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Perfetti van Melle India, a subsidiary of the global confectionery major, has been one of the fastest-growing FMCG companies in the country. It has also been among the aggressive ones on the marketing communications front. The company is known for pushing its advertising agencies for out-of-the-box ideas. And indeed, its agency, McCann Erickson, hasn’t let it down. The agency’s recent commercial for Happydent, in fact, won accolades both within and outside the country. Their recent effort on brand Alpenliebe has topped Mint’s monthly ad survey. In an interview, Prasoon Joshi, regional creative director and chairman, McCann Erickson India, says it has been a rewarding association with the Italian confectionery major. Edited excerpts:

Both. Good work cannot happen without intention and drive from the client’s side and hard work and talent from the agency’s.

What was the client’s brief for this particular campaign?

Alpenliebe has become an iconic brand. It is way ahead in the game of product communication and has enjoyed tremendous brand loyalty and recall. The client wanted us to build on product strengths and communicate it in a funny and memorable manner.

How did you execute this?

I had this idea of the taste of Alpenliebe being such that whoever you give it to falls in love with it. Taste is the hook that fuels the craving for it, again and again. So here, instead of any run-of-the-mill character, we used something as bizzare as a crocodile which falls in love with Alpenliebe. We used Kajol as one of the characters and this crocodile is shown following her around in the commercial. We sat down with film-maker Dadu to decide how we should go about it. First, we created a dummy crocodile because we needed it for Kajol to get her expression right while acting her bit. Then, Dadu and his team at BlackMagic did a fantastic job.

Is making a commercial for children more difficult than one targeted at adults?

The lines are increasingly blurring on this issue. Children these days are quite sceptical about overtly ‘kiddish’ stuff. They are very quick to make out the distinction. In the case of Alpenliebe, however, we had to come up with an idea that would cut across audiences.

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