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What connects a solo female rider crossing the mighty Himalayas with another female struggling with postpartum depression in a cosmopolitan office space? Perhaps a longing for a familiar known feeling—the feeling of home!

A variety of branded content by the likes of Royal Enfield, Prega News, Paisabazaar, and Mahindra Lifespaces addresses this fairly known and yet loosely defined ‘feeling of home’.

Home is universally associated with warmth, comfort, and memories. Home is a nestling space where one is enabled to dream both small and big. Interestingly, the walls of one’s home allow them to shed their own walls and be without any inhibitions. But before all these signifiers can come into play, one must own a home. Hence, a symbol of the home is also embodied with aspirations and ownership. The image of handing over the keys to a new homeowner is infused with poignant accomplishment. It signifies hard work coupled with meticulous savings.

#1 Paisabazaar- My Father’s Dream #StoryOfADaughter

Paisabazaar’s short film plays out through the eyes of a daughter who is bringing her father home. It shows a lifetime of waiting, saving and dreaming on the father’s part in order to own a home. Familial responsibilities always take precedence and impede the father’s dream. So, his precious keychain attached with a small house figurine stays without a key.

The dream is eventually completed by the daughter through part-saving and part-loan. The short successfully places ‘loan’ as the little help that plugs the difference. It is able to bring to life a dream that not only the father but the daughter too saw along with him. Home here is a shared symbol and space between the father and daughter. It is one of the connecting links in their relationship. The video also combines the sentiment of ‘owning’ with the meaning of home.

#2 Royal Enfield- Home

The seven-and-a-half-minute film by Royal Enfield and Coconut Films begins in an unpleasant din of traffic and city noises. It traces a lone female rider in a rather solitary landscape dotted with white mountains and scanty vegetation. The ride back home is accompanied by a monologue as the rider elaborates upon the journey and her home.

Royal Enfield positions ‘home’ as a space that will always be there to go back to. That space moreover is the best escape possible from the chaos. It is always welcoming and a worthy reminder of one’s roots. This is shown through childhood flashbacks and old polaroids.

The journey back home is a journey worth taking because it continues to enshrine one’s essence.

“Home accepts what you choose for it!”, says the rider. Thus, the space which always has an air of permanence about it is also at the same time open to its inhabitants’ interpretations! As the home allows itself to be shaped, it shapes the lives of those who live in it, too. It provides a sanctuary for dreams, character and learning.

The film plays well on the senses by mentioning the fragrances, the noises, the songs, and the myths from home. Themes of rebirth from Buddhist mythology are inter-mixed to signify that one will invariably return to the point of beginning, which is home. In many ways, the home is an essence that accompanies one outside its own physical boundary. That is probably why ‘the tug of home’ becomes impossible to resist.

#3 Prega News- Your Second Home

Series of videos by Prega News discover the idea of a home outside the home! These disrupt the narrative that defines home just as a physical space. They explore the ability of Home to spill outside the ‘chardiwari’. The videos play out entirely in the character’s offices, never once depicting their homes. But the lack thereof shows that home is a space that caters to customised comfort and needs. The extrapolation of the same in any space can be used to make someone feel at home.

The colleagues in the videos are shown to be mindful as they make changes around the office. In the first video, a newly pregnant woman is given a new office space that has been readied keeping in mind her needs. The office pantry is installed with an exhaust fan to reduce her discomfort with food smells. The second video shows a new mother who is dealing with post-partum depression. Here, it is her team that takes up the task of giving her some time off and boosting her dwindling confidence.

Hence, for a space to be an extension of the home, it must provide an understanding whether through physical changes (furniture, plants, fans, etc.) or through people. Home is presented here as a feeling of comfort and support that assist those in throes of serious issues such as post-partum depression.

#4 Mahindra Lifespaces

Mahindra Lifespaces’ videos focus upon the topical role of home and the change it has undergone due to the Covid Pandemic. The first video is centred upon the forgotten value of the home. The home had perhaps turned into a transit point as busy individuals tried to navigate their lives through the office, parties, shopping, socialising, etc. As people began staying at home, the old traditions were revived and new ones were formed. The video cherishes these and presents them in contrast with the ‘normal life.’ The viability of home as an office, home as a box of memories, home as space for teamwork (in household chores) is foregrounded in the video that ends with the message to cherish home a bit more.

The second video honours the home as it accommodated the transformations enforced upon the inhabitants of a world struck by the Pandemic. It addresses the various uses of spaces within a home that were and are still being seen. The kitchen where many people learnt to cook or the living room that doubled up as an office or a classroom this last year are talked of in the video as spaces that deserve appreciation. By suggesting that this year (2020) we wish a Happy Diwali to our homes, Mahindra almost places home as an extended member of the family. While doing so, it reinforces the known value of one’s home that should be cherished. It acknowledges the ability of the home to be shaped as per the inhabitants’ needs.

The Feeling of Home

Content by the aforementioned brands attempt to navigate through a plethora of symbols associated with the word ‘home.’ They cover the aspiration of owning a home and also the essence enrooted in one’s home. The content tries to explore the extensions of the home and the possibility thereof. Most interestingly, the topical role of home in present times is addressed too. Home overall is positioned as a space that gives cover and accommodates, inspires and enables, and one that is ready to be shaped as per requirement.

The age-old motif of the home is a feeling that is worth admiring and going back to even as it never really leaves one! For that very reason, brands can capitalise on the concept of home. The sentimental values and the ‘tug of home’ can be meaningfully employed to generate content for the upcoming festive season. They can look back to the familiar themes of safety and security as embodied by a home. These themes can be contextualised, according to the present discourse on safety and Covid-19. Furthermore, brands can highlight issues of space crunch or multipurpose use of an area (balcony for exercising, living room to take zoom meetings, etc.) within a home as seen during the pandemic.