With around 13 years of experience in advertising, Manish Bhatt and
Raghu Bhat, founder-directors of Scarecrow Communications Ltd, have worked on brands such as Cadbury, Asian Paints, Aegon Religare insurance, Wonderbra and Vaseline.
Get visual: Manish Bhatt (left) and Raghu Bhat.
The new Frooti campaign uses a candid camera approach where the ads capture consumer reactions when accosted by a giant mango which literally falls from the sky or comes rolling down a hill at them.
What did you think of the campaign?
We’ve seen campaigns featuring giant eyeballs, giant vegetables, giant noses and giant footballs. So at a concept level, a giant mango isn’t as new as, say, a talking mango or a mango that can do math. The creative idea, Juicy mango surprise, is admittedly fertile but doesn’t contain insight. Also, it doesn’t seamlessly blend with “Why grow up?” The treatment, however, stays true to the “candid” style. The casting is spot on. Everything looks realistic, including the giant mango. To sum up, full marks to the production team and a night without dinner for the creative team.
Mango mania:The casting is spot on but the new ads lack insight.
Does the ad do justice to the brand’s iconic stature?When it was launched,?Frooti was insanely?different from its competitors. That’s a great starting point.?And the communication was packed with almost as much “juice” as a mango itself. It had music, lots of energy (in the characters as well as the camera movements) and highly appetizing mango shots. The current ad is an exercise in minimalism. The mood is laid-back, realistic sound in place of music and zero appetite shots. The earlier communication was like a spontaneous outburst, this looks like a guarded assault on the mind of the thirsty consumer. Our verdict is: More YouTube hits but there might be more misses than hits on the hearts of consumers.
Can such candid advertising work for a brand?
Is slice of life the best way to sell a slice of juicy mango? Not necessarily. Candid treatment can cut through clutter but it makes the audio-visual experience sparse and devoid of the navras. Indians like to see ads where the sonic and visual experience is amplified manifold (that’s why Madras cuts and the “loudness” of a Sanjay Leela Bhansali will always have more takers than a spy- cam film like LSD). Also, candid video is a borrowed format of Western TV. It’s interesting from a cinematic viewpoint but will not cut ice with Indians who are programmed to watch a movie or hear a story not as observers, but as participants. The other problem with candid camera is “canned” laughter. We don’t like anything canned, be it food or emotions. In India, we’re used to hearing stories “visually”. Be it Teejan Bai’s animated rendering of the Ramayan or the Yakshagan, sound is always accompanied by the myriad expressions of the artist’s face. For us to truly enjoy the laughter, we need to see the source.
As told to Gouri Shah.