New Delhi: Food opens the door to people’s hearts, breaking barriers of language, culture and nationality. Ogilvy India and Ogilvy Pakistan highlight this in a heart-winning campaign for Shan Foods, one of Pakistan’s biggest brands of spices and recipe mixes. Set up in 1981 by Sikander Sultan, Shan now has a presence in over 65 countries, including India.
The campaign, rolled out weeks before Ramzan, aims to bring new neighbours together using the power of food. Shot in Lahore, Pakistan, the film opens with a Chinese couple who has recently moved into the neighbourhood. The wife, still adjusting to the new place, complains she cannot make new friends locally considering they don’t even eat the same food. Minutes later she asks the husband to drop her off at the supermarket where she buys biryani masala and prepares the flavoured rice dish to break the ice with her neighbours. Surprised at her skill (aided by Shan, of course), the women in her neighbourhood open their homes and hearts to her with great warmth.
“The neighbourhood comes alive by sharing food. It was a nice concept to bring back in today’s busy world that we live in. There are many Chinese expats living in Lahore hence we decided to tell the story from their perspective. The product is weaved in the story beautifully and highlights how Shan Foods brings out the ease of cooking. We collaborate on lot of projects with Ogilvy Pakistan and the credit also goes to the client (Shan Foods) to believe and own the work we do,” said Sukesh Nayak, executive creative director, Ogilvy Mumbai.
Apart from television and digital, the campaign will look at on-ground activation. The brand along with its agency will set up “neighbourhood tables” in two different cities of Pakistan where people will be invited to share a meal.
Noting that the space of food eliminating cultural differences has been explored, Deepak Singh, chief creative officer, The Social Street, said, “The insight of neighbours connecting over food is quite true and relevant to us Indians as well. I also quite like the plot, the cast and particularly the music.” Singh also noted that since food is an integral part of any festival, and Ramzan being the holy month followed by Eid which is one of the biggest festivals in Pakistan, the on-ground activity to set up “neighbourhood tables” will connect the brand with consumers.