Quaker a little closer to your heart

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | October 09, 2009
On a mission to make the heart healthy, Quaker Oats rubs in some scary facts on the face of the consumer. A tad more subtly that you think

The heart and its health has been an issue the Indian consumers have been trying to put on the back burner for quite a while. You couldn't blame them for this; it's not their fault that they're born in a country that is so involved with ghee, butter, oil and festivities that ask for serious use of these ingredients!

Recently, a few oil and salt brands have begun a crusade for a healthy heart; Quaker Oats, with properties to absorb cholesterol, has joined this crusade as well. The latest campaign is Quaker's mission to get India 'Heart Healthy', that kick started a couple of weeks ago. Comprising of print ads and a TVC in its first leg, the campaign is being carried out in association with The Times of India (media partner) and Apollo Hospitals.


& #BANNER1 & #BBDO India is the creative agency on record for Quaker Oats. The aim is to induce a habit change among Indians, and prompt them to include oats in their daily or regular consumption.

The TV commercial opens on the shot of an office where a couple of colleagues are in the middle of a discussion, where one is getting a firing. Cut to the voiceover, along with text announces that by the year 2010, about 46.9 million Indians will suffer from some sort of cardio-vascular disorder. The scene returns to the office, where the colleagues, aghast at the revelation, start exercising inside the office. Soon, the entire office has joined in, while the ad ends asking one to sign up on www.goodmorningheart.com.

Rajesh Ramakrishnan, executive vice-president, consumer insights and innovations, Quaker, shares details of the mission with afaqs!. Ramakrishnan says that the attempt is to be a subtle wake up call to Indians who are most vulnerable to heart diseases. The TVC pushes the website that has been created so that the consumer can decide about the current condition of his heart and then take the necessary preventive measures. The website has an exhaustive heart health test, which has been created along with Apollo Hospitals.

Heart speak

The route that Quaker has taken is to stir the Indian who sits on his couch, unaware that heart disease is catching up with him. Part of this wake-up call involves offering various options as to how one could include Quaker Oats into daily food such as upma, idli or even soup and kheer.

The team at BBDO includes Josy Paul, chairperson and chief creative officer; Raj Deepak Das, executive creative director; and Varun Goswami, Joy Sengupta and Arjuna Gaur.

With this campaign, the brand hopes to rename October to Oatober, where gentle reminders will be used to familiarise the consumer with oatmeal. Throughout the year, the campaign will unfold in various media. The media agency is Mindshare.


Did the ad prompt people to log on to the website and take the heart test? afaqs! asked a few people from the industry.

Ambika Nehru, executive creative director, Rediffusion Y&R thinks that the campaign could've been better in terms of execution. However, she's pleased with the thought and the purpose of the brand. However, she confesses, "That's the advertiser in me speaking. My brother liked the ad."

Challapalli Kalyan, head of Disruption at TBWA says that the brand and the agency have deftly moved away from taking competition head on as they have recognised that the task they have (that of effecting a habit change) is mammoth.

Kalyan adds, "I feel that the campaign is pretty sharp and focused in executing its first strategic goal - that of bringing in the reality of heart disease."