Biprorshee Das

Hippo showers more love; fights hunger with motherly care

With the launch of Hippo's new Round-Round munchies variant, the communication continues with the thought of fighting hunger and spreading love; this time, however, Hippo charms the audiences with motherly care.

The endearing Hippo is back. After fighting hunger, which it said was the root of all evil, it now continues its fight, showering motherly love.

Launching the new variant of Parle Agro's baked wheat snack, Hippo Round-Round munchies, the new television commercial for the product carries forward Hippo's trademark perspective.

Hippo showers more love; fights hunger with motherly care
The snack variant is available in six regional flavours: Gujarat Mango Chutney, Punjab da Pickle, Goan Butter Garlic, Shillong Noodle Masala, Firangi Cheese 'n' Spice and Tanjore Sambhar.

The film, conceptualised by Creativeland Asia, shows Hippo moving ahead in its philosophy, charming people with motherly care. It shows Hippo reaching out to all those who miss home and long for its essences, with munchies in regional homemade flavours, much to their delight.

Hippo approaches soldiers and cheers them up, attends to a boy in the hospital, nursing, bathing and putting him back to bed like his mother would, makes a foreign tourist who seems lost, feel at home -- all with a pack of Round-Round munchies.

The film also features a sequence of mothers from different regions, preparing munchies and handing them over to Hippo, who then sets off on the hunger-fighting expedition.

The background score of the film, titled, 'Maa, meri Maa', has been sung by Mohit Chauhan. The song was originally featured in a Hindi film titled Dasvidaniya and was sung by Kailash Kher.

Hippo showers more love; fights hunger with motherly care
Hippo showers more love; fights hunger with motherly care
The commercial has been released in more than six languages. The film has been directed by Ram Madhvani and produced by Equinox Films. The creative team at Creativeland Asia includes Sajan Raj Kurup, founder and creative chairperson, Vikram Gaikwad, Anu Joseph, Huzefa Kapadia and Maria Iqbal.

Talking about the commercial, Kurup says, "We decided to position the popular regional flavours as 'maa ke haathon se bane flavours', rather than just doing one of those regional stereotypical numbers. This piece of communication is born out of the unconditional love we have for homemade food in India, and the universal truth about the mother's care and concern. It is blissful to watch and is really close to my heart."

On the music used, Kurup says, "We recomposed the song with Mohit (Chauhan). We knew that his voice would do complete justice to the theme since it has this particular genuineness."

Kurup says that Hippo comes with a natural slight quirk. He adds that there is a little bit of a social message in the Hippo commercials.

Says Kurup , "It is important. A brand must stand for something. We wanted the brand to have a soul. Communication today must go beyond a dialogue and become an experience. We try to be consistent and create a connect with the consumers in the market. The idea in the film had to be clutter-breaking and the insight, relevant."

The brief was to create a new sub-brand. While working on it, the agency also came up with the 'Round-Round' name for the variant. "We could have called it Ping-Pong, but we kept it very basic, keeping in mind the shape of the snack and what Hippo would probably call it," Kurup says. Commenting on the film, Nadia Chauhan, joint managing director, Parle Agro says in a press statement, "With this communication, Hippo also encourages snacking to be taken as a way to keep in touch with one's roots. Hippo, with its 'food for thought', not only tempts the Indian palate, with its unique regional flavours,but also strengthens its position as the solution for both hunger and its consequences."

The television campaign will be supported by extensive use of the digital medium and on-ground activities that have been typical of the brand. The social media space will be widely used, while a part of the on-ground activities will encourage sampling of the product across malls, done by mothers instead of youngsters.

The media duties of the brand are being handled by Optimum Media Direction.

Just the right flavours

Warm yet charming. Funny, and not slapstick. Creativeland Asia has used all the old tricks in the bag and yet presented them in a refreshing manner, opine creative experts, who put their stamp of approval on the film.

Hippo showers more love; fights hunger with motherly care
Hippo showers more love; fights hunger with motherly care
Shivanand Mohanty, national creative director, Dentsu Communications is of the view that there are a lot of things that work for the film. Says he, "Cute. Noticeable. Makes you smile. Many things are right about the execution -- the casting, the acting, the music and the lyrics. The situations are quirky in an appealing way."

However, he adds that the story of 'mom-made' could have been much stronger. Approving the insight, he says, "That everyone loves mom-made food is true. For instance the situations shown like that of the army jawans, when one would miss/crave for mom's food the most. Overall, the effect is pleasant and gives good vibes."

"Well, it is trying hard to be different, isn't it? No celebrities, no mouth watering preparation shots, not too much time explaining why this is like 'mom-made' (the last point not so much in its favour, though). However, they have got a great brand name and an eccentric personality. Makes me wonder what they'll do next," he adds.

Brijesh Jacob, managing partner, White Canvas, is quite impressed as well. "After a long time, some real good work," he exclaims. "It is interesting and a very different take on the whole idea of 'Maa ke haath', an idea that has been tried before by other brands. It is a position most packaged food items would want to take. I have had the product. It tasted yum! And, this take has left a nice taste in the mouth. Pun intended," says Jacob.

"It is warm. It is also fun. Not the usual definition of fun that we are used to. Not slapstick. Not a spoof. This one is memorable. The song adds to the charm," he adds.

Jacob, however, misses the earlier idea of hunger being the root of all evil. "I would have loved to see that idea being further developed. That was a phenomenal take. Very refreshing," he concludes.

Have news to share? Write to us