Sumita Vaid

Pizza Hut: Bonding with the traditional Indian

Using the traditional arranged marriage scenario as a hook, the three-ad series of Pizza Hut tries to forge a special bond with the Indian consumer

Gone are those days when the girl and the boy in an arrange marriage scenario would meet under the strict supervision of their respective parents or limit their interaction to phone calls. Pizza Hut restaurants can now provide an uninhibited and secure environment for two people to get to know each other, with the consent of their parents of course.

Or at least, that's what PepsiCo group company Tricon would like us to believe. The three-ad series on Pizza Hut, through its central idea of an arranged marriage, tries to strike a special bond with the Indian consumers. The first ad in the series shows how the prospective bride Nandini and the groom Tushar get over their initial apprehensions and win each other's approval during the course of their first meeting at a Pizza Hut restaurant. They decide to get married.

In the second ad, we see a newly married Nandini breaking down at the time of her vidaai (when the bride leaves her father's home for her husband's place). Her father cheers her up by buying her her favourite pan pizza from Pizza Hut. The third ad has Tushar treating his sister-in-law and her many friends to pizzas, in lieu of his shoes (which they must have hidden as part of the joota chhupai ceremony). Instead of giving them money, he gives them a treat at Pizza Hut - which obviously works out cheaper (‘sasthe mein chhooth gaya!').

But will the idea of using an arrange marriage situation connect with today's fast-food generation? "Pizzas are the new age food in India, a country of age-old traditions," pat comes the reply from Subroto Pradhan, associate vice-president and client services director, HTA, Delhi. "In the cosmopolitan atmosphere of today, sometimes this tradition lends itself to a new age version. It's something like a blind date. The two people involved don't know each other and are unsure about the relationship they want to start. There is this initial awkwardness, the insecurities. Then the moment of truth - the arrival of the pizza in it's mouth-watering glory. It involves sharing (which is very unique to pizzas) and makes the two of them let their guards down and just be themselves. And the sharing of the last slice marks the beginning of the relationship."

The other thing is that the arrange marriage concept helps build positive associations with the brand. "The communication task was to open a window into the Pizza Hut restaurant. The creative thought was based on a simple premise that at Pizza Hut ‘every pizza is a bonfire'. The first commercial captures this against the backdrop of an arranged marriage scenario," explains Ritu Singh, copy supervisor, HTA, Delhi.

Commenting on the second ad, Maneesh Rangra, account director, HTA, Delhi, says, "The idea was to present the brand's pizza credentials in a way that underscores the brand's expertise in consumers' mind - to elicit trials from people who have never tried the brand." In this ad ‘indulgence' is the crux of the creative idea. An indulgence of such proportions that the newly wed bride (Nandini) even forgets her groom (Tushar) for a while. This has been done keeping the continuity factor (between the first and second commercial) in mind. "The proposition was simple - ‘pan in duniya out'," explains Anil Ghildial, creative director, HTA, Delhi.

The need to communicate that a Pizza Hut pizza is really not that expensive without compromising on the brand's superiority, became the central idea for the third ad. And the inspiration came from Bollywood. "It's the movie ‘Hum Aapke Hai Kaun' which gave us the inspiration. The song ‘Jootey lelo, paise dedo' became ‘Jootey lelo, pizza dedo'," adds Ghildial. While the sali (sister-in-law) and her sahelies (friends) troop into the Pizza Hut restaurant, their jeejaji (brother-in-law) quietly smirks at the thought that he's been able to get off pretty cheap (saste mein chhoot gaya!).

Well, this may not be the end of ‘Tushar, Nandini and Pizza Hut ki kahani'. The company has not ruled out a part four to this series. "It will not be possible for us to share details on what is going to follow, but we will continue to produce ads which connect with our consumers. Going beyond localising our product offering, we want to localise our communication as well," concludes Pankaj Batra, marketing director, Indian subcontinent, Tricon Restaurants International. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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