Satrajit Sen

Be good, the Nestle way

Nestlé soft sells its corporate philosophy 'Good Food, Good Life' through two touching films.

If sharing is a sign of caring, sharing food is a sign of really, really caring.

Be good, the Nestle way
Be good, the Nestle way
Be good, the Nestle way
Be good, the Nestle way
In India, as in several other collectivism-savvy, oriental nations, food holds a special, symbolic place in culture, one that goes way beyond mere survival and nutrition; food, and the occasions around it, is a platform to forge healthy relationships with family. And sharing food is the best way to manifest one's emotional bond with loved ones.

Nestlé India, a brand that believes 'Good Food' equals 'Good Life', has launched a unique initiative last week to reach out to people with the simple message 'Share Your Goodness'. At the center of this campaign are two touching films that people have begun talking about and sharing, no pun intended.

The first film is a story of two little children, one of whom is adopted. The story peeks into the insecurities the biological child faces and eventually overcomes, as the two bond over shared food. Notably, the adopted child has North East Indian features.

Says Vibha Desai, independent advertising and marketing consultant, "I hope it is a deliberate move," when asked about the film and this interesting geographical angle, "It certainly brought a smile to my face. We need to integrate different parts of the country and not be so North India focused in our ads."

The second film is about the famed dabbawallas of Mumbai. Through this film, Nestlé India shows its appreciation for these precious professionals who deliver hot, home-made food to Mumbaikars every-day, on time. Each of the 5,000 dabbawallas was given a 'Goodness Box' filled with Nestlé products.

On YouTube, the adoption film, uploaded on March 7, has already crossed one lakh views, as has the dabbawalla film, which was uploaded a day earlier. Shorter versions of both films are visible on TV.

Nestlé India has also activated #ShareYourGoodness (a hashtag on Twitter) to facilitate conversations around the campaign and urge people to share personal stories about sharing. The company has also created special online platform for the campaign,

The campaign has been created by McCann Erickson India.

According to Nestlé, this campaign originates from the belief that each one of us harbours an inherent sense of goodness that we're capable of sharing. Says Himanshu Manglik, head, corporate communications, Nestlé India, "We have all grown up in family environments. We have sat together over meals, shared stories and experiences, learnt of joy and pain, developed our values and created our dreams. Our lives became richer in those moments of preparing, serving and eating together, and experiencing the goodness that everyone shared. Today unfortunately, we are so involved with the routine and stress in our lives that we are forgetting this simple act of sharing our goodness."

Sharable, indeed...

Brand strategy experts seem to have taken to Nestlé's cycle of goodness' idea. While the overall thought of sharing goodness is not really a new one, experts agree Nestlé's effort brings out the company's corporate philosophy quite well. They deem the #shareyourgoodness platform a long term one that Nestlé can exploit in multiple ways in the days ahead.

Notably, there seems to be a general preference for the adoption film.

Be good, the Nestle way
Gautam Talwar, chief strategy officer, Rediffusion-Y&R, says about the adoption film, "It's a lovely story and beautifully directed. It conveys what Nestlé would want to stand for in the future much better than the dabbawalla film does," He sees this campaign as a huge opportunity for Nestlé. "They (the brand) should look at making it much bigger than it is today," he suggests.

About the dabbawalla film, Talwar says, "I found nothing new in it; the attempted connection between Nestlé, a food company and the dabbawallas, who deliver food, is too tenuous. I find the activity of giving them a 'goody box' lame." According to him, the adoption film, in comparison, is based on a more "relevant" insight - that sharing food makes you come closer as humans.

Commenting specifically on the adoption film, Desai, aforementioned brand expert, says, "They (team Nestlé) have touched a sensitive spot. The interplay between the two children has been handled very sensitively. It is a well-executed, idea-based campaign that fulfills the thought - the 'Nestlé thought' - beautifully."

She goes on to make special mention of the spontaneous, natural acting on part of the children and the set design on part of the execution team. "The kitchen shot," Desai says about the latter, "has been captured very well - the household looks so Indian... not like a synthesised, Western looking space. The connection between Nestlé and food is clear and will do well for the brand."

(With inputs from Ashwini Gangal)

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