Kurkure seeks psychic help to launch new range

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | May 27, 2011
With the launch of the new television campaign, PepsiCo introduces three new variants under the 'Ingredients of India' range made from dal -- Mumbai Chatpata Usal, Bengali Jhaal and South Spice Mix.

After battling a big controversy about Kurkure containing plastic, PepsiCo India has launched a brand new range, Ingredients of India, with a nutritious content - dal. The company has launched three new variants -- Mumbai Chatpata Usal, Bengali Jhaal and South Spice Mix, in the new range.

To promote the same, PepsiCo India has launched a new television campaign, once again featuring its brand ambassador, Bollywood actor Juhi Chawla, who has been endorsing the brand for the last seven years.

Conceptualised by JWT and titled Badal Ja, the television commercial shows the family of Mr and Mrs Badlani (Juhi Chawla). Mrs Badlani, who is a psychic, ends up changing everything in her house in an attempt to change a bowl of boring dal. It is then that her husband introduces her to Kukure's new range.

Speaking about the idea, Sonia Bhatnagar, vice-president and senior creative director, JWT, says, "We arrived at the idea from the fact that there is a time in everyone's life when one wants to break away from the monotony. Dal is one such food that is a part of everyday life. Therefore, to break away from the boredom of eating the same thing again and again, we went ahead with the idea of 'Badal Ja'."

Nalin Sood, executive vice-president, marketing -- foods, PepsiCo India, says, "As Kurkure is known for its humorous campaigns, this time, too, we have returned with a funny ad. The idea of using the psychic as the protagonist stemmed from the fact that while she has the power to change everything, she fails to change the dal -- cooked every day at home, and has to rely on Kurkure's new range made from dal."

According to Sood, the plastic controversy was false and the idea behind launching the new range is simple -- "to stay ahead in innovation and build a greater resonance with the consumer".

Apart from the television campaign, the beverage company will promote the new range through a slew of print advertisements, below the line (BTL) activations and out of home (OOH) campaigns across the country.

Tickling the funny bone?

The TVC gets a thumbs up from the advertising professionals when it comes to being funny, thanks to the effect created by actor Juhi Chawla. However, it draws criticism in terms of execution.

According to Rajeev Raja, national creative director, DDB Mudra, the idea of 'natural' ingredients is coming through pretty clearly. He says, "The spot is pretty funny. I thought though that the acting is a bit too over the top, and the spot would have been even funnier if the expressions had been played down, especially of Juhi Chawla."

Narayan Devanathan, chief strategy officer, Euro RSCG, feels that the timing of Kurkure's new 'dal-badlav' ad, so soon upon the heels of Hippo's "made-by-moms-everywhere" campaign seems like a defensive reaction, rather than part of an ongoing effort to reinforce the many -- umm -- 'virtues' of this snack food.

He adds, "Having said that, Juhi Chawla continues to make this ad for Kurkure work as she has for the previous ones. And, it's still on the 'teda' strategy -- 'mental', in this case, in the words of Mr Badlani. It works for me!"

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