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Time for a Dairy Milk as Pappu finally clears his exams

By , agencyfaqs! | In | January 27, 2005
With the latest commercial, the brand continues to address the lower SECs in small towns


Passing an exam always calls for a celebration. But when the resident dunce does finally clear his 12th standard exams, it calls for a sweeter celebration. With Cadbury's Dairy Milk. & #BANNER1 & #

The new communication from Cadbury's Dairy Milk extends the core promise of happiness to yet another 'moment of joy' in one's life, with the tag-line 'Kuch meetha ho jaye'.

The commercial opens with Amitabh Bachchan manning a small-time corner store and humming the Kuch meetha ho jaye jingle to himself, when a couple of young boys come up and ask for a CDM. But when Amitabh asks for money, pat comes the reply, "Paise Pappu dega!" (Pappu will pay for it).

Up next, a group of girls ask for the Dairy Milk chocolates, and once again, they insist, "Pappu will pay up". As this continues, a bewildered Bachchan finally catches hold of a young boy, who too is about to walk away with his chocolate bar, and demands an explanation. "Pappu pass ho gaya!" (Pappu has passed his exams) the boy offers.

"Humra Pappu?" (Our Pappu?) Bachchan exclaims and breaks into an impromptu jig, "Pass ho gaya! Pass ho gaya!"

Enters Pappu, a greying, balding middle-aged man, amidst much revelry. With a toss of his head, he coyly admits, "Akhir main barwi pass ho gaya!" (After all, I passed my 12th). And, as he takes a bite of a big Dairy Milk bar, Bachchan prompts, "Paise Pappu dega!" (Comment on this ad)

Cadbury executives say that the core essence of Cadbury's Dairy Milk has always been happiness. Sanjay Purohit, director, sales and marketing, Cadbury, says, "While the central proposition of the brand has not changed, the communication focus has evolved over time to appeal to different consideration sets."

Looking back, it was 1994 onwards that Cadbury's Dairy Milk communication broke into a song and dance to celebrate those everyday moments of joy in one's life, with a bar of chocolate in hand. Whether it was the cricket commercial, the Cyrus Broacha commercial, or even the one with a flag. "For about 10 years, we continued in the same strand, to make Cadbury's Dairy Milk a permissible product among adults," explains Purohit.

Around mid-2000, the company began addressing the small-town and lower SEC consumers. "The challenge lay in relating to small-town youngsters and infrequent chocolate consumers while sticking to the core promise of joy," adds Purohit.

The 'Khush hoon khaamakhaa' commercial, appearing in 2003, thus aimed to "casualise consumption". But the discovery of worms in chocolate bars put a spanner in the works, so to speak. Bachchan was brought in to turn the focus from joy to sincerity and assurance, and also leverage his charming persona to swing back into favour with the consumer. The strategy worked, and after a spate of plummeting sales, things crept back to normal, the company claims.

The next phase of communication aimed to turn chocolate consumption into a habit. "In spite of a pronounced sweet tooth, chocolates don't figure in our consideration set on an everyday basis. We wanted to make chocolates and Cadbury's Dairy Milk an intrinsic part of the consumer's life, and that's how the tag line - Kuch meetha ho jaye - was born," Purohit explains.

With the latest commercial, the brand continues to address the lower SECs in small towns and the infrequent consumer. In fact, the version for Doodarshan shows the smaller Rs 5 bar. "With a market share of 70 per cent-plus, we don't need a brand-building exercise, but push a certain consumer behaviour," adds Purohit. "We want our patrons to consume chocolates whenever there is an urge to celebrate on a sweet note."

However, Pappu marks a departure from earlier Cadbury's Dairy Milk commercials in more ways than one. For a change, Bachchan does not play himself.

"In the first campaign with Mr Bachchan, the need was to reinstate trust in the minds of the consumer. This was after the worm controversy, and that's why he needed to play himself. In the second one, which appeared around June-July last year, the aim was to illustrate everyday people celebrating special moments in their lives. So when a man runs into Amitabh Bachchan, the star, it is reason enough to celebrate with a Dairy Milk bar," explains Abhijit Awasthi, senior creative director, O&M, the agency on the account. "What Amitabh adds to the brand are his values as an actor, his charisma, charm and exuberance - with a dash of aspiration," says Purohit. "And, we wanted to capture that."

The agency consciously attempted a few firsts with this commercial: Avoiding the route of warm music and visuals associated with CDM communication, and going for a bit of 'disruptive humour' instead. "The humour is not of the slap-stick kind, but has a certain degree of refinement and elegance that goes well with the brand persona," insists Purohit.

Working on a story line and not a montage and planting a thought in the consumer's mind - that is universal and easy to identify with, were the other attempts. "The phrase, 'Pappu pass ho gaya', is an equivalent of saying 'Lottery lag gayi', a spontaneous utterance of unexpected joy," feels Awasthi. It is like a metaphor for any challenge we overcome in our everyday life, he adds.

Agrees Purohit, who believes that the phrase has the potential of becoming a part of everyday street parlance. Awasthi prefers to be a bit cautious. "It is catchy, as we noticed that while shooting the film, a lot of people picked it up spontaneously, but let's see." At the end, as both the company and the agency agree, it is a commercial not just about Bachchan, but about Pappu, the lovable bumkin, as well.

A simultaneous burst on radio and a string of outdoor and below-the-line activities are on, that interpret and apply the idea of 'Pappu pass ho gaya' in their respective contexts.

The creative team include Shekhar Jha, Suresh Babu, Arshad Sardar and Abhijit Awasthi. The film has been shot by Pradeep Sarkar of Apocalypso Films.

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