Stop Not explores the crunch

By Shibani Gharat , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | December 19, 2012
The latest campaign by Meridian Communications for Stop Not Disks displays the product's attribute of being super crunchy through bizarre, humorous incidents.

Snack brands and exaggerated humour almost always go hand-in-hand. In line with the category communication, Perfetti Van Melle India's snack brand Stop Not has launched a new campaign for its latest offering in the snacks category, Stop Not Disks, which is woven around the product's attribute of being super crunchy that leads to bizarre, humorous incidents.

The Stop Not TVC

Currently, two TVCs are being aired across all major channels. One of them features an athlete who is about to dive into the pool but gets distracted by the sound of a man munching Stop Not Disks in the audience. The second situation features a family spending a lazy Sunday afternoon together at a park. The story changes track when a boy in the park bites into his Stop Not Disks and the loud crunch distracts the father, who misses catching his son as he jumps off a tree. Both carry the message, 'Ekdum Bajedar'.

The campaign is created by Meridian Communications and went on air on December 17. Prashant Issar has directed the TVCs and the production house is Tubelight Films.

Anuraag Khandelwal

Anuraag Khandelwal, executive creative director and creative head, Meridian Communications narrates how the aim was to communicate that Stop Not is very crunchy and hence, an extremely loud snack. "And, the crunchiness and the situations that arise as a consequence add to the fun of consuming it," he adds.

The core target for the brand is the 14-24-year old youth. Explaining how the TVC is high on enjoyment and humour, Ramesh Jayaraman, MD, Perfetti Van Melle India says that this ad will catch on with the youth.

Apart from TV, the campaign will be rolled out on the digital medium. Point-of-sale promotions will also be an important component of the mix.

The earlier offering from the brand, Stop Not Golz, had a female face on the packaging. Stop Not Disks has a male face, and intends to communicate a format change and a new product offering.

The TVC demonstrates only one product attribute, that of being crunchy, which is almost generic to fried-packaged snacks. How then, does it plan to create differentiation? Khandelwal explains that taste is a given in this category. "Another snack brand saying 'Hey, I'm tasty, try me' can and will fall on deaf ears. We wanted to send out a unique yet singular message in a memorable way. And, to that effect, we just wanted to talk about the super crunchiness of this snack. Too many things communicated in one spot do not really register anything anyway."

Humour: a staple diet?

Nearly all major brands in the snacking category have resorted to over-the-top humour in their advertising. Whether it is the comical Bingo commercials, Kurkure's 'Kya family hai?!' and 'Tedha hai par mera hai', or the latest ads for Parle Wafers, almost all snack brands have tried to tickle the funny bone. Lay's has had its share, too, with subtle humour used in ads featuring Saif Ali Khan or even the ads for its IPL series.

Stop Not is no exception. Confectionery maker Perfetti Van Melle forayed into the snacks category in April, 2011and launched Stop Not. A few months later, it came out with a commercial featuring a glutton too preoccupied with munching on Stop Not Golz to take any note of the conflict raging around him. The TVC became popular for its dark humour. Early this year, the brand released a TVC to promote the free tattoo available with Stop Not. It narrated a story of an interaction between an interviewer and interviewee in a humorous way.

Vishnu Srivatsav

Sambit Mohanty

Khandelwal explains how 'whacky humour' has become a staple of the Perfetti stable. "The humour in the Tattoo film was also 'weird' but only executed differently," he says. He believes that given the nature of the snacking category, exaggerated humour and whackiness distinguish a brand as cool and fun. "It is a key differentiator when it comes to guiding the impulsive mind at the point of sale," adds Khandelwal.

No bite?

Vishnu Srivatsav, executive creative director, Grey India feels that the brand really broke clutter in a crowded snacks category with the 'Soldier' ad. "But this one I'm afraid is not that memorable and likable. I don't think exaggerated humour is off the table as an avenue of thinking, it's just a tone and manner that a brand wants to adopt." Srivatsav adds that as long as one is different within the space, it's fine.

Sambit Mohanty, executive creative director, McCann Delhi is of the opinion that over-the-top, whacky humour is a clutter-breaker for sure, but this premise does not hold true for Stop Not. "The situations appear to be trying too hard to elicit a laugh and therein lies the rub - because humour, in order to work, needs to be effortless. What worked for Bingo isn't quite cutting it for Stop Not, least of all a weak product story of being 'crunchy'- really, what snack isn't?" he asks.

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