Saffola Gold: When Mars and Venus go shopping together

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | January 17, 2007
For the first time, Saffola Gold's advertising shows men becoming an integral part of the purchase process of home groceries, thereby marking a shift from denial to acceptance of their potential heart problems

Over the past & #BANNER1 & # three years or so, Marico's cooking oil brand, Saffola, has tried every route to bring out its shift in positioning from a curative (fear-inducing) heart-care brand to a preventive, lifestyle-oriented one. This was particularly helped by the launch of Saffola Gold, a healthier variant. Bit by bit, Saffola Gold tried to address each psychological constraint that makes men passive about their rising cholesterol levels.

One can recall the initial 'Kal Se' ad, which addressed the problem of procrastination amongst men likely to get heart problems. Next, 'Abhi to Main Jawaan Hoon' spoke of the denial prevalent amongst men, when they refuse to acknowledge that they're ageing. Then, in 2005, 'Jalebi, jalebi', highlighted the guilt a man feels every time he indulges in calorie-laden food. The common thread in all these ads? They all address the purchaser, the woman (more often than not, the wife).

A man snatches away a lady's handbag.

Her husband runs after the thug, but soon slows down, gasping for breath.

An old man sympathises with his breathlessness.

After the husband makes excuses for not catching the thug, the wife stares at him in disbelief.

The two end up shopping together for Saffola Gold.

The super reads, 'Dil Ko Rakhiye Jawaan. Saffola Gold'.
Well, Saffola Gold is back with another rendition of its communication; only this time, the man is a part of the purchase process, too. Says R Chandra Sekar, category head, Marico, "With retail formats constantly becoming more organised, we anticipate that men will soon become a part of the purchase process as far as home groceries are concerned." He says that in some areas, this is already happening, although the trend is still nascent.

"It's not just a woman's responsibility any more to ensure her husband's health; the time has come when the man is accountable for his actions, too," echoes Prasoon Joshi, executive chairman, McCann-Erickson, India (the agency on the account). According to him, men are increasingly becoming more aware of the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle, and the growing number of gyms, health clubs and spas for men stand as proof of that. So, it was time this was reflected in advertising as well.

The ad opens on the shot of a couple walking along a road, when a thug snatches the lady's handbag and runs off. The husband dashes after the thief, but a few seconds into the chase, starts panting and slows down. An old man sitting nearby sympathises with the man's lack of stamina. Gasping for breath, the man looks back at his wife and shouts out in spurts, "Bach gaya mere haath se. Haath aa jaata to main… Kaun lage inke munh? Lootere! (He managed to get away. Had I got my hands on him… Anyway, who wants to get involved with thugs like that?)" The wife stares at her husband in disbelief.

In the next shot, the couple is shown shopping in a supermarket, and both reach for a can of Saffola Gold at the same time. When the wife looks at the husband knowingly, he squirms sheepishly. The voiceover and super conclude, 'Dil ko rakhiye jawaan. Saffola Gold (Keep your heart young. Saffola Gold)."

In a way, this ad signifies a slow shift from denial to acceptance by the man. The creative rendition is almost like a real-life stress test, says Joshi. In a medical stress test, a man is made to run on a treadmill on the doctor's instigation. "Here, the fellow's manhood or chivalry is challenged, and he is made to run by circumstances. So, his breathlessness is like an inference of his early heart problems," explains Joshi.

The commercial, directed by Abhinay Deo of Ramesh Deo Productions, targets men in their late 20s, as well as the brand's regular middle-aged audience set. This is because stress levels are becoming rather high in this age group because these men don't realise that they're fast approaching their thirties, and should start looking after their health.

It is learnt that Saffola Gold spends around Rs 10 crore every year on its advertising and plans to maintain the level in 2007, too.

© 2007 agencyfaqs!