Holi can wait, gifting no longer needs an occasion in India.
As a brand, Cadbury Celebrations has relied on the festive season premise for sales since its launch in 1990. Even its communication was traditionally about its appropriateness as a gift on a festive occasion such as Rakhi or Diwali. But it found it was facing a dip in purchases during times other than the festive season.
Raj Nair, vice-president and executive creative director, Contract Advertising (the agency on the account), says, "Last year, we did a Rakhi ad, but this time, we were given a clear brief to grow the market for Celebrations by focusing on segments outside of gifting for festivals/occasions."
Contract saw an opportunity in this behaviour and came up with the idea of an insincere gift going full circle and coming back to the people who gifted it in the first place.
The ad opens on the shot of a couple going for a function at a friend's place, when the man asks the woman if she has purchased a gift. She says yes - the gift is a showpiece, a swing with a man and a woman on it. They wrap it up and take it to their friends'house. The song track, 'Tohfa Tohfa …Laaya Laaya', from the movie, 'Tohfa', plays in the background. The next frame has the other couple disappointedly examining the gift and deciding to do something about it - they pass it on to another person at a social get-together. This person, too, wonders what to do with it, and then thinks of giving it away again.
The showpiece changes several hands before it finally lands up with the first couple, who stare at it, bemused. A perfect end has the string that holds the swing together falling off. The voiceover says, 'Woh tohfa hi kya, jo dil se nahin diya (What use is a gift that is not given from the heart)? And then all the couples are shown enjoying Cadbury's Celebrations chocolates together.
The intention behind the ad is clearly to grow the market for Cadbury Celebrations and alter social gifting behaviour. The thought here is that you can gift a Celebrations pack instead of sweets and flowers or meaningless items. Nair says chocolates speak volumes about a person's taste and, therefore, go a long way to strengthen relationships: This is the core message of the ad for Cadbury Celebrations.
Sanjay Purohit, director, marketing, Cadbury India, says, "Consumers have slowly moved on from traditional to youthful/contemporary gifting, which is what chocolates are all about. This is our endeavour to provide consumers anytime gifting options." The timing for the ad couldn't be better: Rakhi just got over and Diwali is still some time off, thereby driving home the point that a Celebrations pack is meant to be an all-year-round gifting item.
The use of the song from 'Tohfa' will perhaps evoke memories of Jumping Jack Jeetu (actor Jeetendra, the protagonist in the actual movie track) amongst those who watch the ad. Contract executives add that the song serves a role far greater than merely background music and does its own bit of story-telling.
The ad has been shot by Dibakar Banerjee of The Reel Company, while the team from Contract included Sunitha Suresh, Aparimita Basu, Archana Rao and Nair.