Shreyas Kulkarni

Cadbury Bournvita focuses on kids’ deteriorating mental health; wants parents to recognise the signs

The brand's shift from ‘tayyari jeet ki’s’ physical activityesque campaign to mental health is courtesy of the last year’s lockdown.

“Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, "Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says, "But doctor...I am Pagliacci,” wrote author Alan Moore in the seminal graphic novel ‘Watchmen’.

When the stress buster becomes busted with stress, how do you respond? You cannot. And when it is kids in question, it becomes an even more serious issue that needs dealing with using lots of subtlety and care.

Since last year’s lockdown(s) to arrest the spread of the Coronavirus, adults and kids alike were forced indoors. While we adults tried to make do, the little ones were deprived of a big chunk of what’d shape their lives - the ability to move outdoor and mingle with friends; their stressbuster.

The kids, unlike us, didn’t know how to cope. Add in the stress they saw their parents and relatives suffer and it all slowly churned to become a mental health problem for them.

Unfortunately, parents were not equipped to recognise the signs of mental health issues in their kids. How could they when this topic remained taboo when they were kids?

Kids losing their sleep, their appetite, their joyful nature, and so many other symptoms were discarded and parents would often scold the kids for adding more pressure to their already stressful lives.

The mental state of these kids’ had reached such alarming levels that, in Cadbury Bournvita’s new campaign, they preferred to open up to us the viewers than to their parents because the parents just could not get the message.

(L-R) Akshay Seth, Chinmay Raut
(L-R) Akshay Seth, Chinmay Raut

Ogilvy created the campaign for Cadbury Bournvita and Akshay Seth, Group Creative Director and Chinmay Raut, Senior Creative Director were the main brains behind it.

The most interesting aspect of the campaign is the fact that we see a Cadbury Bournvita that does not speak of physical fitness or activity as it did in its past campaigns like ‘Tayyari Jeet Ki’. As per Seth the “brand has traditionally been about tann and mann ki tayaari and the situation was such that mental health couldn't be ignored which is why we thought it's a great conversation some brand must speak about and since we're in the space of representing parenting in modern times, it seemed like a natural talking point.”

He tells us the ads were made keeping in mind how for parents the signs might be easy to confuse and how kids may feel reticent to talk about such things wonder how their parents will react. “That's why you will see in the ad they (kids) are confiding with the viewers by asking them to click on the link.”

If you’re watching the ad from Facebook or Instagram and you click on the link, it will take you to a WhatsApp bot “where the kids tell you a bit more than they weren't while their parents were around… There are a set of questions you can answer and understand the universe of mental health.”

Cadbury Bournvita focuses on kids’ deteriorating mental health; wants parents to recognise the signs

The chatbot was created keeping three types of parents in mind: those who are absolutely unaware of it. Those who are aware but might not have thought about what the kids are going through and those who are aware of it. In the end, the chatbot takes you to a site that offers a multitude of content on mental health and also helps parents get in touch with a counsellor.

The campaign, Seth tells us, “ is a two-way education. It tells the kids to talk to parents but nudges parents to take the conversation forward.”

Need a full service agency for your project? Choose among 70 such agencies on afaqs! Marketplace now. Click here.

Have news to share? Write to us