Cadbury Perk: Time to lighten up

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | April 15, 2008
Cadbury has released its first ever ad for Perk, the mother brand (with sub-brands Perk and Ulta Perk), which will leverage the thought of taking life 'lightly'. The ad has been created by O&M

Cast & #BANNER1 & # Away, the 2000 Tom Hanks starrer, sure has its admirers in the Indian ad fraternity. First, Lenovo borrowed from the film and created an ad with brand ambassador Saif Ali Khan, marooned on an island, finding his way back home to find that his Lenovo laptop is the only one who recognises him.

The marooned on an island concept is back, this time in an ad for Cadbury Perk, featuring actor Sharman Joshi. The TVC, created by O&M, is a first ever one on the mother brand, Cadbury Perk, with its two sub-brands, Perk and Ulta Perk, which will follow the same core positioning, 'Take it lightly'. This combined branding has been done in an effort to differentiate Cadbury's light, wafer-based chocolates from the heavier ones, such as Cadbury Dairy Milk and Cadbury 5-Star.

Marooned on an island


A flash gun shot gone wrong

Never mind, gorge on the Perk

Respite, at last
Cadbury India conducted research on Perk, and found that Perk lovers tend to see the product as a "mood enhancer/ uplifter", which led to the 'Take it lightly' premise. "'Take it lightly' not only talks of how light the chocolate is, but is also a subtle way of encouraging consumers to take the setbacks in life as a part of the game," says Anup Chitnis, executive creative director, O&M, South Asia, who has created the ad along with co-ECD Rensil D'Silva.

The storyline of the ad unfolds with Sharman Joshi marooned on a remote island with only a flash gun and a box of Perk to support him. He tries various means to escape, but fails. Finally, reconciled to being cast away, he learns to survive on the island. One fine day, he sees a ship in the distant horizon. Excited, he torches his flare gun and shoots it in the sky as an SOS signal. To his great shock, he sees the flare go straight into the ship, which bursts into flames and sinks.

His last ray of hope gone, Joshi settles for a Perk from his box, shrugging away his disappointment. A voiceover says, 'Yeh life hai… take it lightly. Cadbury Perk'. That's when he notices a beautiful girl washed up on the island from the debris of the recently sunk ship. He smiles. (Submit your opinion on this ad.)

Interestingly, this is the first ad for Perk in a long time which doesn't feature Preity Zinta (barring the Ulta Perk ads). She has been endorsing the brand for over a decade now (right from the 'Thodi Si Pet Pooja' days, and has lent it her fun-loving, bubbly candour, qualities which D'Silva says have been maintained in the new advert.

Zinta's contract with Cadbury is believed to have expired, and it was not renewed because Cadbury wished to get a fresh perspective on the brand. Zinta last figured in the 'Yamraj' ad ('Sab Kuch Bhula De'), which a Cadbury India spokesperson admits didn't translate very well for the brand in terms of sales. "'Take it lightly' is a fresh approach we have taken in that respect," says the spokesperson.

Chitnis reveals that the insight for this ad is that with every goof-up in life, one tends to move on. "There's a lighter side to every misfortune, which is what we have portrayed," he says. A marooned situation is supposed to be serious/ melancholy, but the agency has tried to lend a lighter twist to the tale, keeping in mind the brand's DNA.

The ad, directed by Chitnis and D'Silva themselves, was shot quite literally on a secluded, uninhabited island, called Kho Thalu, off the coast of Bangkok. There was no electricity on the island, so generators were carried to do the job. The only way to reach the island was by boat, and the crew had to leave at sunset every day, before it became too dark.

The Bangkok based production house, Benetton Films, provided the production support, including the camera crew and equipment, while 360 MM (O&M's in-house films division headed by Vikram Bangera) did the post-production work.

This ad is the first in a series of two - the second ad will begin where the first one left off.

In addition to the TVC, Cadbury has done various tie-ups to get its message across.

For instance, it plans on reaching more than five lakh consumers in Café Coffee Day outlets across India through innovative sampling and branding. In addition, it has tied up with, the online gaming portal, by creating a special Perk game on the site, thereby garnering around 30-35 lakh eyeballs every month, says the Cadbury spokesperson. Further, each Zapak game leads to a 'thank you' page (for visiting the site) and Cadbury will flash a message there that goes, 'Whether you win or lose, have a Cadbury Perk. Take it lightly'.

Lastly, the brand has sponsored traffic updates on various radio stations, as these updates generally carry bad/ frustrating news for commuters, and the brand will talk during these of the need for taking things lightly. The tie-up is with stations such as Radio City, Big FM, Hello FM and Red FM.