Play it cool with Horlicks

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | April 21, 2008
The new TVC aims to capture the cool quotient of Horlicks' new summer variants, Pistachio and Butterscotch

Some & #BANNER1 & # associations are just meant to happen. The new Horlicks TV commercial featuring Darsheel Safary, the little star of Taare Zameen Par, is a case in point.

Safary has been signed as the brand ambassador for Horlicks.

The TVC, which is part of the Horlicks cold consumption campaign, is significant in more ways than one. For Safary, it is his first TVC, and for Horlicks, this is its first TVC featuring a celebrity child. The connection is very strategic.

According to Sumeet Saluja, general manager of GlaxoSmithKline and category head for the Horlicks brand, "Summer is a time when most consumer brands innovate to bring out summer variants. Horlicks is traditionally perceived as a hot and nourishing drink, so the 'cold appeal' was difficult to integrate into it. However, the new variants - pistachio and butterscotch - can be consumed both hot and cold. So, what better way to promote it than by using Darsheel, who has the uncanny ability to be cool by being uncool?"

Safary peeping into the classroom

Safary impressing his crush

Bumping into the teacher

With his cool shades on
The script of the TVC revolves around a schoolboy's infatuation with a schoolmate. The opening shot shows the boy, Safary, peeking into the girl's classroom. He ruffles his hair, loosens his tie and walks in with great panache. The girls in the classroom wear mixed expressions. Some cast admiring glances at him, while some look at him in disdain. Then he bumps into the teacher, who looks at him reproachfully. Safary is unfazed, and with his easy demeanour, he turns the awkward situation to his favour. The next shot shows the classmate, dressed in trendy casuals, going for a walk with her friends. Safary is in a spunky outfit, too, with a pair of cool shades, and chilling with a group of friends. Visibly impressed by his cool attitude, the girl compliments him, saying "Cool shades." The background score keeps up the synergy throughout the TVC.

According to Vivek Kamath, director of Vivek Kamath Films, the production house which made the TVC, "Working with an actor gave us a lot of creative licence. Darsheel is a very spontaneous person off screen. We took cues from his personality and integrated them into the script. Unlike the case with models, here, we let the script flow with his personality. Though mischief personified, Darsheel is uncannily professional when the camera starts rolling. The edits took less time than usual."

Speaking about the association, Saluja says, "It has always been our consistent endeavour to relate the Horlicks brand with life and zest. So, Darsheel was the perfect choice as brand ambassador because he is so full of life."

Debarpita Banerjee, director, client services, JWT, says, "This TVC is not different in strategy from Horlicks' earlier TVCs. It is in fact an extension of the strategy which has been consistently recurring in all the commercials since 2003, when Horlicks was positioned as a pleasurable nutrition drink, rather than as just a family nutrition drink. The brand philosophy of Horlicks is 'Live life with vigour and energy and do what you love doing'."

"When it comes to kids, it is for those who do not have to try to hard and are confident being themselves," explains Banerjee. "This is where the creative strategy has always been different from that of other health drinks. Other health drinks position themselves in a competitive context. On the other hand, all the earlier TVCs of Horlicks have positioned it in the context of simple everyday situations faced by normal kids. There is something endearingly captivating about Darsheel's clumsy charm. He doesn't have to try very hard. And he is a hero in just being what he is. This is where the synergy comes with the brand."

The cold consumption campaign is a comprehensive 360 degree campaign embracing consumer promotions and large scale on-ground activation. Horlicks is offering kids a trendy pair of sunglasses free with every 500 gram pack.

According to Saluja, "Kids today are instrumental in purchase decisions. So, we are conscious that all communication appeals to them and touches their lives. Extension of our product attributes through various themes is what is intended as part of our strategy. This campaign and other campaigns (which Darsheel will be part of) are an attempt in this direction. Darsheel's association will help us leverage other connections which are part of the campaign as well."