Return of Krack and Jack

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | October 06, 2009
Parle has launched a new campaign for its sweet and salty biscuit brand, Krackjack, and has also changed its logo colour and packaging

After dabbling with other creative ideas, Parle has brought back its old trusted characters, Krack and Jack, for the new television campaign of its sweet and salty biscuit, Krackjack. The company has also changed the colour of the Krackjack logo and the packaging of the biscuits, giving it a more contemporary and modern look.

Krack Jack Back

The two new TV commercials currently on air feature the characters Krack and Jack representing the good and bad sides or the 'sweet' and 'salty' shades of an individual's personality.

The characters, earlier made famous by actor Boman Irani and Vijay Patkar, are now being played by television actors Swapnil Joshi and Gaurav Gera in a clear bid to hit the youth chord.

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"The new campaign is about duality. The biscuit is consumed for its duality (of taste). That is the core and one can't move away from it. Duality will be a part of all branding. We have brought back the two characters because the salience of Krack and Jack is very high," Bhavin Panchamia, product manager, Parle Products, tells afaqs!.

Under its new property, 'Krackjack - Pole Khol', Parle is looking at a communication strategy wherein the campaign will play on the hypocrisy of an individual.

The first of the two TVCs shows a politician addressing a rally. As he eats a Krackjack biscuit before his speech, Krack and Jack appear in black and white. The biscuit makes the politician spill his ulterior motives after every promise that he makes to his surprised audience.

The second TVC features a tête-à-tête between a woman and her daughter-in-law. The daughter-in-law is shown serving tea and as soon as the older woman eats the biscuit, Krack and Jack appear, bringing out the duality in the woman's personality before the much amused daughter-in-law.

At the end of each 40 second commercial, the two characters appear with the new packaging of the biscuit brand, along with the tag line as a super - 'Sweet Bhi Salty Bhi'.

A third TVC, built on the same premise, will be launched soon, says Panchamia.

The creative mandate for Krackjack, earlier handled by Ogilvy (responsible for the two characters), has now moved to Thoughtshop, which won the account after a pitch in April.

"Our objective was to re-introduce the two characters in a new fashion and we wanted our communication to be interactive. We came up with the concept of personifying the product," says Vipin Dhyani, founder and creative director, Thoughtshop.

He adds that the insight was that everybody has a dual personality and people would have fun watching someone confess in the manner showed in the commercial. "We tried to bring the concept of duality closer to the mass. Earlier concepts were closer to the product. We went beyond the product with a social message," Dhyani explains, quipping that the tag line is also a dig at competition that claimed its biscuits were 'Kabhi Sweet Kabhi Salty'.

The commercials have been directed by Code Red Films.

In addition to the third commercial, an outdoor campaign is also in the pipeline.

True lies

While the commercial does tickle the funny bone, a lot remains to be desired, opine experts.

Sumanto Chattopadhyay, executive creative director, South Asia, Ogilvy India, says, "Krackjack seems to be revisiting the sweet and salty territory with a slightly cheekier take. The films are nice enough, though I would love to see situations less predictable than 'saas-bahu' and 'politician'."

Understandably, ideas of a corrupt politician and a scheming mother-in-law seem overdone and predictable.

Echoing similar views, Rajeev Sharma, national planning director, Leo Burnett, says, "While the commercials are right on Krackjack's dual equity of sweet and salt, the situations used are too clichéd to connect with today's audience. In 2009, there has to be fresher, more contemporary and spicier situations."

Chattopadhyay believes that Krack and Jack may still have potential, especially with the young portrayal of the characters.

"Brands usually tend to play safe but at the same time, they could try being a little experimental. The commercials could be a little more edgy for sure," Chattopadhyay says.