Celebrating 'signature' Maggi

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | February 23, 2015
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After decades of celebrating various aspects of the much-loved instant noodle brand, Nestlé takes note of the various 'recipes' of Maggi in its new campaign.

Indians love to customise what they eat, including ready-to-eats. Nestlé's instant noodle brand Maggi has been consumed in various tweaked forms, across the length and the breath of the country. From butter, cheese to mix vegetables, Maggi has been through a culinary makeover to suit varied tastes and preferences.

Taking note of this very insight, Nestlé, for the first time, has acknowledged the 'recipe' aspect of its brand Maggi, through the 'khushiyon ki recipe' campaign, which comprises two ads.

Executed by Publicis, the first ad features a young girl named 'Rajkumari' (Princess) who returns home from school visibly irritated after being teased by her school mates about her name. To cheer her up, her mother prepares her 'special' recipe Maggi. As the aroma of the dish wafts through the house, the girl (still grumpy) asks her mother to serve her 'special' recipe Maggi. Her mother curiously asks her why she calls it 'special', to which the kid replies, 'because it is special'...and the mother quickly adds, 'you were named Rajkumari because you are a princess for us'. They both break into a smile.

The second ad narrates how a mother-daughter relationship evolves, as the daughter decides to move out of the comfort of her home, to lead an independent life in the city. To convince her worried mother that she will manage well, the daughter prepares her mother's special Maggi recipe, which she had learned by observing her. As the mother looks at her daughter dicing vegetables, she smiles, convinced. The girl lovingly invites her over to her house for the special Maggi treat.

Bobby Pawar

Partha Sinha

Bobby Pawar, director and chief creative officer, Publicis South Asia, says Maggi has moved beyond convenience. "It is about the primal bond that hunger creates between a mother and child. 'Khushiyon ki recipe' is a way to express that. It is also a nod to how each mother makes Maggi special for her kid by adding what the kid loves."

For over 30 years, Maggi has had some memorable communication like '2-minute Maggi' which hovered around the hunger proposition and how quickly the instant noodle brand fulfills its two-minute promise. These ads featured young children running around their mother for a steaming bowl of Maggi. Taking the communication to a much wider consumer base, the brand also launched 'Me and Meri Maggi' wherein consumers were invited to share their Maggi moments. The campaign provided a glimpse of the brand's presence in the life of the Indian consumer, over the past 25 years.

Partha Sinha, director and chief strategy officer, Publicis South Asia, notes, "With years, the work on Maggi is becoming more and more fundamental. We were looking for one such fundamental truth and we figured that 'hunger' probably is the most primal bond between a mother and a child."

Both the films have been created by Breathless Films and directed by Vinil Mathew ('Hasee Toh Phasee-fame).

Apart from television, the campaign is being promoted on digital and radio.

A Step Ahead

Experts believe that the brand has come of age in giving a new meaning to the 'mother-child' relationship in its campaigns. The recipe element is, however, subtle enough to go unnoticed. The 'mother's special' aspect shines through both the ads.

Sambit Mohanty

Anushree Ghosh

For Sambit Mohanty, creative head, DDB Mudra North, the new campaign keeps the mother and child relationship intact, but the storytelling is no longer puerile. "It is more mature, contemporary and emotional," he notes.

The only element he would add in an otherwise fresh piece of communication by the brand is incorporate fathers in the ads.

According to Anushree Ghosh, director - strategic planning, Razorfish, the reference to recipes in both the edits is slightly unclear, and is likely to be missed if one does not follow the ad with a keen eye.

"However, the association with the comfortable familiar taste (Mom's maggi and special taste) stands out," she opines.

Ghosh highlights that one of the ads (single girl living independently) elevates Maggi and its taste to bring the symbolism of independence, which is a big space and has a lot of potential for exploration.

"To most people, across the various strata of society, making their first Maggi is almost their tryst with independence, self-reliance, resilience etc. Too many stories can be told in that space, and should be explored well," she suggests.

Though emotional, the ads are limited in terms of the role they will play in the brand's journey. Ghosh believes Maggi is awaiting the logical next step to the 'Meri Maggi' platform.

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