Dec 30, 2008

Mktg - Diet with sweets this season

Savia Jane Pinto

Health and physical fitness are on everyone's mind and most FMCG brands are helping those on the heavier side to maintain healthy lifestyles.

After its last shapely ad with brand ambassador Bipasha Basu, Sugar Free Natura has introduced a variant, Sugar Free Natura Diet Sugar, which can be used in everyday food.

The TV commercial opens at a dining table, where a man and his son are waiting for breakfast to be served. The father is supposedly on a diet that has been enforced by his wife. At the breakfast table, the son teases his father about the diet that will start today. Dad makes a face and, just then, Mom walks into the room and places a covered bowl on the table. Dad sneaks a peek while she is speaking into the phone and finds a bowlful of cookies. He is really happy and sings to himself, while his son calls out in complaint to his mother.

Next, during lunch in office, Dad sees laddoos in his lunch box and again begins singing to himself because he's glad that his wife has forgotten about the diet she'd planned for him. In another instance, instead of losing her cool over his sweet tooth, his wife ignores him eating brownies.

The shot moves to the kitchen where Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who is also the brand ambassador, is explaining to the wife that the new Natura Diet Sugar can be used just like ordinary sugar, but without all the unnecessary calories.

The ad has been created by Rediffusion Y&R.

"The idea is to equate Natura Diet Sugar in some ways with ordinary sugar," says Ramanuj Shastry, national creative director, Rediffusion Y&R. Unlike the pills (Sugar Free Natura), Natura Diet Sugar is in crystalline form and can be used in the same quantities as ordinary sugar.

Ganesh Nayak, executive Director, Cadila Healthcare, says, "The idea is to project the product as a ‘choose to use’, rather than a ‘need to use’ product. Hence, instead of showing an overweight husband, we've used a concerned wife with a husband who enjoys the happier side of life with sweets." And this is where brand ambassador Kapoor steps in. As a culinary expert, Kapoor's word will be taken seriously.

Though a wife mulling over her husband's dietary habits is a common premise with other FMCG categories such as cooking oil, Sugar Free generally uses the family route to convey the brand message, and the housewife is considered the main protagonist of its campaigns.

The bright side of Sugar Free has always been that you can give into food cravings without having to worry about gaining calories. "If the husband were left to his own devices, he'd never stick to his diet. But when the wife, who is generally in charge of the kitchen, finds an alternative to the unnecessary calories that her family is taking in, there's nothing like it," says Ambika Nehru, executive creative director, Rediffusion Y&R.

We asked a few other creative people what they thought of the ad.

Manoj Deb, executive creative director, BBDO India, thinks that the idea is good. The fact that the husband thinks that his wife has forgotten about the diet, while she actually hasn't, is a nice way to treat the thought, he says.

Titus Upputuru, senior creative director, O&M, isn't too impressed though. He says, "Even though I'm gobbling down loads of home-made, rich cakes and cookies these days, I wasn't pulled out of my chair to go buy it (Natura Diet Sugar), but have just bought a five-litre pack of oil."

Upputuru goes on to quote Bill Bernbach, "Bernbach once said, ‘If the ad goes unnoticed, everything else is academic.’ I would change that to, 'If the consumer goes unconvinced, everything else is academic.'”

Other media vehicles such as print and radio and below-the-line activities such as sampling will also be utilised.

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