The latest digital film on the 'quick relief from stomach ailments' from the house of Dabur - Pudin Hara - is out. And guess what... there aren't any close-up shots of an ailing stomach or the 'green' medicine flowing down the digestive system... the brand's signature since its launch in the early 1990s. Neither a grumpy human cribbing about indigestion nor a mother or wife lecturing on unhealthy eating habits features in it. Instead, the film - #PudinHaraBanke – is a relatable love story.
Shot at the annual fair held on the Nauchandi Ground in Meerut, the first of its kind long-format communication from the brand celebrates the love for street food in India and reiterates the popular adage 'dil ka rasta pet se hokar jata hai' (the way to the heart is through the stomach). A young, not-so-fancy couple, is featured enjoying the festivities at the fair - trying out the various food delicacies, rides and other amusements in the no-dialogue film. Released a week ago, the film has already garnered close to five million views on YouTube.
Over a telephonic conversation, Ajay Singh Parihar, head of marketing- OTH healthcare, Dabur India, tells us about the idea of the film and why Nauchandi Mela served as a great location to connect with consumers. “India is a food-loving country. The Nauchandi Mela, among other things, is known for the variety of foods served here. People of all age groups attend it. Given the fact that the fair is held in the peak summer months and there is uncontrolled and unmonitored consumption of junk food during this time, stomach related issues are obvious. Pudin Hara is the coolness remedy for such stomach ailments. What could have been a better opportunity?” he asks.
The 'desi' looking couple, featured in the two-and-a-half-minute film conceptualised by the brand's in-house team, is sure to catch attention. Parihar shares that the brand wanted to keep the communication natural and therefore went for a couple that the audience could connect and relate to. “A mela is a fun and frolic place and we wanted this to come out in the brand film. A lot of our consumers, especially the youth, would be able to relate to the couple. We planned it that way,” is how he puts it.
The mint extract-based product is available in three different packaging formats in the market - Pudin Hara liquid (bottle format), Pudin Hara pearls (blister pills) and Pudin Hara Lemon Fizz (powder). However, only the liquid and fizz formats have been promoted in the brand's latest communication. Parihar tells us that although there was no specific reason to exclude the pills, the drinks helped in better sampling of the product at the given stance.
The film has been produced by Lights on Films, in association with Sheeko, a content marketing agency.
Apart from the ordinary-looking couple, the other thing that caught our attention was the larger than life-sized Pudin Hara bottle installed at the fair. The brand has entered the Limca Book of Records for the 35-foot tall bottle installed at the ground.
Rahul Jauhari, joint president and chief creative officer, Rediffusion Brand Solutions, feels that a giant-sized bottle, which would have stuck out like a sore thumb in most circumstances, is palatable because it fits into the world of the mela.
Jauhari, who loved the small town charm portrayed in the film, says, "I quite like the video. It’s an ad trying to cross over to the content side. The cast, music and overall execution make it so much more enjoyable. The lyrics make the message layered, which again I like.”
“However,” he adds, “ they didn’t really need to show the bottle so many times - felt like that was trying too hard.”
We asked Saurabh Mathur, head strategy and planning, VMLY&R India, about his views on the idea and execution of the film. He says, "The film does a good job of capturing the best of an Indian town ‘mela’. It will bring back a sense of nostalgia for anyone who has been to them before. In small towns, such melas provide an escape for families and youngsters where they can hang out without inhibitions. They are a colourful mix of friends, music, rides and food. The film captures these nuances interestingly and is helped by some very natural acting by the two protagonists.”
He however feels that the product references in the film are its weak points. “While I agree with the placement of the brand in a mela setting where food is such a big deal, I would have preferred the brand fit in the film to be more subtle,” he mentions.