Suck it, lick it, do the Mango Bango, 'Choos' the Mango: What's Frooti trying to say?

By Suraj Ramnath , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | March 31, 2016
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Frooti's 2016 summer campaign is a funky new rendition of the #TheFrootiLife, a catchphrase launched last year. This time, brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan does the Mango Bango as singers go "Chase chase chase chase... choos, choos, choos choos".

'Suck it-a, Lick it-a' continues to be Frooti's mantra even as it launches its new campaign featuring Shah Rukh Khan. Building on its catchphrase #TheFrootiLife launched last year, the mango drink's latest ad, shot indoors entirely, has been conceptualised by Sagmeister & Walsh.

In the initial part of the campaign, only a teaser was launched in which Shah Rukh Khan opens a door to be greeted by a group of people chanting "Chase the Mango, Choos the Mango". Khan shuts the door, only to be accosted by a kid dressed like a monk, who hands him a bottle on which is written 'The Frooti Life'. Khan tries hard to open the door without success when he suddenly remembers the mantra 'Suck it-a, Lick it-a'. In an Open-Sesame-like fashion, he repeats the words, licks the doorknob and gulps the Frooti potion. And, poof! Eventually, after some running and chasing, he finally takes a swig from a bottle of Frooti. Well, that's where the teaser ends with a 'To Be Continued'.

In the second part of the commercial, after drinking Frooti, Khan ends up in a fantasy world where people are dancing to the tune of 'Chase the Mango, Choos the Mango'. Over there, Khan again sees the kid monk and follows him to find more Frooti. He does his bit of a jig and is suddenly transported back to reality where he finds himself facing the director, camera man, and the crew. The commercial ends with Khan telling us to 'Live the Frooti Life'.

A screenshot from Frooti's Official Twitter Handle @Frooti

Nadia Chauhan

Commenting on the launch of the ad campaign, Nadia Chauhan, joint managing director and chief marketing officer, Parle Agro, says in a press release, "At Parle Agro, we have a long history in bringing forth unique offerings. With this campaign, we are motivating people to go further and to take action by choosing #TheFrootiLife. (Shah Rukh) Khan's charm is endearing and fits in with the brand's new ethos, which is bold and contemporary, yet is innocently naughty and has a sense of familiarity. We aim to give the consumer a peep inside the Frooti Life where anything and everything could happen."

Colourful, but abstract

Talking about the message conveyed by the ad, as well as its creative execution, Nima Namchu, chief creative officer, Havas Worldwide, says, "Mango adds 'colour' to an otherwise mundane life seems to be the message. The execution is quite Frooti-like, an attempt to make it as psychedelic as possible. However, I found the film a tad difficult to understand in the first viewing and the whole treatment is a bit too artificial for a fruit drink."

Nima Namchu

Saji Abraham

Anand Vardarajan

So, what's the takeaway from the ad? Says Saji Abraham, executive director, Lowe Lintas, "The ad is perhaps an attempt to move away from the basic benefits of mango (and therefore, a mango drink) to something abstract, a sense of belonging to a club of Frooti drinkers, I guess. Its intent seems to be right -- to go beyond just the benefits of the ingredient (which, anyway, the brand cannot claim as well as a 100 per cent fruit drink can), to a broader area in light of the many competitors that are there in this category."

Abraham finds the tagline 'Live the Frooti life' a bit vague and clichéd. "I get a sense of having seen this idea territory before and in execution, it isn't as interesting or cut through. The ad can be found a bit lacking as far as the idea and the execution is concerned. It could have done better," he says.

So, will Frooti be able to stand out in the clutter of mango drinks in the market especially when the competition rises from Maaza, Slice, and other similar brands?

Namchu says, "Frooti advertising has always stood out in the clutter of other mango drinks, even in the days of the Pooja Bedi commercials. The cut-out figures, the psychedelic treatment and the abundant use of computer graphics is in complete contrast to the imagery that Maaza and Slice employ. It will definitely stand out, but I'm not sure if this will be persuasive."

Independent brand consultant Anand Vardarajan's opinion about the ad is not much different. "The creative is tired. There is no freshness in it. As for standing out amidst the clutter, the use of computer graphics may help a little, but it cannot replace creativity. I'm not sure if it will do much for the brand unless it spends a lot and gets high SOV, though (Shah Rukh) Khan may grab adult eyeballs."

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