Saffola: Low on cholesterol, high on empathy

By , agencyfaqs! | In | May 31, 2004
The new multi-media campaign for cooking oil brand Saffola Gold explores the health theme from a more empathetic and indulgent point of view

The focus of cooking-oil advertising in India has been on the predictable - but in this case, highly relevant - platform of health. Working on the assumption that while most consumers know about the benefits of a healthy life, but few take serious efforts to maintain it, these ads prescribe switching to a 'healthy' oil as a first step to healthy living. Advertising for Saffola has been no different. From home to nursing home, the brand has, over the years, driven home the 'high-cholesterol, serious-heart-problem' theme through various creative executions. However, the new multi-media campaign for Saffola Gold is a different take on the issue, as it explores the health theme from a more empathetic and indulgent viewpoint.

The television commercial for the campaign - created by McCann-Erickson India and directed by Rajiv Menon - opens on a man groggily turning off the morning alarm, slipping into his tracksuit and jogging shoes and heading straight back to bed. His wife enters with a cup of tea and tries to cajole her husband to stick to his exercise regimen. The husband, who finds it difficult to relinquish the comforts of his bed, pleads for just 'five more minutes' of that sweet, divine sleep. She gives in. The background refrain of 'Kal se', based on AR Rehman's hit number 'Dil Se', underscores the man's outlook towards good health.

Cut to the wife walking into the living room, to find her husband sitting on the couch, watching cricket, while their son pedals hubby dear's exercising cycle. She looks at her husband complainingly, but he reacts with a placating flying kiss, and promptly turns his attention to the action on TV.

But the wife's frustrations are far from over, as her husband gorges junk food. Saffola makes an entry here, comforting the lady whose efforts at ensuring a healthy life have been thwarted by her husband. The voiceover urges her to take timely action and not postpone matters concerning health, the way her husband does. The ad signs off by saying 'Naya Saffola Gold. Dil ki hifazat, aaj se.'

The decision to reposition Saffola from a brand that was perceived to be 'therapeutic' in function to that of an 'understanding companion' was a result of two factors - the launch of new variant Saffola Gold, and the need to build awareness about heart care among a larger base of consumers. "One of the key tasks was to educate consumers about the benefits of this new variant," says Vishal Mehta, business director, McCann-Erickson India. "The fact that Saffola Gold has a double action formula, which not only helps in the reduction of cholesterol but also absorbs less in the food, was highlighted."

Elaborating on the second factor, he adds, "Over the years, the brand has resonated well primarily with those people who have a heart condition. The brief was to move Saffola from being a 'therapeutic brand' to one that plays an important role in maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle for everyone. Therefore, the brand needed to reach out to a larger set of consumers."

That point of contact with a larger set of consumers had to come through an understanding of their lifestyle. "We discovered that while there is an increasing intention to follow a healthy lifestyle, this intention does not always translate into action. This gap between intent and action became the basis to reposition Saffola," Mehta explains. Thus, the story was then built around the theme 'Men are reluctant health enthusiasts'.

"In the new campaign, Saffola recognizes that it is easy to fall prey to the temptations that come in the way of healthy living," says Ashish Bhargava, marketing manager, Saffola, Marico Industries. "We procrastinate when it comes to adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes exercising and avoiding fatty, oily food. The least the wife can do as the first step to a healthy heart is to switch to a good cooking oil."

The creative challenge was to look at the 'reluctant health enthusiasts' theme in a refreshing manner. "The brand wants to continue being perceived as the authority on heart care, but in a less serious and more approachable manner," points out Ramanuj Shastry, creative director, McCann-Erickson India. "It has in some ways become a 'friendly family doctor' from a heart specialist. Therefore, the brand is shown empathizing with the housewife, understanding her struggle to keep her family healthy. And in the process, the advertising introduces her to Saffola, an intelligent and convenient way of keeping her family healthy. So the creative dwells on how most people tend to postpone exercise, sticking to a proper diet et cetera, and acknowledges this phenomenon through 'Kal se'." © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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