Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chocolate never felt this good before - repositioning a brand with style

Piyush Pandey, the Executive Chairman and National Creative Director of Ogilvy India has redefined Indian advertising in more ways than one. But in the midst of all his achievements, awards and accolades, there is a commercial from the nineties which can make you feel good like nothing can. Well, almost nothing. See it if you don't believe me.

If Hindi as a language is not your strong point, watch this one. Though I guess the original version is always better, which is Hindi in this case.

Pandey repositioned Cadbury chocolates as an impulse buy for adults. Not a mean feat considering the fact that chocolates and children were synonymous in most Indian households back in the nineties. In the early days of globalization, lack of variety and the popularity of Indian sweets relegated chocolates for the kids in the family. The ad shown above, which is my all time favorite and a series of ads based on the same strategy changed the way Indians looked at chocolates. And Cadbury expanded its target profile by leaps and bounds. When it comes to the parent brand, it is not surprising that Cadbury India has stuck with Ogilvy & Mather for ages, despite the prevalent fickleness in most agency-client relationships.

Apart from making you smile, another striking quality of the above ad is the lack of celebrities. Pandey doesn't believe in spending money on celebs as is quite evident from the best of his work. I have worked with clients like Colgate and Cadbury who would have gasped in horror at the mere idea. They had a point. Some of their brands were built with a certain celebrity in mind and the brand personality matched perfectly. They had the currency, the resources and the contacts. Who was I to complain? Though I still think it is unecessary provided you have a great idea.

Well, Piyush Pandey had it. The "great idea". He did magic with a brand and made it acceptable to a larger population. In India, that means a perceptible increase in sales figures. So everybody from the agency, the marketing and sales department and the consumers are happy. How many brands can say that with confidence?

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