Reviewer: Prathap Suthan

Good cast: Prathap Suthan


The new advertisement for Cadbury Bournville by Ogilvy and Mather India shows a representative from the company examining a cocoa bean. He puts one on the side as it is not up to the mark. To his surprise and that of the cocoa traders, the bean starts crying, disappointed at being rejected, emphasizing, perhaps, the company’s pursuit of the perfect cocoa bean.

What did you think of the ad?

It is a competent film. The idea of Cadbury searching for the perfect cocoa beans is tediously good. Good cast. Africa looks like Africa. The introduction of the crying cocoa bean is sticky. And the post is authentic. For the wannabes who think dark chocolate is the way to nirvana and social standing, the Ghana bit is a discerning barb.

Do you think this ad works for the brand?

Bean story: Dark chocolate demands indulgence, not wry humour.

The problem is this: Bournville has a history. Earlier advertising genes, plus an established price band. People who want fine chocolate wouldn’t go to Bournville with a bargepole. Me included. If Ghana has to work overtime, Cadbury could have launched a new 400 a bar chocolate brand. It was worth it in an uninformed market. There are people out there who’d try the new mystery. They should have left Bournville in Bournville.

How does this ad compare with the other ads from Cadbury?

The big one for me is that what is the connect to “you have to earn it"? The bean crying? That you have to be of a certain benchmark to be chosen? Ouch. That’s tenuous. Obviously this is a break from CDM (Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate) and their beautiful commercials. Bournville always had an over-the-top madness to it—at least the giant crow commercial—and they could have continued that.

As told to Gouri Shah