What do you need salt for?
To make food tasty.
To combat iodine deficiency in kids and enhance memory.
To safeguard the man of the house from the possibility of a heart attack.
That, in effect, is the gist of salt advertising - which has traditionally been pitched on health or on purity - in India. And the formula is always the same. A homemaker draped in a white saree unhappy in one shot and happy in the next. Magic? Yes! She has just discovered the right salt brand for her family.
What if the underworld don, much romanticised by Bollywood, replaces the Indian homemaker and makes the same statement?
If nothing else, it makes for an interesting shift from the much-treaded path.
Interesting for two reasons. First, the plot. And second, the brand message. Here's a brief look at the new Nature Fresh salt ad that has tried to make the same statement - differently.
The film opens with an underworld-type biting into a piece of tandoori chicken with great relish. A pack of unbranded salt (though the pack design looks exactly like Tata Salt) lies on the table, right in front of him. In the background his partners-in-crime are seen trying to torture a guy to extract information. The don gestures his assistant to rub salt on the man's wounds.
Briefly scared, the captive bursts into peels of laughter when rubbed with salt. The goon's bespectacled assistant asks his partner, "Ye namak laya, ya powder laya?" (What have you got - salt or powder?). He puts another pack on the table, this time it is Nature Fresh. He says the new salt will do the job better as it is grainy.
Viola! Unable to bear the pain anymore, the captive spills the beans. The super reads, 'Danedar Namak, Shudh Namak' (granular salt, pure salt).
Quite unlike any salt advertisement we have seen before.
Ashish Sood, creative director, HTA (the agency on Nature Fresh salt) explains how the idea originated. "By metaphorically using the benefits of salt beyond food, the advertising idea demonstrates the purity of Nature Fresh salt. ...the brand is the hero." Will the use of anti-heroes undermine the product benefits in the consumers' mind? Sood thinks otherwise. "Gabbar, Mogambo, Kallu Mama... she has seen them all in her favourite Hindi films. By single-mindedly focusing on the granular nature of Nature Fresh salt, the ad helps break category clutter. Something that has not been done in food advertising before!" quips Sood.
The agency deliberately steers clear of trotting the oft-used product benefits like the salt being iodised and free-flowing - which competition has been harping on. "In today's competitive scenario they can not be used as differentiating factors," says the Cargill Foods' official spokesperson. "Traditionally in India fine or powdery salt is believed to be purer; this ad tries to dispel that notion and establish granular salt as purer."
He proffers scientific data to prove his point. "The granulation size of Nature Fresh salt is 300-600 micron and that of other powdery fine salts are 180-800 micron. The granulation size of dust and other impurities is 180-300 micron. Therefore the physical nature of the product makes it impossible for dust or other fine impurities to stick to Nature Fresh salt. It gives a tangible consumer benefit: 'touch and tell how pure the salt is'."
Thus the objective of the ad seems to be twofold. To break the perception among consumers and challenge other brands on their, as the company puts it, 'granular proposition'. Two, make consumers re-evaluate their brands, and establish Nature Fresh as the only granular - and therefore purer - alternative.
A clear effort at changing the dynamics of the salt marketing in India. "Nature Fresh as a brand has been in the market for more than two years in categories like atta and oils. Nature Fresh atta has become the No 2 atta brand in the country today. We hope now that consumer trust and bonding with our salt will flow from the equity of the umbrella brand Nature Fresh," says the company spokesperson. © 2002 agencyfaqs!First Published : May 20, 2002