Parle-G’s campaigns evolved the definition of ‘G’ focusing on emotional intelligence
Post-COVID, the brand noticed a lack of empathy in kids, prompting them to convey the profound joy in bringing happiness to others
The creative agency presented 30 scripts, out of which five were selected
The films were designed with the intention of leveraging the majority of the budget for television
Parle-G's ad campaigns over the years have effectively and repeatedly conveyed one central message: G maane Genius (G stands for genius).
But, the brand has evolved the ‘G’—it has transitioned from a high intelligence quotient (IQ) to now emphasis on emotional quotient (EQ).
The significance and meaning of ‘G’ is changing. In earlier ad campaigns, the concept of genius was encapsulated by a child excelling in academics, extracurricular activities, arts, or displaying an eagerness to embrace knowledge.
But in 2022, the definition of G evolved to encompass not just textbook intelligence but emotional intelligence as well.
In January 2024, Parle Products released its latest TVC for Parle-G. The brand launched a set of five films created by Thought Blurb Communications. The ad spots encourage children to show empathy to their parents, friends, and loved ones. The campaign encapsulates a new meaning of G, i.e. Genius wohi, jo auron ke khushi mein paye apni khushi (Genius is the one who finds joy in the happiness of others).
But why alter the meaning of ‘G’? What prompted the necessity for the change?
Mayank Shah, vice president-marketing, Parle Products says that the aim was to impart valuable lessons to children, who are the primary target audience.
He added that during COVID-19, kids were staying at home due to restrictions. The social interaction of these groups became zero, leading to increased self-centeredness. As a brand, Parle holds a special place among parents and kids, so we aimed to promote the message of empathy.
"The evolution of our communication journey began with the vision of an ideal child, aligning with the demands of the time. Initially, we emphasised health and various aspects as well. Lately, through our communications, we have been encouraging a balanced approach that avoids pressuring children in their pursuits and fostering digital genius. Post-COVID, we observed a notable empathy deficit in kids, prompting us to convey the profound joy derived from bringing happiness to others," Shah added.
Vinod Kunj, managing director, Thought Blurb (the creative agency behind the campaign) shares the brief shared by the brand, “In the past, we did similar stories in longer format. This time, the brand wanted us to curate it in 15 seconds which became a challenge. As empathy is an emotion, there was a need to get the luxury of time to raise that emotion. The simple brief was to bring out emotion in just 15 seconds.”
The agency mentions that the process involved two months of brainstorming and one month of production for this campaign. They presented approximately 30 scripts to the brand, out of which five were picked.
Parle-G, as a biscuit, is consumed across age groups, but the majority of the campaigns still focus on children. Shah mentions that kids are the primary target group of the brand, alongside parents.
“I believe, once you grow up, Parle-G as a brand becomes part of your life. For adults, it is more like a staple than a biscuit. As a result of this, our digital communication is nostalgic-driven. There’s a skew towards kids, but we’re targeting other age groups as well,” Shah highlights.
Targeting the ads to children is a herculean task, specifically as the buyer and consumer are different targets with different decision-making impulses. Other challenges include the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) guidelines.
Shah states that the brand never claims a result in the ads; instead, it imparts values to kids. “In our case, no one can question us, as we’re teaching them to be humble, and kind.”
In the campaign, the ad spots are crafted within a concise 15-second duration. The brand strategically planned this, as the ads were designed keeping in mind that they’re looking to leverage most of their media budget towards television.
Shah shares that previous campaigns were longer in duration. “On television, to reinforce the message there’s a need to get shorter edits. Shorter edits don’t invoke the emotion and the storyline gets sacrificed. That’s why we planned to curate these films in 15 seconds.”
The primary target group (TG) demographically ranges from 7-8 years to 15 years. The secondary TG of the brand is over 25-year-old mothers.
Media-mix wise, 50% is contributed towards television, 30% towards digital, while the rest 20% is allocated to press, outdoors and events.
Parle-G as a biscuit is easily available and affordable. In 1994, the price of a small packet of biscuit was at Rs 4 and it remained the same until 2021. As of now, the small packet costs Rs 5.
The price point is low, as compared to other players. The pricing plays a vital role in the marketing aspect. Does pricing also affect the brand’s image as well?
Shah answers, “We believe our biscuit is a staple, as any staple is consumed by every group of the society, so is Parle-G. Secondly, our pricing is at this point to make it affordable and accessible. When we started in 1939 (when the company was founded), our founders noticed in abroad that everyone could afford biscuits whereas in India there were no affordable options. Earlier, biscuits were a snack of elite people, but with Parle-G, it became a biscuit of the common man. There were multiple opportunities to raise, but we have not done it consciously as that’s not our philosophy.”