MTV, Center Fresh promise to seal celebrities' big mouths

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | July 22, 2008
MTV, in association with Center Fresh, will feature short spoofs on celebrities during breaks

MTV and & #BANNER1 & # Center Fresh have joined hands for a spoof to be aired on MTV, which will attempt to put an end to unnecessary banter by celebrities. The spoof, Center Fresh Zubaan Par Lagaam, to be aired on MTV during ad breaks, will be on film stars, politicians and sportsmen.

Currently, the campaign consists of two 15 second films being aired exclusively on MTV. These films, also called break bumpers, are aired 15-20 times a day. Aditya Swamy, senior vice-president, Viacom Brand Solutions, says, "The high rotation of these films will ensure that the brand is highly visible on the channel."

The first two animated films are spoofs on actors Shah Rukh Khan and Rakhi Sawant. There will be 30 such films on contemporary themes, targeting celebrities from films, politics and sports. The idea is to portray various situations in which the protagonists are spotted indulging in non-stop 'bakwas' till the mint Center Fresh seals their mouths. The films end with the voiceover, "Lag gayi zubaan par lagaam."

Rohit Kapoor, group product, manager, Perfetti Van Melle India, says, "The Center Fresh Zubaan Par Lagaam campaign is an extension of the branding and repositioning exercise initiated to promote the mother brand. All these years, we were advertising a distinct flavour or a variant of the chewing gum."

The Center Fresh TV commercial is also based on the same concept, with the tagline 'Zubaan Pe Rakhe Lagaam' ('Keeps the Tongue in Control').

Kapoor adds, "These animated spoofs will run for a year on MTV, which is a perfect platform to reach out to the age group of 15-35 years."

Kapoor reveals that Perfetti plans to start a viral campaign soon. The viral campaign will have an in-built game to support the campaign on MTV. Radio activity will also be initiated in the metros in two weeks.

How did this idea come up? Swamy of Viacom says, "We are on a constant lookout for likeminded brands whose image and target group matches ours. MTV caters to the young at heart, so it was natural for us to approach Perfetti for a joint campaign.

"The commercials on MTV are nicely packaged, based on consumer observance and integrate the core values of the original tagline of Center Fresh. The campaign is based on the belief that seriousness is outdated and the fun-humour approach works with the audience."

Both Kapoor and Swamy refused to divulge the financial details of the tieup. Kapoor says the process of evaluating the returns on investment are not yet complete, so it would be unfair to comment on or share the financial details of the project.

Informed sources reveal that Perfetti had to shell out Rs 2 crore for this initiative. The cost includes production charges and the air time cost for a year. The films have been created and produced by Viacom Brand Solutions, the integrated marketing vehicle of Viacom18.

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