Wagh Bakri presents centuries-old remedy to cure modern India’s ‘Hi’ fever

Tea can be the best catalyst for relationship building. This is showcased in an emotional film released by Wagh Bakri and conceptualised by Scarecrow M&C Saatchi. 

While technology has made the world a smaller place, one of its side effects is that it is also making conversations smaller and relationships colder. Completing conversations in 240 characters has put us in the habit of keeping real conversations short. We start and end most of them with a simple ‘Hi’. We know more about the world and less about our neighbours, we spend more time with our followers than our fellow workers. 

A consumer research carried out by Wagh Bakri Tea Group, the mother brand of India’s third largest tea brand, and Scarecrow M&C Saatchi in 2013 discovered that our relationships were getting colder. This was the genesis of the 2013 film – ‘Rishton ki Garmahat’. This film struck a chord with the people and went viral with millions of organic views on multiple social media platforms, and is shared widely even today. 

A second round of consumer research in 2017 pointed out a similar stark fact. The trend of short conversations had not just invaded the youth of urban India, but rural India too. This gave Scarecrow M&C Saatchi an interesting brand film idea, one that positions tea as an enabler and a solution to this proverbial ‘Hi’ fever. 

Paragbhai Desai, Executive Director, Wagh Bakri Tea Group, explained, “Our latest film is an intriguing story, that’s high on emotions and stands true to the brand proposition of ‘Hamesha Rishte Banaye’. It also reminds us that tea is the best catalyst for relation, not just in India but the world over. That’s why Chai latte is a newly accepted beverage being served in every café on every corner of the world.” 

The film, ‘Rishton Ka Hi Fever’, showcases a typical North Indian joint family with a cast that showcases both – the modern youthful India, and the older generations steeped in tradition. It’s the story of Sunny – a young Punjabi boy, who’s returning after years of staying abroad. His time outside has alienated him to the warmth of Indian culture. We see this first when he avoids the hug from his father and truncates the conversation with a simple ‘hi’. His coldness is showcased throughout his journey back to his childhood house as he meets various people from his childhood (a shopkeeper, an old uncle and a long-lost friend). Sunny strikes down each of them with a blunt and simple ‘Hi’. The task of making him understand that he’s lost his way falls upon the old grandmother who devises a recipe to remind him of the lost warmth. As she makes Wagh Bakri tea for the family, she also teaches him a lesson with a heart-touching one-liner, “Hamare yahan rishte ‘hi’ se nahi chai se bante hain. (Everlasting relations are created over a cup of tea, not hi)”. The film ends with a hashtag to remind the masses #HiNahiChaiPilao. 

The film has been produced by Rising Sun Films, the production house behind films like ‘Pink’, ‘Piku’, ‘Madras Café’, ‘October’, ‘Vicky Donor’ and others. It has been directed by Anup Chitnis, an advertising veteran who has created and often directed memorable campaigns like the Tata Sky Amir Khan campaigns, Parle-G ‘Aao banaye kal ke genius’, Ceat Tyres’ ‘Streets are filled with idiots’, and Channel V ‘Gheun tak’. 

To accentuate the message of the film, Team Scarecrow has penned a song with a Sufi-base that summarises, “Rishton se na muh mod bande, rishte hain anmol. Nape-tule iss bol se bande rishton ko na tol. (Do not shy away from relations, Relations are precious, Don’t compare relations with trivial talks)”. The melody of this specially-composed song for the film has been done by Rohan-Vinayak, the duo behind ‘Nil Battey Sannata’, ‘102 Not Out’ and ‘Pink’. Singer Krishna Beura (‘Maula mere le le meri jaan’ fame from ‘Chak de! India’) has lent his voice to the song. 

Yogesh Shinde, Vice President, Wagh Bakri Tea Group, said, “In a world where we spend even lesser and lesser time with our loved ones and where conversations are coming down to just a ‘hi’, spending time over a cup of chai could be those few minutes of bonding that we need so dearly.” 

Further elaborating on the creative thought process, Manish Bhatt, Founder Director, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi, said, “We are in the kalyug of technology. We have cultivated a habit of clapping along with those Facebook followers of God on FB live broadcast of Ganesh Aarti, and learnt to touch our God’s feet on the laptop. We have started attending baby shower ceremonies over a FaceTime video call and we bless our pregnant daughter-in-law via mobile screen. Instead of chatting with friends over hot and spicy chaat at the corner of our colony, we just do Snapchats. That’s why our granny in the film is ready to serve us an Indian home remedy that’s more than a century old – a cup of hot Wagh Bakri tea to cure our ‘cold’ and ‘crisp’ relationships.” 

Campaign Credits: 

Agency: Scarecrow M&C Saatchi

Manish Bhatt (Founder Director)

Raghu Bhat (Founder Director)

Nikhil Kerkar (Associate Creative Director – Copy)

Prashant Patankar (Group Head – Art)

Raj Chavan (Copywriter)

Jignesh Maheria (Art Director)

Mangesh Mulajkar (Senior VP)

Sajesh Soman (Account Management)


Production House: Rising Sun Films

Anup Chitnis (Director)

Ronnie Lahiri (Executive Producer)

Supriya Macwan (Producer)

Madhukar Moses (Associate Producer)

Srinivas Reddy (DOP)

Rohan Utpat - Vinayak Salvi (Music Director)

Chandrashekhar Prajapati (Offline)

Krishna Beura (Vocals)


Wagh Bakri Tea Group

Paragbhai Desai (Executive Director)

Yogesh Shinde (Vice President)

Shailabh Sharma (Senior Manager Marketing)

Amit Vyas (Senior Manager Marketing)


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