Rachit Vats

Coffy-Toffee? Lotte lays that argument to rest

With the intention of bringing the Coffy Bite brand into focus, Lotte India has launched a TVC to steer its new line of thought: Children today are ‘adult’ much earlier

Nothing is permanent. Particularly for a product communication. Ask Coffy Bite, an 18-year-old confectionery brand that has finally bid adieu to the longstanding ‘Coffy-Toffee’ argument, a strong positioning that has served it well for some time now.

The Korean confectionery giant, Lotte India, formerly known as Parry’s Confectionery, unveiled a TVC earlier this year. The TVC, the first one in two years, brings to rest the old argument whether a Coffy Bite tastes of toffee or coffee. The company’s reasoning for this action – all good things must come to an end.

Explains Ajay Motwani, group product manager, Lotte India, “The ‘argument’ campaign exhibited tremendous strength while it ran. But, like all other things, this campaign too has lived its life. Despite possessing brand recall of as high as 100 per cent, in our Brand Health studies, we found likeability scores dropping. Also, we discovered that value systems had changed in the last 15 years. The target group no longer related to ‘argumentativeness’ to the same extent.”

Coffy-Toffee? Lotte lays that argument to rest
The kids play as 'kids'
Coffy-Toffee? Lotte lays that argument to rest
Temptations of Coffy Bite
Coffy-Toffee? Lotte lays that argument to rest
Kids get into an 'adultish' mode
Coffy-Toffee? Lotte lays that argument to rest
The Coffy Bite super
The primary target group for Coffy Bite is children and teenagers. Adults make up the secondary TG. Lotte’s exploratory research led to the following insight: Kids have an adult-like, mature side to their personality that comes to the fore in different situations. They actually switch between their childish side and adult-like side at will.

The TVC – made by JWT, Bangalore – brings this insight to life. The film opens inside a running train, where two children are engaged in playing and singing a nursery rhyme. Two adult passengers in the compartment are distracted and unable to sleep. With the intention of catching a nap, the adults tempt the children with Coffy Bites. Sensing silence, and success, the passengers prepare to sleep – only to be woken up again by the children. The kids bite into the confectionery and immediately a transformation takes place. They start dancing to the tunes of a Bollywood song. The look in their eyes spells grown-up behaviour.

The execution is child-centric and the super at the end sums up with the tag line ‘Bachchon ki coffee, badhon ki toffee’. That literally means, ‘Coffee for kids, toffee for adults’, staying true to the new thought.

Explains Mythili Chandrasekar, senior vice-president and executive planning director, JWT, Bangalore: “The argument platform was dropped because we found that the brand world of Coffy Bite was an adult world compared to all other toffees and candies. Yet children – and adults – continue to love it. The brand decided to operate on the trend that children today are “adult” much earlier.”

The campaign was released two months back and Lotto claims that the response has been extremely encouraging. It says Brand Health scores on key elements such as ‘Likeability’ and ‘Consideration during Purchase’ have moved up. It also claims a 25 per cent increase in sales since the release of the campaign.

The TVC comes after a two-year gap in advertising for the product. Says Motwani, “Yes, it was off air for some time as we had gone back to the basics and were busy streamlining strong distribution growth, so vital for impulse products. Having got our act in order now, over the next year, Coffy Bite is going to see a lot of fresh executions of the existing brand thought across media.” In the next six months, Lotte will release another TVC based on the same thought.

This new idea could be termed as Coffy Bite’s attempt to become more relevant to a new generation. Whether or not that works in the long run, the old tag-line has been put to rest.

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