With around 13 years experience in advertising, Manish Bhatt and Raghu Bhat, founder-directors of the advertising agency Scarecrow Communications Ltd, have worked on brands such as Cadbury, Aegon Religare insurance, Wonderbra and Vaseline.
The new set of ads for Rasna focuses on the new generation of children, who are smart and naughty. The ad shows children using their intelligence to win a Rasna drinking competition.
What did you think of the ad?
Strategy is like underwear. It should be there but shouldn’t necessarily be seen. This is more so while talking to kids. For this reason, I would not use the words “Ghoont Shararat Ki (A sip of mischief)” in the communication as they don’t belong to the vocabulary of a kid. My other issue is with the nature of “shararat”. I feel the emotional payoff for kids is higher if the mischief is directed against a perpetrator of tyranny or authority. That gives the mischief a “purpose”. In this case, the kid gets back at someone who’s innocuous. Other than that, the commercial looks slick. It’s an attention-stopper and a conversation-starter. The compere is inspired casting. The deadpan rhythmic VO delivery combines Queen’s English with khadiboli Hindi nicely.
How does this compare with the ‘I love you Rasna!’ campaign of the 1980s?
Kids today are more likely to say “I dig Rasna” instead of “I love Rasna”. So, the need for a change of tack is justified. The key difference is, the old campaign spoke to the heart in a language kids understood. This campaign speaks more to the mind in a language kids may not understand. The old campaign seduced the taste buds through the use of vibrant orange colour and glasses filled with the beverage. That was smart thinking because kids respond well to sensory taste stimuli. This campaign has muted colours and negligible appetite cues. The other key decision is: Should Rasna stand for “mischief that’s fun” or “mischief that’s bizarre”? The danger with “bizarre” is (akin to a Tim Burton film ), adults may find it funnier.
Lost in translation: The new Rasna ads may fail to convey the message.
What should be kept in mind when advertising for children?
Before working on any child’s brief, you’ve got to tender your official resignation from adulthood, and become a child again. You’ve got to believe peppermints are better than money because you can eat them. The ability to see the world through the prism of a child’s point of view will reveal useful insights. Kids love an underdog. Kids love to watch kids. Kids have an innate sense of justice. To learn more about how to connect with kids, watch CBeeBies . Or Vishal Bhardwaj’s Makdee. That’s what I do.
As told to Gouri Shah.