New Delhi: Weeks before the board exams begin, PepsiCo India has rolled out a thought-provoking campaign raising the issue of examination stress among teenagers which often leads to depression and suicidal tendencies. Titled Release the Pressure, the digital film is a powerful appeal to parents to support and motivate their children. The film, released on the brand’s official YouTube channel on 15 February, is already a success garnering over 5.7 million views at the time of filing this report.
The core target consumers of Mirinda, the fizzy orange drink from the Pepsi stable, are aged between 14 and 18 years and this is the first time the brand has decided to ditch its regular summer campaign to highlight a socially relevant issue.
Conceptualized by advertising agency BBDO India and directed by Shoojit Sircar, the over two-and-a-half-minute-long film features real-life teenagers reading out letters they have written to their parents. In candid monologues, they express their distress over the tough time they go through and the parental expectations which add to the pressure during exams. The letters are an eye-opener for parents who are made to read them.
Mirinda, through this campaign, aims to ignite and facilitate a conversation that deserves attention in our country, said Vipul Prakash, vice-president - beverages, PepsiCo India. The objective is to drive behavioural change by inviting people to pledge to Release the Pressure during examination time. “We have been doing functional brand advertising for a long time and are pretty good at it. This film onward, each of our brand campaigns will be directed towards bringing meaningful change in consumers’ lives. It will not be a CSR initiative rather we will adopt this approach in each of our mainline campaigns across brand categories," said Prakash.
Apart from the digital film, the brand will roll out an integrated mass media campaign to further push the cause.
“We believe in today’s world, context is everything. That’s why, along with the inspired team at PepsiCo, we created Mirinda Release the Pressure. It is Mirinda’s way of connecting with today’s 14 to 18-year-olds who are going through immense competitive pressure. It’s about empathy and resolving conflict. By creating a platform to discuss and debate this issue, Mirinda is playing a useful role – something that progresses society and our target audience," said Josy Paul, chairman and chief creative officer, BBDO India.
The television campaign, No More Pressurepanti, Only Pagalpanti, is slated to release in the first week of March along with heavy on-ground activation through modern trade outlets, radio and print leg. Over the next few months, Mirinda will invite people to pledge to Release the Pressure through its microsite as well as modern trade outlets.
“I really appreciate what Mirinda is doing; it is much needed given the kind of stress levels children face today. However, I feel this initiative should have started much earlier and it should be a year-round campaign where the brand should make a constant effort to help raise awareness about it," said Prathap Suthan, managing partner and chief creative officer at ad agency Bang in the Middle.
According to him, as a country we need to emphasize on life skills and co-curricular activities that play a crucial role in the overall development of children. Brands should take a long-term approach while talking about such issues building a powerful communication channel.
“I believe every youth brand can contribute to this cause and create awareness. Last year, Cadbury did a wonderful campaign for brand Bournvita where a school principal was featured questioning parents if chasing good grades ensures a successful life. We need more such initiatives by brands which have loyal following among youth," he added.