There is so much branded sports content in the world. So much. That this two-minute film stands out is, therefore, a genuine triumph. There’s something about its quiet voice, beautiful slo-mo footage and heartwarming story about national unity that grabs. The film, #TheRealKashmir, was created by Cheil WW India for adidas, continuing the brand’s recent partnership with the Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC).
Ostensibly, it’s a film celebrating RKFC’s entry to India’s I-League, the biggest professional football league in the country. That it’s also a film about the power of soccer to bring to people is not unique. It’s just so well done. The ad is narrated by an elderly Kashmiri man who has seen the beauty of the valley taken over by the unrest and paranoia. It features real residents of the region and shows, through the old man’s eyes. how Jammu and Kashmir are changing yet again. Football is creating a transformation for good and bringing people together. Woven into the narrative is the tale of RKFC, from early training sessions and grassroots supporters to the decisive penalty taken by star player, Danish, in a packed stadium, which resulted in the team qualifying for the I-League.
Aneesh Jaisinghani, executive creative director, Cheil WW India, noted, “This is not merely a campaign but a very special initiative to drive a perception change, to stir the emotions of people of this country and drive collective optimism towards Jammu and Kashmir. We are very proud to partner with Real Kashmir FC and hope to make a difference in the lives of people.”
At its end, the film reveals that its narrator is, in fact, visually impaired. The winds of change are blowing so clearly in Kashmir that he can feel the positivity around him. The soundtrack for the film is the beautiful Kashmiri folk song, Neroo haa naujawano, whose the lyrics urge people to strive hard in life and reach for the skies.
Shamim Meraj, co-owner of Real Kashmir Football Club, commented, “The film for us is inspirational and evocative. It sums up what we are. We are very thankful to locals of Jammu and Kashmir without whom we couldn’t have put our inspirational story together. It’s a great moment for a young club to produce something like this.”
Sean Van Wyk, senior marketing director at adidas India, added, “At adidas, we firmly believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives, and now we are getting to live and see it in India. adidas aims to redefine the ‘Real’ Kashmir through the lens of sports and become a proponent of positivity and changing lives in Jammu and Kashmir through football. Real Kashmir FC is the flagbearer of positivity, and they epitomise our brand message, Here To Create Change.”
The film, which is running on RKFC’s Facebook and YouTube channels, is supported by photography exhibition in New Dehli, that also shows Jammu & Kashmir in a new light.
Agency: Cheil India
Director: Daniel Upputuru
Production: DZU Films
Music Director: Raghav & Arjun