Fortune Oil: Cooking up stories, served hot

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Last updated : June 12, 2009
Fortune aims to capture a bigger share of the cooking oil pie with its latest brand campaign revolving around realistic situations

Delicious food garnished with spices, children smiling in anticipation, mummy approaching dinner table and a shot epitomising the ideal happy family - such clichés have plagued the oil, spices and rice categories since the early 1990s. An ideal daughter in law or a caring wife must be using the right cooking oil, went the popular notion.

In a recent commercial for Fortune Oil, the attempt is to veer away from such ideal circumstances, while focusing on more grounded, real relationships around the oil story.

Following its repositioning activity earlier this year, the edible oil brand from Adani Wilmar has launched its first campaign with the new positioning of 'Joy of eating', deviating from its earlier 'Thoda aur chalega'.

The new agency on board, Ogilvy India, has created this campaign with another Hindi tagline, 'Ab bas toot pado'. The campaign is made up of three commercials, two of which are on air currently.

Paneer, pakoras and more

One of the ads, titled Railway station, is about an elderly couple making a train journey. The husband realises that his wife hasn't prepared the customary 'pakoras' for the journey this time. Forgetting the he was supposed to arrange for a taxi, he busies himself in preparing the pakoras when his wife offers to make them. The couple miss the train due to the delay, but share a mischievous moment on the platform when they gorge on the pakoras.

The second commercial is about a young man who lives away from home with a group of friends. He steps home after his day at work and reaches for some stale pizza; his sister calls him just then, asking what he is having for dinner. He cooks up a story, telling her he's having 'muttar paneer' - just so that she doesn't feel bad about his eating habits away from home.

His sister then reprimands him on why he didn't leave his dirty shoes out at the door, to which he turns around to see that his sister has actually brought him some home cooked food.

A third film is on its way. Apart from the commercials, the campaign consists of a mix of press, hoardings and bus shelters. Radio is specifically to be used in Tamil Nadu.

Of the total budget, Fortune has allotted about 15 per cent to outdoor, while 10 per cent and 5 per cent will go to press and radio respectively. A huge 70 per cent of the budget is directed to TV and electronic media. National and regional channels are being employed.

Oiling the film

The ad films have been shot by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur of Dungarpur Films. The casting was the most important aspect, says Dungarpur. The film with the older couple took four days to shoot and was carried out in Dehradun. After narrowing in on the location, Dungarpur and his team carried out two rehearsals at the place. "The kitchen and other such small aspects needed to be just right," he says, in order to capture the fine nuances of a middle class family in a small town.

The Ogilvy team insisted that the film have a natural yet dreamy appearance. The costumes were also important in bringing the final picture come to life.

The brother and sister film was a little more contemporary in comparison. Dungarpur says that with this film, he played around with lights and angles so he could set up the bond that the friends share. "It needed to look like a group of working adults living together in Mumbai," says the ad filmmaker.

Food for thought

Do adlanders find the realistic route easier to digest than the ultra happy family scenarios?

Brijesh Jacob of 22 feet and White Canvas finds the ad clutter breaking, considering the clichés that the category has been gripped by over the years. "Ab bas toot pado," he says, "is a very interesting take when talking about products made in oil."

Anand Damani, planning head, Saatchi & Saatchi Mumbai, found the Railway station ad endearing, too, but didn't see a reason why a consumer should make a switch to Fortune.

Amar Wadhwa, planning head, Cheil Communications, reminds that the primary purpose of a cooking medium is to enhance the taste of food. However, over time, consumers realised that oily food had its consequences. Wadhwa confesses that though the Fortune commercials are refreshing, they fail to seize him like some previous Saffola ads. He mentions the ad where the oversized men chant the names of their favourite dishes while exercising as an example of an ad that leads to action.

"It's a visual relief to see the positive side of oil rather than the bulge around the waist," counters Jacob. Though the brother-sister film left a few unanswered questions, the Railway station film was much clearer, according to Jacob.

On a final note, Wadhwa says, "The ad is like lukewarm coffee, unable to tell me whether the oil helps make tasty food or it's great for health."

Discovering the joy

Amit Akali and Malvika Mehra, group creative directors at Ogilvy India, had the responsibility of making Fortune edible oil a leader in the mind of the consumer. The company claims that Fortune is reaching out to more than 20 million households in India currently.

Akali says, "Food is something that we as a nation are obsessed with, discussing the next meal while having a meal. We came up with different stories from life and transformed them into scripts," adds Mehra.

Fortune makes a conscious effort to move away from the reprimanding tone that most other oil brands take. Angshu Mallick, vice-president, sales and marketing, Adani Wilmar, shares details about a survey that was conducted. The survey showed that with the change in the lifestyles of many middle and upper middle class consumers, the family meal has become nearly non-existent. Fortune wanted to bring back the joy that health conscious food and fast paced life had taken away.

Prateek Srivastava, group president, South, Ogilvy India, adds that eating on the go, health reasons and too much choice has sucked out the joy that was once associated with having a meal.

Among everyday moments of joy, having a meal with the family is another thing that popped up in the study that the agency conducted throughout the country.

The brand has thus purposefully stayed away from reminding the consumer about how oil adds on the inches to the waist.

For the record, AWL is the 50:50 joint venture between the Adani Group and Wilmar International Limited, Singapore. The brands under Adani Wilmar are divided as follows: Ogilvy India handles the creative duties for Fortune, while Triton handles the other brands of the group - King's and Raag. Ivory, the coconut oil brand, is handled by Canvas.

First Published : June 12, 2009

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