Nice, but lacks bite
Reviewer: K.V. Sridhar
From humble beginnings as a Hindi film billboard painter to the national creative director of Leo Burnett India, K.V. Sridhar is a respected figure in the Indian ad world. He has more than three decades of experience, and has worked with brands such as McDonald’s, Heinz and Thums Up.
Forgettable: K.V. Sridhar
Britannia Industries Ltd’s commercial for Bourbon Cappuccino biscuits, by McCann Erickson, revolves around a young boy and a girl parting after an evening out. The boy wants to extend the evening, so the girl invites him in for coffee. To his disappointment, the girl’s grandmother offers him Bourbon Cappuccino. Tag line: New “Bourbon” Cappuccino in Town.
Your first thoughts on the ad?
It just stops at nice. It has a grown-up beginning, ends up being a little silly. It also confuses you. Who are they talking to? Families or young adults? I do not blame the story writer or the film-maker, they did their job. It’s the strategist and planners who took a non-committal positioning, which resulted in a highly forgettable ad.
What would you have done differently?
Non-committal: Is the ad speaking to young adults or families?
I would have focused on one idea and target group. I feel if the target audience is young adults, then why not go all the way? Why the Brahmanic inclusion of a family member? When you have a personality, like the duality of sugary outside and a dark coffee taste inside, it calls for edgy execution to get the attention of young adults.
Your thoughts on Bourbon’s previous commercials.
They tend to be as confused as this one is. I again go back to the question: Who are we talking to? You cannot appeal to the young by being sweet and nice. I love Fastrack advertising because it commits itself to a specific target group mindset.
Snacking as a category is cluttered with brands. What can brands do to gain a competitive advantage in advertising?
They need to focus on a single-minded idea and have clarity on a target group. Axe, Thums Up and Fastrack are great examples of this focus. This helps these brands produce consistently clutter-breaking work.
Why do most biscuit ads either work around a sensual theme or show children snacking?
One can group biscuit brands into “kiddy” taste or adult indulgence brands. Expensive biscuits like Bourbon fall in the indulgence category, then the obvious choice would be romance and seduction.
Any international or Indian ads in this category that have high recall value?
I can think of many snacking ads for Mars, Japp, Altoids, Skittles and our own Perk and 5 Star.
As told to Vidhi Choudhary.