New Delhi: Dalda, the heritage vanaspati ghee (hydrogenated cooking oil), is back to reconnect with consumers with a new proposition. At a time when its competitors are luring consumers with health proposition, Dalda’s new campaign makes a social commentary on how Indian kitchens are changing and how the brand is keeping pace with social change, using the tagline “Naye zamane ka naya Dalda".

Made by advertising agency Leo Burnett, the first television spot, titled “Mother-in-Law", features a staunch vegetarian mother-in-law (played by actor Sheeba Chadda) cooking a non-vegetarian meal for her daughter-in-law, hinting at how kitchens are becoming a bonding place to bridge the culture and age gap. In the second ad, titled “Mother-Son", a mother (played by actor Tisca Chopra) is shown teaching and encouraging her son on how to cook. The campaign promotes Dalda Refined Soyabean oil, which it claims is cholesterol free.

Noting that the cooking oil market is cluttered with strong regional and national players, Milind Acharya, marketing head, India Pvt. Ltd, which owns Dalda, said the brand continues to enjoy high brand recall, “Being one of India’s oldest brands, Dalda understands the Indian consumers and their changing mind set. India and specifically Indian Kitchens are experiencing a huge lifestyle and mind set change. The key anchor of this change is the women who within the kitchen try to inculcate the new mindset. We aim to bring across a visual representation of these positive changes we are observing around us through our TV commercials."

Dalda, which has been a part of households across the country for nearly 75 years, was acquired by Bunge India Pvt. Ltd in 2003 from Hindustan Unilever.

Rajdeepak Das, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett, South Asia, said, “Our society, our norms, the way we look at our value system, everything has changed so much. And yet, we stay rooted. I believe Dalda is a brand that has beautifully tapped into this transformation; it still manages to hold on to its core values, but reflects everything we stand for. The new campaign is a reflection of this dichotomy, it reflects the way we have changed as a people, and yet makes one think how far we have evolved in our thinking."

Apart from television, the campaign is being promoted across digital as well as in-store channels.

According to Naresh Gupta, strategy head and managing partner at advertising agency Bang in the Middle, both the commercials are loveable and manage to capture the evolving kitchens of the country. However, Gupta feels that Dalda must clarify its target consumer.

“There is a set of consumer who knows Dalda for a generation and their perception of the brand has been the old hydrogenated oil brand. If Dalda is trying to connect with the new age home maker then she doesn’t know the old brand. She would have looked at it as a new cooking oil brand. If they are trying to reconnect with the older home maker, she may not have the best feeling for the brand. That’s where the whole proposition for the brand stops making sense. Why is Dalda changing and for who?" he asked.

Gupta said that while the ads have their heart in place, they come across as slightly preachy, which may not go well with the new-age home maker, “I believe context of communication is as important as insight and the context here is a bit of a force fit. The brand has to find a better way to get in kitchens where there is no history of Dalda," he added.

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