From a Family’s Blessing.
To the sounds of a rug.
Back in November 2015, we went to Jaipur, India to film a promotional video for the Jaipur Rugs Company, a manufacturer of beautiful hand-woven carpets. The concept was simple: find a way to tell the story of this company in a short, three minute video. The video was to be displayed on the Jaipur Rugs website, a quick promo to explain the basics of the company and showcase its great work.
We had our brief for the video too: we had to express the idea that every Jaipur rug is “made with a family’s blessing”.
- What does this phrase mean to the company?
- How can we explain that to a newcomer?
- And can we turn that explanation into a compelling video?
Jaipur Rugs is a fantastic company which acts as much as a charity as a successful multinational business. It’s won multiple awards in India for its social work, providing training and fair, sustainable livings for its artisans - who are some of the most disadvantaged in Indian society. When we spoke to the founder of the company, N.K. Chaudhary, this was exactly what he honed in on. He sees his company as a means of reaching out to overlooked classes in India. His company ensures its artisans receive sustainable livings - something that a lot of other rug companies avoid doing - but it also provides literacy classes, medical care, and even entrepreneurship programmes to help his artisans achieve their potential.
So this was our way in.
We decided to pose a question to our audience: what’s in a rug?
Sure, there’s the fabulous detail and beautiful designs that Jaipur Rugs is famous for. But, more than that, there’s the personal story that goes into every rug - there’s the fact that every penny a customer hands over goes directly towards the food, education, medical care, fair salary, you name it, of an artisan.
This is what we wanted to capture when we began filming. We wanted to hear the very human stories that came from all the employees of this great company. And it was these stories we focused on as we edited and delivered the final video.
But we had a problem.
There was simply too much great footage. And, as we went through it all, we realised we had far too much leftover.
We couldn’t waste it - so we pitched some more videos.
During our filming we’d captured all the different stages of making a rug - all the people (about 180 in total) who contribute to a single carpet - and we wanted to show them off. So we came up with the idea of displaying the “sounds of a rug”: we created a one-minute video, set to a beat comprised entirely of sounds we’d recorded in Jaipur, and showcasing all the pairs of hands that help create a rug.
After that, we created a short advertisement for Jaipur Rugs’ new collection, ‘Artisan Originals’. These are rugs designed by artisans themselves, inspired by their own surroundings and imagination (including a design showing a monkey with a gun, shooting a rabbit - designed by one 14 year old girl).
Both these videos acted as focused, effective Facebook videos that could easily grab an audience, gain a bit of traction on social media, whilst showcasing the central mentality of the company: how much it cares about its artisans.
But we didn’t stop there.
After the success of our longer video and our two short videos, Jaipur Rugs were keen to develop some more video ideas. So we got to work - we took the company’s core statement (a 200 word document detailing exactly what Jaipur Rugs stands for) and picked it apart.
- What are its key points?
- What stories can we find hidden in there?
- And how can we turn those into compelling videos?
So we went back to Jaipur Rugs and pitched a whole load of video ideas - some requiring new footage, some coming from footage we already had - to see what would work best for the company.
We opened a dialogue with Jaipur Rugs and that’s where we are right now - we’re working together to figure out how to create a whole new series of great videos.