Prahlad Kakar is the brand ambassador for the International Olive Council

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | May 25, 2009
The Council had recently awarded its creative mandate to the Publicis Groupe for a year

The International Olive Council (IOC) has planned a series of events across various cities in India, which will take place throughout the year.

The Council recently announced the Publicis Groupe as its creative partner for the year. In India, agr! agro will partner Publicis Dialog in the ATL and BTL activities for the IOC.

The promotional campaign for the IOC will work towards increasing awareness and consumption of olive oil and table olives by highlighting their health benefits. The slogan that the Council will use is, 'For a Tastier and Healthier Tomorrow'.

The target group that the IOC aims to address is chefs, doctors, journalists, scientists, health writers and end consumers as well.

Prahlad Kakar has been appointed as IOC's brand ambassador in India. In fact, the popular ad filmmaker -- known for wearing many 'hats' -- was in Bengaluru last week as part of the Council's activities.

The event conducted at Bengaluru addressed a group of women. Kakar displayed his culinary skills and showed the audience a couple of dishes that could be prepared using olive oil.

Kakar, who had a bypass surgery a decade ago, has switched to olive oil since then. Which is why he agreed to take on the role of brand ambassador, he tells afaqs!.

afaqs! shared this news with a few industry members to get their reactions.

The first reaction that we got out of each one was a chuckle.

Partha Sinha, managing partner, BBH, Mumbai says he can see how the IOC came to arrive at Kakar as the choice for brand ambassador in India. "Prahlad Kakar is the most Italian of us all, considering the first thought that comes to mind when you think of olive oil, is Italy," he says.

His culinary skills, his hat and his unique style statement make him quite a good contender, thinks Sinha.

Nabankur (Nobby) Gupta, founder and CEO, Nobby Brand Architects and Strategic Marketing, thinks that the brand ambassador is a complete misfit for a brand that aims to propagate health.

At first, Cajetan Vaz, of Cajetan Vaz Brand Consulting, is amused, but agrees with Gupta. He says, "When you're talking about making a health shift, Prahlad Kakar isn't something that comes to your mind."

Even though Kakar has a youthful persona and is quite a hit among the youth, brand analysts can't see how he could get people to change their unhealthy food habits and include olives and olive oil in their diet.

Pushpinder Singh aka Pushpi of Saints & Warriors is stunned, but says that if the agenda of the IOC is to get about three Indian households to shift to olive oil in a country of one billion ghee- and Dalda-eating people, "then Prahlad Kakar is the right choice."

© 2009 afaqs!