Carvaan, the radio product, found initial success by filling a gap in India’s music market for the over-50s, and is now building on that by targeting youth – but as purchasers rather than as users.

Ironically, the agency behind the product, which hosts thousands of old songs on a hard disk within a radio format, spent eight months unsuccessfully looking for ways to monetise those same songs with a youth audience.

“The moment of clarity happened when we switched our gaze to the right target group,” Kawal Shoor, founding partner of The Womb, told Behind the Winning Ideas, WARC’s new daily show on Cannes Lions TV.

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India is a young country, he explained – the average age is 26 and media is geared towards catering to them, so radio and TV aren’t playing the sort of songs an older generation likes, while the physical music formats that demographic might have grown up with aren’t around any more.

Carvaan came out of a clear consumer need – “that the old are struggling to get their hands on a solution”.

The Womb didn’t actually build the product but were “conceptually involved” and had design input. The agency was also insistent that the price be held to around $100.

That’s typically the price point “where people are OK spending – not fully impulse but they can spend on themselves,” Shoor explained. Even then, he added, the older generation are more likely to loosen their purse strings for their children and grandchildren than themselves.

Now the tables are being turned as the latest campaign encourages children to gift a Carvaan to “their mothers and fathers, their uncles and aunts”.

India has a huge gifting market, Shoor pointed out and “there is no gift position for the elderly” – something Carvaan aims to exploit in an occasion-agnostic way.

“We know what a red rose stands for … if gifts can become symbols of something, have one meaning, there’s nothing like it,” said Shoor.

“[Thank you] is one emotion we feel we’re not saying enough to our elders and if Carvaan can mean thank you over the next 5-10 years we’ll have done our job.”

Sourced from Cannes Lions TV; additional content by WARC staff