Parle Milano: Romance is serious business indeed

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | November 27, 2006
And this is no light-hearted romance we're talking about. In an ad for premium chocolate-chip cookies Parle Milano, Everest Brand Solutions has tried to go beyond the flirtatious romance route it had treaded for Parle Hide & Seek

You may

want to exhale deeply after watching the TVC that marks the launch of Parle Milano, for the extreme passion and romance in the ad may leave you a little out of breath.

As a follow-up to its premium product Hide & Seek, Parle Products has launched Parle Milano, an even more premium and upgraded chocolate-chip cookie brand. While Hide & Seek's communication had a fun dance element and was mildly flirtatious, Milano's TVC goes a step further.

"As this cookie is full of rich ingredients such as high amounts of butter and chocolate, we wanted to position Milano as a premium offering with an international feel to it," says Shalin Desai, senior brand manager, Parle Milano. In fact, even the brand name wasn't spared - Milano is actually an Italian name. "We zeroed in on this name as it is unique, easy to pronounce, and has a distinct 'firang' air about it," Desai continues. However, a challenge was to differentiate this brand from its predecessor, Hide & Seek.

Milano (Roshan) plays music to impress a girl.

The girl gives him coy looks.

The bakery owner reprimands Milano.

Milano is helped by his lady love while baking cookies.

The bakery owner is floored by the tasty cookies.

Milano mischievously agrees to bake the cookies for the owner everyday.
Vijay Lalwani and Makarand Patil, creative directors at Everest Brand Solutions, were responsible for this task. The duo decided that while Hide & Seek was all about fun and romance, Milano has richer ingredients, and hence needs to be positioned as a seriously passionate and sensual brand. Therefore, they thought of weaving a tale around the making/invention of this rich-tasting cookie, with brand ambassador Hrithik Roshan playing the lead.

Set in the backdrop of a rustic Italian village in 1809, the film opens on a young chap named Milano (Hrithik Roshan) who works in a bakery. Seeing his sweetheart around, he starts playing music for her. The owner of the bakery notices this idling away of time during work hours, and shouts at him angrily, "Milano, stay in the bakery until you have learnt to bake!" Later that night, as Milano struggles to do the job, the same girl walks in and seductively tells him that she'll help him make the cookies. Over a series of romantic interludes, she ends up teaching him the fine art of making tasteful and rich cookies.

The next morning, on seeing the bakery in a mess, the owner is furious with Milano again. But a bite of the biscuit baked by Milano alters his mood. Impressed, the owner asks, "Would you like to make this for me everyday?" Milano recalls the previous night with his beloved. In mock contemplation, Milano thinks for a while and eventually agrees. The ad ends on the product shot as the MVO concludes, "There's a secret behind every Milano."

The archaic Italian background was researched upon and finally selected to add to that element of richness and credibility to the ad. Had the ad been set in contemporary times, it wouldn't have accounted for the history of the evolution of the cookie (fictitious though the tale is).

Explaining the 'secret' tagline, Patil of Everest says, "The word 'secret' in the tagline bears resemblance to two factors - the secret recipe behind the biscuits, and the secret/unique experience each person may have on consuming this product."

Lalwani is quick to clarify that the ad is not in the least vulgar or offensive. "We have tried to bring out the heavy passion and chemistry between the protagonists, without going overboard," he says. "We know the fine line between sensual and sleazy, and there really isn't any show of skin, if one carefully notices."

The film has been shot by Navdeep Singh of Red Ice Films over two days in Mumbai, whereas the Vishal-Shekhar duo has worked on the soundtrack. A set was created, and every tiny detail was taken care of to give it an international feel. Costumes, too, were hand-stitched as opposed to machine-made. The kitchen equipment comprised largely earthenware, including wooden bowls (as metal crockery was expensive in 1809).

According to Desai, this communication is expected to help Milano capture around 15-20 per cent of the chocolate-chip biscuit/cookie segment.

2006 agencyfaqs!

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