Devina Joshi

Mentos reaffirms its ‘Get Smart’ positioning

O&M’s fifth commercial for Mentos on the ‘Dimaag ki batti jala de’ positioning says the same thing in a more subtle manner

The entire peppermint sweets category is all about getting smart. And Mentos is no different. Yet again, Mentos is reaffirming its ‘Get smart’ positioning, though many feel that this positioning has reached saturation point.

Sameer Suneja, head, marketing, Perfetti Van Melle India, says, “Other ads in the category generally talk about fresh breath, or how a mint helps a guy attract a girl. Mentos doesn’t talk about the functional benefit at all – it works on a psychological level, where people associate the brand with the imagery of ‘smartness’.”

However, according to Abhijit Avasthi, group creative director, O&M, Mumbai, the agency behind the Mentos campaigns, in such a scenario, the brand that says it in the most refreshing manner grabs the market. He says, “Worldwide, Mentos has been positioned as ‘The Fresh Maker’. But in India, we wanted to adapt this concept in terms of ‘Thinking fresh’ and that is how ‘Dimaag ki batti jala de’ happened.”

He adds, “We were among the first to establish this positioning, around four years ago. So, in a sense, we have the first mover advantage. Above all, we have successfully used the positioning for our previous four commercials. But this time, it is a new way of saying it.”

While in the previous Mentos commercials, the product was in action, the latest commercial takes a more subtle route.

The latest TVC opens on the shot of a typical college boy, running because he is late for a class. He is shown dashing at top speed in the college corridor, tucking in his T-shirt and smoothing his hair at the same time, in an attempt to look earnest.

The boy finally reaches his classroom and finds that the professor is already in the class, writing on the blackboard. The boy decides to try his luck and quietly tiptoes into the classroom, but the sharp professor catches him mid-way and glances at his watch.

He thunders, “‘Ab aa rahe ho’? Get out! (Is this the time to come to class? Get out!)” The boy walks out disappointed while his classmates look on. A male voiceover booms at this point: “‘Yeh hain aam zindagi’ (This is ordinary life.)”

Cut to the next frame where the boy is running to class, late once again. However, this time, he makes a smart move. When his professor isn’t looking, he enters the classroom walking backwards towards his seat. When his professor turns around and catches him, it appears as though the boy was attempting to sneak out of class. The professor now says sternly, “‘Kahaan ja rahe ho’? Sit down! (Where do you think you’re going? Sit down!)”

The clever boy shrugs nonchalantly and takes his seat, while a girl sitting on the next bench looks at him and smiles, appreciating his smart idea. The voiceover says, “‘Yeh hain Mentos zindagi’. (This is the Mentos life.)”

The boy grins back at the girl. The last shot focuses on the boy’s desk, where he places an empty wrapper of Mentos, with the voiceover concluding: “Mentos… ‘Dimaag ki batti jala de’. (Mentos… Makes one think fresh.)”

Avasthi remarks, “This commercial is different from the previous ones simply because its structure is different. While earlier, the Mentos protagonist was shown getting an idea after popping the mint into his mouth, this time we didn’t need to show the product in action. This is because we feel that people already know what Mentos is and what its core proposition is: It allows one to think fresh, think smart.”

“This has been brought out well by the whole ‘Ordinary life/Mentos life’ concept, which we have never done before,” he adds.

Talking about the creative execution, Rajesh Krishnan, ad filmmaker, Footcandles, says that the brief given to him was, in one word, simplicity. He remarks, “I found the Mentos script so interesting, all it required was simple execution. The only thing that mattered was that the idea, that is the clever joke, should come through at the end of it.”

"When other ads shout so much, we kept the execution simple. We thought of taking a different approach in the belief that ‘Silence speaks louder than words’," Krishnan adds.

Suneja concludes that while the previous Mentos ads were comparatively more intellectual, every Indian will find it easy to relate to the new commercial.

“Through this advert, we have tried to make the appeal of the brand more mass than it was before. Also, the commercial is less of a problem-solution approach as was the case with the earlier ones,” he says.

Suneja adds that other branches of Perfetti Van Melle across Asia are considering adapting the new ad to their respective local languages.

© 2005 agencyfaqs!

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