Watching TV back in the days of Doordarshan had its own charm. Doordarshan, which means “distant vision” in Hindi, was India’s first public television broadcaster. It began as an experimental service in 1959 and became a national network in 1982. Doordarshan played a crucial role in the growth of television in India, offering a diverse range of programs that catered to the Indian audience’s taste. The channel became synonymous with family entertainment, and its advertisements often left a lasting impression on viewers.
Many advertisements, like ‘One from the Heart’, left a deep impact on viewers with its relatable story about a man and his backpack, along with his Philips stereo. In the dead of night, the man had tested numerous solutions with no success. As he slumped down on a set of stairs, deflated, he noticed a young girl about 6 or 7 peering at him from around the corner with curious yet gentle eyes. To lift her spirits, the man played ‘Another Day in Paradise’ by Phil Collins and soon enough she walked over to him. They shared many hours of laughter and joy as they danced the night away. Before the girl left, she gifted him a beaded necklace to signify her gratitude. Milind Soman was prominently featured in an advertisement at the start of his acting career.
Kiran Khalap, who was the creative director for CAS, remembered that Philips had a range of good products and services but couldn’t reach out to the younger audience. He was the brain behind this ad and it eventually helped Philips become more popular. Shooting the advertisement at night with limited equipment posed a great challenge for Khalap, but Kiran Deohans’ cinematic expertise made the darkness come alive and add to the essence of the advertisement.
Milind Soman is an Indian actor, model, and fitness enthusiast who began his acting career with this advertisement. He later became a prominent figure in the Indian entertainment industry, working in both television and films. The “One from the Heart” advertisement marked the start of his successful journey in show business.
The initial advertisement featured Soman travelling from a small village, trying to find a place to stay and being offered shelter by a young girl after he plays music on the Philips stereo. Subsequently, in Khalap’s version of the ad, Soman was depicted giving that same girl a gift as return of her generosity. However, the directors decided to take this concept in a new direction. Struggling to find someone suitable for the role, Ghosh discovered a vegetable seller’s daughter who proved to be perfect – and that was who ultimately played the part.
Lulla remarked that the bond between Soman and the girl before the shoot was very beneficial in producing genuine emotions during filming. The entire process of shooting flowed without a hitch, and the music featured in the advertisement was especially appealing to young people. In Khalap’s work, one of the messages she wanted to convey was about an underprivileged young girl who finds joy and contentment in her life. Contrastingly, there is a boy feeling burdened and confused until he meets this free-spirited girl and his life takes a turn for the better. Soman’s ad did the job of connecting young people with the brand, which in turn made Philips popular among them. Through her message of “don’t worry, be happy” she effectively conveyed the idea that resonated well with the target audience.