Brand: Pizza Hut
Agency: JWT India
Reviewers: Vice-presidents and executive creative directors, Contract Advertising (India) Pvt. Ltd
Spot: A female boss is at her farewell party. Sitting with her is a junior colleague, who is too shy to profess his love for her. After eating a Punjabi pizza, he suddenly starts singing a folk song. Voice-over says, “Isme hai dil khol ke toppings ki dil khul jaye” (this has unlimited toppings, which open up your heart). The baseline: Pizza Hut. Stories happen.
Why we don’t like it:
This is really hard to digest and I’m not talking of the pizza! As far as product propositions go, a pizza that makes you croon like Nat King Cole (or Nat Singh Cole; it’s a Punjabi pizza remember!) is as incredulous as “a banian that helps you think of ideas”, or “condoms for the thinking man”. Also, the characterization of the main guy is anything, but Punjabi! If he really needs a pizza boost before serenading a woman, he is a sissy and not a smartie.
There’re crafting issues too. The voice-over is a fuzzy abstraction created by a collage of words that seem profound, but mean nothing. The link between “dil khol ke toppings” and the benefit “dil khul jaye“ is a mystery that might take years to unravel. This is a good example of a brand trying to straddle the rational and the emotional benefits, and ultimately doing justice to neither. As the baseline reminds us, nothing happens.
How we would have done it:
You can never go wrong when you start from the product. In this case, it’s a full Punjabi topping pizza, which includes some fantastic ingredients. One way to look at it—it’s “loaded” with the “goodness” of Punjab.
Bland fare: After eating a Punjabi pizza, the young man suddenly starts singing a folk song to profess his love for the female boss.
This ‘goodness’ is something that can seamlessly link the ingredients and the brand idea. This platform can lead to many interesting creative possibilities.
For example, the goodness of the pizza makes you feel good too. This could mean you turn into a pro-active, selfless, good samaritan only as long as you are having the pizza and revert to your original self once the pizza is eaten. Or maybe, the pizza is so filled with goodness that everything around you looks “bad” in comparison. To end on a bizarre note, there could be a Shahenshah-kind of character who eats at Pizza Hut and rides around in a mobike doing good deeds. And the track for that could be, you guessed it, Goodybaba!
As told to Gouri Shah