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Vishal Punjabi
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Shah Rukh spices up ads with Red Chillies

Shah Rukh Khan’s presence and endorsement are the common element in commercials of products like Sona Chandi, Sunfeast, ICICI, Airtel and Videocon. But another factor that binds these commercials is Red Chillies - Shah Rukh’s own production house that has produced these commercials.
Red Chillies has on board a group of directors who direct these commercials, including Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, Farah Khan, Haroun Mirza, Aziz Mirza, Reema Kakti, and Red Chillies’ TVC department head, Vishal Punjabi. “We have a big enough panel to cater to different types of commercials. A stylish and sleek commercial is offered to Farhan for direction, song and dance based to Farah,” Punjabi says.

Though the TVC department has been functioning for the past three years, it was only in September 2006 that Red Chillies revamped the space and got a whole new team of people to work dedicatedly towards making ad films and short films, which comprises in house directors, casting directors, stylists and line producers. Within three months, almost 20 commercials have been worked upon by the company.

“We are not an advertising agency. We draft the creative only sometimes, because mostly we get scripts that are ready to shoot. Sometimes, we add a few thoughts or ideas. We have worked with agencies like JWT, FCB Ulka, Percept, Ambience, Rediffusion DYR,” says Punjabi.

When asked about Shah Rukh’s involvement in the commercials, Punjabi says, “He likes to get involved in the creative and the edit also. He has his own creative thoughts to everything. Many a times he has come up with a lot of taglines for commercials as well.”

Though Johar is involved as a director with the department, it is rare to see him direct a commercial. “In fact, the first commercial that Karan directed for us was for Airtel with Shah Rukh, which also featured the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai title song. This commercial is on air in the UK, the US and Canada.”

In a clipping shot during the making of the ad, Johar said, “I prefer making three hour long films than make 30 second or 60 second commercials. Shah Rukh has been asking me direct commercials since six years. I agreed to direct this Airtel commercial because it was filmi and had my film’s song in it.”

In fact, reports say that Johar will also be directing one more commercial with Red Chillies for ICI paints starring Kareena. Forthcoming projects include a Pepsi commercial and an ICICI commercial.


Snacky commercial

Snacky commercial
June 2007

A sweet commercial starring Shah Rukh Khan and Dia Mirza. Directed by Vishal Punjabi and produced by Red Chillies Entertainment

The Making of the commercial featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Dia Mirza