New Delhi: Most friendships brew over a steaming cup of tea, a slice-of-life insight, which has been highlighted in the new Brooke Bond Red Label campaign. Known for its socially inclusive brand narrative ‘Swad Apnepan ka’, the Hindustan Unilever-owned tea brand’s new campaign brings to the fore the issue of food preferences and the silent divide that exists between vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The ad, however, showcases how this divide is bridged over a cup of Red Label tea.

Made by advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, the 35-second long television spot features two aged friends meeting after years. The vegetarian friend is shown visiting the non-vegetarian friend and refusing tea on the grounds of meat being cooked in the house. What follows is a cup of tea and its aroma that breaks the tension between the two friends.

“Brooke Bond Red Label’s purpose is to make India more inclusive. We believe in confronting and challenging prejudices that come in the way of such inclusiveness. Our latest television campaign challenges one such prejudice in a light-hearted manner over a tasty cup of tea," said Shiva Krishnamurthy, vice-president, tea and foods, HUL.

Red Label has been creating socially inclusive advertising under the tagline ‘Swad Apnepan ka’ (Taste of Togetherness) since 2014. The ads highlight tea and its ability to diffuse tension and awkward situations to bring people closer. The idea is to encourage people to be more inclusive and accepting, irrespective of culture, gender and other differences.

The brand has highlighted issues such as mental health, transgender issues and single mothers in its previous campaigns.

According to Naresh Gupta, strategy head and managing partner at advertising agency Bang in the Middle, the ad is an endearing tale of friendship between two close friends. “The banter, desire for a cup of tea and bonding is well crafted and executed."

He, however, is not in favour of the last frame of the spot mentioning the hashtag #VegNonvegTension. “For me the hashtag took away the entire warmth and feel-good quotient of the commercial. Advertising messages sometimes have to have the art of subtlety. The consumer should discover hidden layers and feel good about it," he added.

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