Spunky Sridevi in, funky Ranveer out? "You'll see him very soon" assures Capital Foods' Ajay Gupta

By Sunit Roy , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Last updated : October 23, 2017
A look at the recently released ad campaign by Ching's, created by Grey Group.

Indians love nibbling on snack foods every now and then. Today's modern day mom (mother) has a big challenge when it comes to creating snacks that are tasty and equally healthy for her kids; especially after they return from school or play. There's also a buzz on social media, and in general, about mothers looking for better alternatives to regular snacking.

To that end, most brands have launched healthy options to their consumables as consumers have started to avoid junk food, thereby resorting to healthy options like oats. Recent trends have shown that there has been a spike in the demand for oats among the Indian masses that earlier depended on idlis, dosas, poha, upmas, etc. for breakfast or as a snack.

Taking its cue from this changing trend, Ching's Secret, a brand that's known for its Desi-Chinese noodles, has recently launched 'Snacky Oats' that also comes with a Desi-Chinese twist. The brand researched the products intensively through consumer panels across 14 cities in India before finalising the three flavours - Schezwan, Manchow and Singapore Curry.

"Two years ago, research had thrown up an insight - mothers are looking for a better snacking product that children will enjoy, will be easy to make and will also be healthy. From that point onward we started researching alternative products to fulfil this 'want'. Hence, we zeroed down to 'Snacky Oats'," informs Ajay Gupta, managing director, Capital Foods, adding "Ching's Snacky Oats are very tasty snacks that can be made in three to four minutes."

To promote the new product range, the brand has recently launched an ad campaign, sans brand ambassador Ranveer Singh. Singh (Ranveer), with his antics, impressed audiences in 'Ranveer Ching Returns', an over five-and-a-half minute ad campaign that cost a whopping Rs 75 crore. The film also starred Tamannaah Bhatia and was directed by Rohit Shetty.

This time, Ching's Secret has brought Bollywood diva Sridevi on board for their latest ad film. The renowned actress plays a 'Cool Mom', who multi-tasks and juggles her daily chores without compromising on her children's nutrition by serving them Snacky Oats. The campaign was launched with a teaser ad in the form of a silent film that showed a woman doing somersaults while simultaneously ironing clothes. The ad's message read - A Mom so cool, she doesn't need rules. This was followed by another teaser ad with a soundtrack and a message that said "Launching Tomorrow". On October 16th, the #CoolMom video, conceptualised and created by Grey Group, was released and spread over Hindi speaking markets through television and various digital platforms. The film has been directed by Maneesh Sharma with vocals by Hard Kaur and music by Shameer Tandon.

'Ching's Secret has always had a good market share but never enjoyed that brand recognition, so although getting Ranveer Singh on board was a strategic decision and not one to help move the product off the shelf, what strategic role is Sridevi playing in the current ad campaign?' we asked.

Ajay Gupta Ajay Gupta

Sunil Lulla Sunil Lulla

"While (Ranveer) Singh continues to serve as an ambassador for the master brand, the masala category needed a spokesperson with aspirational affinity towards the consumer - the Desi Mom. The communication is designed to convince the gatekeepers of the kitchen and provide them with viable, quick and easy solutions to their daily culinary issues. And who better to do that than the uber-cool wife/ mother herself - Sridevi," explains Sunil Lulla, chairman and managing director, Grey Group.

"Over the past few years, Sridevi has made a mature and stunning comeback in films as a stable family figurehead who knows what's best for her household while maintaining her quirky self. And that gelled well with Ching's Secret's new Desi-Chinese Masala range. The addition of Sridevi to the brand has only helped bolster the image of Ching's Secret as the ultimate authority when it comes to Desi-Chinese," Lulla adds.

So, 'has Ranveer's equity run out? Has the Ranveer Singh played its role and is that phase over?' we asked?

"Ranveer is 'Ranveer Ching'. He is an integral part of our brand journey. You will see him very soon," says Gupta.

Desi-Chinese is loved by all yet consumed mostly outside of the home as it's perceived to be somewhat cumbersome to prepare. Through this ad campaign, which has already registered over a million views since its launch, the brand attempts to showcase how simple it is to make. "Capital Foods has bought a new lingo, style and way of presenting delicious ready-to-eat food. It focuses on a culture that is connecting with consumers. These campaigns are seeing growth in daily sales. It's keeping the brand at the top of the mind. That's what counts. Strategies can change with time. Capital Foods remains focussed at fulfilling the strong need in ready-to-eat foods," says Lulla.

Palatable presentation?

We asked the experts - 'Did the ad campaign succeed in making an impact in consumers' minds?'

According to Harish Bijoor, a brand expert and founder - Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, Ranveer (Singh) did a brilliant job for Ching's Secret. He built brand identity, which was literally woven into his surname. But brands need to move on; this is the 'move-on' creative for Ching's.

Harish Bijoor Harish Bijoor

Ayan Banik Ayan Banik

"The Ranveer idea is a big idea on its own. It is campaignable and creative possibilities can be many. But then, brands cannot and must not, wed themselves totally to one celebrity and one image. This one with Sridevi takes a different track. An 'every-home' track even!" Bijoor says.

He (Bijoor), however, feels that it is an old formula, but rehashed well in this TVC with language, tone, tenor, and decibel being quite contemporary. "To an extent, this is 'Mother's Day' kind of advertising. Moms are heroes to everyone, why not capitalise on that?" he says, adding "Sridevi plays the strategic role of being the 'Supermom'. And whose Mom isn't? Centre-stage it and showcase the Mom in the life of a kid and you have it made. So, I believe this film works. It works better in digital than on short-format TVCs of course."

On the other hand, Ayan Banik, head - brand strategy, Cheil India, says that suddenly it seems that the brand wants to get into the safe zone through its latest supercool mom communication with Sridevi. "The very fact that suddenly the brand wants to become endearing to the new age mom (as the gatekeeper of the family's health and nutrition), is clichéd. In today's day and age, almost any and every brand, even remotely associated with food/ beverages, from MFDs to Oats, cooking oils to juices or milk to atta, have been talking to this same mother; it was really refreshing to see Ching's talk to someone other than the mother (Maa Ching being the flavourful, quirky homage to this ubiquitous new age mom). So, playing it safe by changing the advertising TG to the Mom is actually a big let-down," he says.


Ching's Secret Team:

Managing Director: Ajay Gupta

Agency: Grey group, Bangalore

Creative: Sandipan Bhattacharyya, Mayuresh Dubhashi, Ishan Mehta, Rahul Mahajan, Zubair Shaikh

Account Management: Vineet Singh, Mudassir Ansari, Shradha Nair, Varun Shah

Planning: Arun Raman

Production House: LCA Communication

Director: Manish Sharma

Producer: Bharat Rawail

PR & Corporate Communications: Sonal Sheth

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First Published : October 23, 2017


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