about how they putting the needs of their son ahead of their daughter.

Yes, the ad is pretty lengthy but because it tells a story, it does not really get boring or heavy on the head. That said, once you have seen the ad, you might be tempted to press the skip button or change the channel when the ad pops up, as there is only so many times you can rely on the element of pleasant surprise.

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Lenovo has picked a tried and tested concept and given it a new garb. But even though the story of the ad is riveting, we would have liked to see more of the product and how the product changes the way the girl studies or becomes an astronaut later. We are not asking for a tech spec or a heavy details but we think, the ad would have made more sense as, well, an ad, if it had more of the product. And as it is a pretty lengthy ad, the company had the scope to put in the product and highlight it. Yes, the story works but because the storyline of the ad is so strong and the time frame given to the product is pretty slim, we think, the audience would remember the story rather than remembering the product, which is not really the purpose of the ad. Remove Lenovo and the ad could be for any notebook – the one part where the girl twists the display around is also not really highlighted to the extent it could have been.

That said, we like the overall appeal and approach of the ad. It is a part of the #GiftThem campaign that the company has been running for a while now for Lenovo notebooks and just like most of the ads in the campaign, this one too strikes an emotional chord with the audience. We also loved the music used in the ad. It is a folk song which blends right in with the ambience of the story. And yes, at a time when so many brands tend to focus on metro audiences for their ad campaigns, it was wonderful to see Lenovo go to India’s villages to showcase its notebook.

A lovely tale, but does it make a sale

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The Lenovo Yoga 720 ad uses the perfect story line which strikes an emotional chord with the audience but we think, while the story is powerful, Lenovo could have executed it a little differently. We liked all the elements in the ad, we like how the story goes, the background music and the we do not even mind the length of the ad. But in all this storyline-buzz, the product got pushed to the backseat and never really got its share in the spotlight. The ad has the right idea, the right story and the right music, but where was the product, is one question we asked ourselves once the ad finished. It is a bit like a delicious dish that misses out on the very ingredient after which it was named. The dish remains delicious, but it does not do justice to its own name. The cynics and purists will point out that the ad will do a lot more for girl’s dreams than it will for Lenovo’s own notebooks. And they are right – the ad is more a story than a sale. But what a story. And as for making people believe in girls’ dreams, that’s not a bad thing, is it?

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