Come Valentine’s Day and brands go into overdrive mode. They mark the date months ago and creative agencies put their best efforts into making people fall in love. A ton of mushy ads around hearts coming together takes up space on newspapers, radio, billboards, TV, and digital screens.
But Little Hearts, the heart-shaped biscuit from FMCG major Britannia, has decided to take diametrically opposite route on this day of love this year. Instead of the sweet romantic ad which would have worked right in its favour (its product shape is of a heart, after all), it decided to release a digital ad telling people to ‘break some hearts’.
Featuring Mumbai-based rapper Kaam Bhaari and actor Ahsaas Channa, the digital song talks of the men Ahsaas comes across in a catchy qawwali song, while Kaam Bhaari raps away advising her on how she can fend off the unwanted romeos.
An interesting aspect of this digital song is the mention of brands like Tinder and Netflix; we think of it as evidence that the brands have now become day-to-day aspects of one’s life. You, after all, go on Tinder dates or Netflix and chill instead of dinner dates.
Executed by creative agency Wunderman Thompson, the Little Hearts digital ad also makes mention of self-love when the chorus of Kaam Bhaari’s rap says ‘Break some hearts, Just love yourself...’ This is another indication of changing mindsets wherein Valentine’s Day isn’t only about the love between two people but about loving yourself as well.
We reached out to Vinay Subramanyam, head of marketing, Britannia Industries, to talk about the ‘Break Some Hearts’ song. We asked him why Little Hearts decided to roll out such a digital video ad which goes against the grain of sweet and mushy Valentine’s Day ads. He says, “The heart-shaped sugary biscuit was targeted at young adults of the 90s and early 2000s, who were snack junkies, with a penchant for trying out new taste experiences. We capitalised on the unique shape, look and feel and delivered a never-before crunchy bite.”
He continued, “However, over the years, our consumers have evolved and the youth of today has a very different view towards love and romance. The modern millennial is no longer enamoured of the “mushy” and the “soppy”, and heartbreaks are a big part of their lives. Therefore, we decided to take an edgy view of heartbreaks, by urging consumers to “Break Some Hearts” – both figuratively and literally.”
“Our mission with this campaign is not to say no to love but to empower our consumers and let them know that it is okay to not take love too seriously and urge them to have a fun, light-hearted attitude towards #BreakSomeHearts.”
We wanted to know why Ahsaas was saying ‘no’ to potential boyfriends on Valentine’s Day. Says Subramanyam, “While working on the campaign, we realised that social media has made us put ourselves out into the world for everyone to see. This often results in unwarranted attention, which might not be something the consumer is looking for and fending off that attention isn’t easy for them either.”
“We have spent the last two years focusing on developing and establishing our brand's message of ‘break some hearts’ and its meaning. This year, we wanted to push the brand's message further and shift the conversation from explaining ‘Break Some Hearts’ to encouraging our consumers to live the Break Some Hearts philosophy through the heartbreaker's song. The song encourages our consumers to unabashedly break the hearts of those they are not interested in – roadside Romeos, friend-zoned pals, amongst others.”, he says.
Another interesting aspect of the digital ad is the aspect of self-love. When quizzed if the ad was in any way aimed towards singles who usually feel neglected on Valentine’s Day, Subramanyam says, “This young generation believes in embracing change, they are comfortable in their own skin and are willing to go against the established social norm. This audience is not bound by the clichéd concept of love and romance. The song is not targeted at a specific segment of the target audience. It is a celebration of the heartbreakers who wish to get away from unwanted attention.”