The shades are drawn. The ice buckets are out. The aroma of luscious mangoes fills our senses. And, Frooti launches its new campaign as the country waits eagerly to savour the king of fruits. After Frooti 'Slurpbox' and the much popular 'Mango Surprise' campaign last summer, Frooti carries forward the theme of 'Why Grow Up' this year.
This time around, it is a game show. The campaign - Crazy Mango Fun - created by Creativeland Asia with the team at Parle Agro, is a conceptualised branded entertainment for viewers in the form of a mango-themed outdoor game show.
Multiple 30-second television commercials featuring the participants in the games are being aired, currently. Ram Madhvani of Equinox Films has directed the films.
"The last time, we interpreted a certain television format and created it around the mango. This time, we went a step ahead and took on reality game shows," says Sajan Raj Kurup, founder and creative chairperson, Creativeland Asia.
"Madhvani and I often joked after the shoot that maybe we should retire and do game shows," Kurup quips.
He says that it is challenging to reinvent the category every year and do different things. "All agencies handling similar products get almost the same brief. But, how much more can you keep saying the same thing? We broke Frooti down. It is a fun drink. So, we thought of creating an experience. People will remember people having fun with the mango," says Kurup.
According to Madhvani, it is being ridiculous, but in a good way. He says that communication needs to get people talking about it.
"We are not just looking at a stand-off film, but at interaction. The best work in advertising is one that goes beyond the usual and becomes a part of popular culture. With the Frooti campaign, the biggest challenge for me was to create the atmosphere outside the camera that would capture the emotions, the overwhelming craziness inside it," he says.
"My job was not just about placing the cameras, but to capture the reality - the mood - to get people to react spontaneously and be themselves," Madhvani adds.
Clearly aimed at higher engagement with the consumer, the integrated campaign involves multiple 30-second TVCs featuring the participants, an extensive social media campaign across various vehicles, direct marketing and on-ground activation such as replicating the games at malls and other strategic locations, sampling and radio.
A microsite, www.crazymangofun.com, is also live where games are being developed, where one can superimpose other faces on the faces of the contestants in the ad and forward it.
Frooti is also tying up with a youth channel to run the content as a branded game show and a bigger blast is expected during the IPL.
Nadia Chauhan, joint managing director and chief marketing officer, Parle Agro, says, "We have the advantage of using innovation in our communications. The new TVC is radical in its approach, taking this innovative reality TVC format to a whole new level that will help us communicate the brand philosophy of 'Why Grow Up' and connect with consumers across age groups."
The media duties for the brand are handled by OMD.
The campaign has evoked mixed responses from industry experts. While the strategy that facilitates large scale engagement has been welcomed and much appreciated, the films have met with slight criticism, as well.
"As a format, the previous campaign was far more entertaining. The films in this campaign, in the zone of fun games, get a bit repetitive after a few watches. If you have seen one film, you feel you have seen them all. The level to up the humour in some gets a little slapstick, too," says Jacob.
However, he is all for the strategy, which he thinks works well for the brand to stay on top of the mind.
"It is fantastic. There is only so much you can talk about with a product like this. It is a low involvement category, and it is very important for the brand to stay on the top of the consumer's mind. So, it is phenomenal for the brand to take that higher ground," Jacob says.
Jitender Dabas, vice-president and head, planning, McCann Erickson, looks at the campaign at large, offering his comment on the same, as well as the category. According to him, Frooti occupying the territory of fun, has both its advantages, as well as risks.
"Mango as a fruit can be seen at two levels. It is associated with extreme taste cravings, as well as the fun that is associated with the fruit. Frooti seems to occupy the fun category. The creative device generates curiosity instead of craving. The format breaks clutter, creates buzz and has the potential to step off TV for a complete integrated campaign," says Dabas.
"In this case, however, the advertising will be talked about much more than the product. Do I feel like reaching out for a mango drink after watching the ad? No! Will I be talking about the campaign? Yes! Right now, Frooti might not have to bother with the campaign having such clutter breaking potential, but Maaza and Slice are focussing on taste and craving. Hence, there is a risk of the brand losing the taste association," adds Dabas.