"I've told my agency I want to clock at least 10 million YouTube views in a week": Piruz Khambatta on Rasna ad

By Suraj Ramnath , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Last updated : February 27, 2017
A look at the brand's summer campaign that features actors Ram Sethi and Daisy Irani.

Rasna has released a new ad campaign, titled 'Pyarelal Ke Bachpan Ka Pyar', for its powder-based concentrate. The ad features Bollywood actor, Ram Sethi (fondly known as Pyare-laal in the Hindi film industry) and Daisy Irani.

The ad has been created by Scarecrow Communications, directed by Vijay Veermal and produced by Chrome Pictures. RK Swamy is handling the media duties for the brand on the mainline as well as digital platforms.

We spoke to Piruz Khambatta, chairman and managing director, Rasna, about this campaign.

Edited Excerpts.

Three years back, Rasna, through its 'Milaofy' campaign, tried to break away from the 'kids only' image and cater to a wider, more age-agnostic demographic. The current burst of communication appears to take this thought further. Is it safe to assume that this is the objective this time around as well?

Piruz Khambatta

No there is a difference. The 'Milaofy' campaign was about how you can make your life interesting with Rasna. That campaign could have been done by Tropicana as well... in fact any other beverage brand could have done that. The step that we have taken now, is to show that Rasna is a heritage brand and has a lot of loyal consumers. A lot of people prefer 'ma ki dal' all the time and the same is true for Rasna. It is slightly emotional. We thought of making a campaign based on this love that has lived on across generations.

The age of a protagonist in an ad doesn't reflect the TG of the brand. Flipkart ads show kids but that doesn't mean kids are going to buy on their platform. Also, just because we are showing old people, doesn't mean we want old people to drink the product. The theme is 'Rasna is a love for generations'. 20 years back too, we did a campaign where a man comes home and his wife offers him tea and coffee. When he refuses, the child gives her the idea to serve Rasna.


The creative execution of the ad film is interesting because the product demo - mixing the powders, adding sugar, stirring, etc. - aspect is very pronounced. Why is it important to show the process of mixing? Also, for the modern day consumer, isn't this process too layered?

This idea was given by Prahlad Kakkar; I give the credit to him. I told him that showing shots of the sugar being mixed is negative. But he said it is a big positive because when you show sugar you are actually showing how much sweet you want to add. A lot of people like to control the amount of sugar in the drink and in their dessert. This is one product where one can control the sugar as per his/her convenience.

No, it is not too layered. It is like saying the modern day consumer will only have Cuppa Noodles and won't consume Maggi.

Conversely, showing the sachet-cutting-sugar-mixing routine - that is, the 'Rasna ritual' - is a way to reward loyalists of the product, perhaps?

For a lot of people, I believe that is the 'core of Rasna' and that's what they want.

What is the media plan?

We are looking at 40 second and 30 second-long edits. We are running our 2 minute video on a few music channels and the shorter edits will be run on channels like Star and Colors, later on. Our YouTube campaign began on Friday. I have told my agency that I want to clock at least 10 million, that is one crore, views, in a week's time.


We asked a couple of communications professionals to review this ad.

Nilesh Vaidya

Suresh Eriyat

Nilesh Vaidya, director, Workship Communications, says, "It's a very well produced film, and a real effort from Rasna to break free from its typical style of advertising. However, it didn't really hit the sweet spot - I'm someone who was a kid when "I love you Rasna" was launched, and it left me indifferent. For people who don't even have the benefit of having seen Rasna's old advertising, I really wonder how relevant the ad will be."

According to Suresh Eriyat, director, Studio Eeksaurus, a nostalgic brand like Rasna trying to break away from their decades-long formula of creating sweet, kid centric films is a very bold move.

He says, "With excellent production, cinematography and mind-blowing rendition of the song, the film is an entertainer even though I wish it was a bit shorter!" The engagement and penetration of the digital version of the ad, he surmises, will be far lesser in comparison to the traditional televised version. "I wonder about the strategy behind making such a long film," he thinks aloud.

First Published : February 27, 2017
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