afaqs!

Parle Marie: Getting chatty over biscuits and a cuppa

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | February 22, 2008
Parle Marie, which was known as Parle Marie Choice until about a year ago, has released a new campaign, which is its first after the re-launch

Parle & #BANNER1 & # Marie, which was known as Parle Marie Choice until about a year ago, has released a new campaign, which is its first after the re-launch. The communication revolves around the simple but real idea of conversations and chitchat at tea-time, while munching on Parle Marie biscuits.

The nationwide campaign consists of three television commercials titled Park, Kitty Party and Terrace.

The Park TVC features a bunch of retired men who, after their morning exercise, are hanging out together and talking of fun things over tea. One of the men says that the day before, a lady arrived at his door and asked him if he was married. All the other men ask him excitedly what happened next. He says, nothing, because she was a "Censuswali", who was compiling a list of the people in his family. One of the other men then says that a call centre lady called and asked him if he would like to go to Goa on a trip for two, and he asked her what time he should meet her at the airport. Giving the ad a realistic touch, there's a laughter club in the background, which cracks up every time the men relate their funny tales. In the final shot, a third man reaches out for the biscuit packet, but finds it empty. He says, "Yeh lo, yahan bhi wrong number." The ad ends with the product shot and the tagline, 'Baatcheet, bakbak aur Parle Marie.'

Chatting over chai and biscuits

Shares the 'Census waali' episode

Some more biscuit,
chit-chat and laughter

Yeh lo yahan par
bhi wrong number

Product shot and tagline
In the Kitty Party TVC, a group of women talk about weight loss, their mothers in law, power cuts and other problems of daily life. In the Terrace TVC, young girls talk about boys in a language they are comfortable with, computer parlance.

The campaign has been conceptualised by Grey. The ads were written by Mangesh Someshwar, Sunil Drego and Shalini Dam of Grey.

Brijesh Jacob, executive creative director, Grey, says, "We've taken various situations, across various age groups, where the feeling of an 'adda' can be captured. We've used conversation topics we feel would be used in such gatherings."

All three films have tried to capture the light talk and debates that people indulge in over a cup of tea and biscuits. Jacob says, "We've also seamlessly woven in product features like the fact that Parle Marie is light and crisp in these conversations and have not made it seem like an MVO or a manufacturer's statement."

The characters in all the films have been kept very real. The agency reveals that this was a conscious decision. The ads are a reflection of how Indians behave. Elderly people use morning walks to meet up, while housewives hold kitty parties and youngsters generally meet up at someone's home.

The treatment of the films is based on the fact that the camera happened to catch the featured moments rather than having the actors act it all out. Due to this, the films don't feature a background score at all. "If we are all about talk, chatter and conversation, the score would have taken people away from it. The dialogues are pretty entertaining and should be heard."

Praveen Kulkarni, general manager, marketing, Parle Products, reveals that this was a campaign that was initially done for West Bengal, since the 'adda' phenomenon, as it is popularly called, is an integral part of Bengali culture. "It happens in the rest of India as well, but the nuances are different. Bengal is a big market for Marie biscuits, but Parle Marie wasn't making any headway in this market. So, we decided to launch the campaign there first," says Kulkarni.

When the campaign did extremely well in Bengal, Parle decided to take it national with situations that would appeal to a pan-India audience. The thought was to capture the 'adda' idea and how tea and Parle Marie are integral parts of all chat sessions.

Production house Illusion Films, which also shot the Bengali films, has also worked on these three films, which have been directed by Aniruddha 'Oni' Sen and shot by Hemant Chaturvedi. Suparna Chatterjee of Illusion Films has also worked on the films, which were shot in Mumbai.

Besides television, the media mix for the brand includes print, outdoor and some activity at the retail and dealer levels.

Parle Marie's last campaign was for Parle Marie Choice, as the brand was called then. The thought was 'Chai to ek bahana hai'. The biscuit's primary target audience is housewives in the age group of 25-45 years, while the secondary audience is all adults.

Parle Marie has a share of about 8 per cent of the Marie biscuit category. This category also has Parle Digestive Marie, Britannia Marie Gold, Britannia Vita Marie Gold and ITC's Sunfeast Marie. In terms of volume, the Marie category sees sales of about 13,000 tonnes per month, in the approximately Rs 6,000 crore biscuit market.