[Tech Ad-Ons] WhatsApp: It’s between you, even in the ad!

Good ads, with just a touch of genius

by: - Last updated on: July 13th, 2020

With so many people stuck at home due to a global pandemic, technology, especially technology that connects people has become more important than ever before. But with heavy dependence on these ‘connecting’ apps and software, come some real privacy scares. For instance, the video calling app, Zoom has been one of the apps that have really seen its user base grow over the past few months but has struggled to keep the platform secure. In this scenario, messaging app behemoth, Whatsapp has rolled out a new campaign called “In between you”, to reinforce how whatever you share with your friends and family over Whatsapp only stays between you.

whats ad between you

Taking care, cutting hair, being there

The campaign so far has three ads. While two of the ads are very Indian, the other one has more global appeal and is animated. The three ads; Caregiver, Cut it out and Care are very simple as far as the concept and storyline goes. The Caregiver features an old lady who is alone in her home and visibly sad. She then gets a number of messages from “Nurse Anita” on Whatsapp, after which she does a number of chores around the house and little things that make her feel happy, and feel less lonely. She keeps taking pictures of each task when finished and sends it to the nurse. The two then connect over a video call and the ad ends with text on the screen that reads, “What brings you closer, is between you.

The second ad, Cut it out, features a woman who is struggling to tame her shabby, unruly hair. She takes a few pictures of herself and shares them on WhatsApp. Moments later, she gets a video call on the platform from her younger sister, who after a hearty laugh at the situation convinces her to trim her hair. Skeptical and nervous at first, the elder sister finally manages to gather up the courage to chop her hair. In the end, the two admire the result and text appears on the screen: “What gives you courage, is between you.

The third ad, Care, is animated as opposed to the other two which are based in real settings. It is the story of a woman who works at a grocery store during Covid-19 times and has a husband and baby. The ad shows how the woman juggles between her profession and being a mother. The ad shows her putting on gloves while she is working and going barehanded every time she gets an update about her baby from her husband on WhatsApp so as to keep her smartphone from getting contaminated. The ad ends with a video call between the woman and her husband as he holds their crying baby. She removes her mask and smiles while in the storage room of the grocery store to cheer up her child. The ad ends with the same text, “What keeps you near, is between you”.

All the three ads end with WhatsApp’s logo and the campaign name, “It’s between you”.

High on emotion, “medium” on WhatsApp

The campaign, “It’s between you” has brought us three good ads so far. Caregiver, Cut it out and Care are all very emotion heavy ads. While Caregiver and Care will warm your hearts, Cut it out is likely to pick your spirits up. The ads fit really well in today’s time and are very contemporary. The first two ads, Caregiver and Cut it out do not mention COVID or how it is affecting our world at the moment but do show signs of people being stuck at home. The elderly lady is fighting loneliness in the first ad, while the elder sister obviously is struggling with her unruly hair that she cannot go and get fixed at a salon. The third animated ad makes it obvious that it is a COVID struck world and shows how difficult it is for front liners to work during these times.

In all three ads, the plot carries the ads while the product, which is WhatsApp, is in a supporting role. And this approach works. The ads do not bombard you with how WhatsApp is a life savior, especially during a time when people are relying on it the most. The ads champion the human connection above Whatsapp, making the messaging service more like a medium which makes life easier. And at the end of the day, it is exactly that, a medium.

Hints of genius

We liked how WhatsApp did not run front and center in the attention race in this campaign, but what we really loved was how cleverly the ad highlighted what it aimed to show in the ad: privacy! “It’s between you” as a campaign is about how what you share on WhatsApp stays between you and the people you are sharing it with. And the brand highlights it very cleverly in the ad. Every time anyone got a message on the platform, the ad brought it in the trademark WhatsApp ‘ping’ tone sound along with an occasional logo that comes up every time one opens the app. The ad did not show what was in the messages or audio message, reinforcing that data on Whatsapp is encrypted and secure (shades of the Apple). It is very subtle which makes it difficult to spot this message but props to WhatsApp for using such a refined way to highlight the feature instead of going all informative and bombarding the viewers with it.

“It’s between you” runs high on emotion but in all that emotion, if you look closely, you will find hints of genius. Especially in the way in which the brand brings forth encryption and heroes human connection above the product.

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