Cadbury Dairy Milk: A must on the first

By Khushboo Tanna , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | July 02, 2009
A new commercial by Cadbury Dairy Milk gives consumers a new occasion to celebrate - the day they get their salaries

Never mind the slowdown and the salary cuts; the pay day is always a reason to celebrate. Cadbury 'pays' a tribute to the salaried employees by giving them another reason to celebrate the payday.

The new TV commercial for the brand opens in a really old office, where clerks are busy typing and a cashier approaches the protagonist to give him his salary. The protagonist then starts singing and clears the payments he owes to the milkman, the newspaper boy and the doctor. He hands over a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar to a kid. Once he reaches home, his wife is all ready for a movie. In the theatre, he gifts his wife a Cadbury Dairy Milk as well and eventually, everybody joins in the celebration.

The ad was conceptualised by Ogilvy India and directed by Prasoon Pandey of Corcoise Films.

The brief given to the agency was to continue on the 'Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye' positioning that Cadbury has been following for the past five years. It started with the 'Pappu' series and was followed by the 'Miss Palampur' and 'Kenya' ads. With this ad, the brand wants to add one more situation in which people can celebrate with Cadbury Dairy Milk (CDM).

The ingredients

Mahesh Gharat, senior creative director, Ogilvy India, says that the idea was to capture the moments of happiness on the first of every month - when most people get their salaries. Interestingly, the team at Ogilvy stumbled upon a song, Aaj Pehli Tarikh Hai, sung by Kishore Kumar for a movie called Pehli Tarikh, which was released in 1954. The song turned out to be a perfect fit for the strategy and the team decided to use it.

Ehsan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa (from the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio) recreated the music and the song for the CDM ad, which was sung by Kshitij.

Popular television artist Varun Badola was selected as the protagonist as he had danced to a Kishore Kumar song when he was a contestant for 'Nach Baliye', a dancing reality show for television couples.

The film was shot over three days in Mumbai's Yash Raj Studios. Pre-production took about 15-20 days, while the post production work took about a couple of days. The set was constructed by Suzzane Merwanjee, a freelance set designer.

Kawal Shoor, president, planning, Ogilvy India, says that in a lot of towns across India, the salary day is still celebrated. People who have just received their salaries take home a box of sweets. The aim is to replace the traditional mithais (sweets) with CDM.

"For a person staying in a small town, the salary day is a happy and joyous occasion. For such people, this occasion comes 12 times a year. This new commercial highlights the celebratory occasion of payday, which is an important event in the life of every middle-class Indian," says Sanjay Purohit, executive director, marketing, Cadbury India.

The wrapper

Besides television, a lot of activities are being done to promote the brand. A CDM was kept on the desks of employees across the offices of Ogilvy India, Cadbury's and Johnson & Johnson. The employees also received a card with the CDM packet, which said, 'Khush hai zamana aaj pehli tarikh hai, Meetha hai khana aaj pehli tarikh hai'. CDM has also tied up with MTV to promote the campaign. MTV has produced two spoofs of the ad (Spoof-Boy, Spoof-Girl) which are currently on-air.

Five second ad spots are also being run across channels such as STAR Plus, STAR Vijay and Channel V, which say 'Khush hai Star aaj pehli tarikh hai, Meetha hai khana aaj pehli tarikh hai'. Similar spots have been created for Fever FM. Some innovations were done in the print media as well, including a false jacket done for Mid-Day and frontline ads on Hindustan Times and Lokmat.

CDM has also tied up with BSNL's Missed Call Alert scheme, wherein the message, 'Khush hai Star aaj pehli tarikh hai, Meetha hai khana aaj pehli tarikh hai' will be received by the subscriber, along with the missed call information.

The team that has worked on the campaign includes Piyush Pandey, Abhijit Avasthi, Shekhar Jha, Mahesh Gharat, Samrat Bedi, Kaustubh Mahajan and Shevaun Menezes.

afaqs! spoke to some people from the ad industry to find out whether the ad had them waiting for their payday.

Kapil Misra, executive creative director, Leo Burnett says that the true test of any communication is whether it can steal the attention of a man in a hurry, which this ad surely does. "When you watch this ad on TV, you want to watch it till the end," he says.

"Although there have been quite a few commercials with this kind of approach, it still stands out," says Razneesh Ghai (Razy) of Via Us Productions. He also likes the work done by the art direction team, and says that the song takes one down the memory lane.

Titus Upputuru, executive creative director, Dentsu Marcom feels that the insight of payday has a very universal appeal and the ad is a good example of occasion-based marketing. "It seems to be such an obvious choice for celebration but still hasn't been used," he is quick to add.

© 2009 afaqs!