Neha Kalra

Kareena for Kurkure

While Juhi Chawla continues to be part of the Kurkure family, Kareena Kapoor is endorsing a new range under the main brand

Cinderella, says the fairytale, was a beautiful little dame. Kurkure tells a different tale and talks about a ‘desi mem’, aka Kareena Kapoor.

The nine year old snack brand by PepsiCo India has been the domain of veteran actress, Juhi Chawla for almost five years. Will Kapoor be able to spice it up for the brand? afaqs! finds out.

Kapoor was recently brought onboard as the new face for PepsiCo Snack Foods, and particularly, Kurkure. However, Juhi continues to be the face for the brand, reveals a PepsiCo Snack Foods official.

Kareena for Kurkure
The TVC featuring Kapoor opens on a person, beginning to narrate the 'ishtory' (read story) of Cinderella in Hindi, in a Haryanvi accent. Kareena plays the role of Cinderella, who is being treated as the maid of the house, while her stepsisters have their share of fun. The 'desi' twist in the story is when singer Ila Arun comes to the rescue as her godmother. She offers Kapoor a packet of Kurkure Desi Beats to spice up her life. The Englishmen and her stepsisters are having a boring dance, when 'desi' girl Kareena arrives in Indian attire to bring life to the party. The film ends with the tagline – ‘No Fun, Without Desipann’.

Explaining the choice of Kapoor for the brand, the PepsiCo official says, “Desi Beats is an incremental platform that Kurkure was looking at, for which it needed a new face. The product demanded a new look, and that's why Kareena.”

As far as Juhi's role goes, she has always stood for the irreverent and chatpata attitude of the brand, and continues to carry it further. Juhi and Kareena would together look at endorsing the entire portfolio, though the details haven’t been chalked out, the official adds.

Kareena for Kurkure
Kareena has been brought onboard as a representative of the youth, particularly because the product is targeted at teenagers. She only exemplifies the whole plot, reveals Shavon Barua, vice-president and client services director, JWT, the agency that handles the creative duties for Kurkure.

Talking about the brief, Barua says that with Kurkure's intention of breaking the code every time, for Desi Beats, it was to operate in a different space, but at the same time, retain the core values of the mother brand. The brand is seriously looking at the youth spaces, in terms of keeping the brand going forward. While Desi Beats is more focussed on teens, the mother brand is all-encompassing.

“The strategic thought behind the concept was that when Indians see anything international, they give it a 'desi' tweak. Being unpretentiously 'desi', Desi Beats is in the international nacho format,” she adds.

afaqs! spoke to a few creative professionals on Kurkure’s latest move.

Kareena for Kurkure
Kareena for Kurkure
Kareena for Kurkure
“Thank god that the Kurkure team remembered that it is a snack for the young, and not something traditional and adult like the 'Bhujia'. So, getting Kareena on this is a clever and great move. What Kurkure did with the Cinderella story is very similar to what Gulzarsaab did, years ago, and Vishal Bharadwaj did, recently, with the all-time great works of Shakespeare -- recreating and presenting them with a 'desi' touch and feel. With a crispy Haryanavi dialect, filmy latka-jhatkas and a ‘desi’ garnishing to an English fairy tale, creating a full musical entertainment -- they 'Bingo' on,” says Harish Arora, executive creative director, Dentsu Marcom, Delhi.

Nima Namchu, executive creative director, Contract Advertising Delhi, isn’t too impressed. “A popular film star; a once-popular singer; a 'desi' twist in a western 'ishtory'; a desi narrative; a conscious attempt to make it bizarre -- the commercial has all the right ingredients that could have been used to launch a brand of munchies with a ‘desi’ flavor, but unfortunately, ends up looking like a poor cousin of the new Chlormint TVC. Not chatpata at all. And what was the strategy? Let’s do a Chlormint/Mentos/Happydent?”

“Juhi, with her chatty, chirpy demeanor seemed a better fit for the brand. Perhaps, if they had used the Kareena we saw in Jab We Met? If the brand is strong and if the creative idea stems from the brand and not Kareena, I believe the brand’s success will not be determined by her performance at the box office. Having said that, she does add some youth and oomph to the brand,” he adds.

Anand Suspi, creative head, Lowe Delhi, is of the opinion that it's a lovely ad. “The message is very clear and it's highly entertaining. Compared to quite a few of the previous Kurkure commercials, this one is far better in terms of the script, as well as the execution. Kareena definitely has given the communication a shot in the arm. Juhi was obviously dated and doesn't attract eyeballs like she used to,” he says.

“While Juhi has been the face of the brand for a long time, what matters ultimately is the current form. The past is all academic. It's akin to Tendulkar vs Gambhir opening in ODIs. I think Kareena is a great change of guard. She's possibly at the peak of her success and popularity and it adds a lot to the image of the brand. All in all, it's a good move from Kurkure and it's a film I would like to watch again and again,” he adds.

The television commercial is on air in 40, 30 and 10 second formats. It has been directed by film director, Nikhil Advani, and has been produced by Sunil Manchanda of MAD Productions. Advani is a regular on Lays' campaigns.

Apart from television, Kurkure is also looking at a mass media route, which includes Internet and radio immediately, to build awareness for the new variant. In the future, activations could have a role to play, considering that the brand is looking at a 360 degree plan, says Barua.

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