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Britannia Cakes: A delicious nursery rhyme

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | November 16, 2010
In the latest television commercial for Britannia Cakes, Grey Advertising turns to an age-old nursery rhyme to convey the goodness of the product.

Mary had a little lamb and she even took it to school, but it did not really make her healthy. Varun's pets, however, serve that purpose. The latest television commercial for Britannia Cakes turns to the much-recited nursery rhyme to communicate the goodness of the product.

The TVC by Grey Bengaluru shows a school boy, Varun, who has a cow and a hen that give him fresh milk and eggs everyday. Funnily enough, the cow is forced into the school bus with Varun; and his mother remembers to hand him the hen too. Varun has a fruit tree as well, which is also carried to school to help him with his daily fruit needs.

Throughout the commercial, Raghubir Yadav sings a special rendition of 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' -- a folk version by Amar Mangrulkar -- that talks of Varun's cow, hen and tree. However, towards the end of the film, the song says that now Varun can do without the three, because with Britannia Cakes, he gets the benefits of milk, eggs and fruits.

The TVC has been directed by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur of Dungarpur Films.

The film, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, puts forth the message that Britannia Cakes are made from the healthiest of ingredients. Besides underscoring the ingredient benefits, the ad also marks a shift in positioning of the cakes, from an indulgence to a health snack.

Noting that cakes have not been an active or salient category in mass media, Anu Narasimhan, category director, health and wellness, Britannia Industries says, "We went about understanding what the category barriers and triggers were. And realised that cakes suffer from being special occasion products and seen as 'creamy and rich', and therefore, not for everyday consumption."

Hence, Grey was briefed to highlight the nutritional aspect of Britannia Cakes, and place it in a relevant consumption moment.

Malvika Mehra, national creative director, Grey India, explains, "There was a very clear brief for Britannia Cakes. The client wanted to shift it from a 'special moments' indulgence' to a 'healthy, wholesome, everyday snack' space. We dramatised the ingredient story and glorified the fact that the cakes are naturally healthy and wholesome. The whole film is an interesting product window."

"Mothers want their kids to have healthier snacks, whereas kids want delightful foods. There are few snack-foods that fit the bill for both. Britannia Cakes do; and hence, were positioned as the bridge between the mother and the child. We then realized that mothers did not exactly know why cakes were good for their children, which is why they did not actively include them in their lives. This TVC just adds granularity to the Britannia Cakes partnership, by giving it a context and a clear reason," elaborates Amit Akali, national creative director, Grey India.

The current film follows two other campaigns done by Grey in 2008 and 2009 -- Devil Mom and Smiley, respectively -- for Britannia Cakes.

The healthy opinions

When approached, creative experts had a kind word for the commercial, mentioning that the purpose at hand is well served by the execution.

"I saw this ad while watching TV with my kids. The first time they saw it, they grinned. The second time it came on, they started humming the song. At the end of the programme, they asked their mom to pick up some cakes on her way home. Do you still need an opinion?" exclaims Nilesh Vaidya, executive creative director, Euro RSCG India.

While stating that the film works well, Vaidya adds that from a creative perspective, it is an engaging and sweet way to put across the product benefit. However, he wishes that the execution was slicker.

Rahul Jauhari, national creative director, Pickle Lintas is of the view that visually, the ad could have been simplified.

"That the cakes are full of goodness comes out clearly. I guess the harping on the 'goodness' is an attempt to make it a daily habit. The idea is simple; but visually, I felt there is a bit too much happening and could have been simplified," he says.

Surely, the jingle cannot be missed and like Vaidya, Jauhari too notes that it serves a significant purpose in the film.

"If you ask me, the film will stick if the jingle sticks," he says.

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