Conceived by Lowe Lintas Bangalore, the two ad-campaign is aimed at the upcoming festival season.
India’s festival season that runs from October to the end of the year is seen as the period when consumers are most liberal with their purses. Most brands plan their best marketing strategies and advertising campaigns for this time.
This three-month period is of great importance this year. After the pandemic and its subsequent lockdown caused an already weakened economy down to the floors from its knees, any hope for a good start to its revival is placed on this period.
A striking aspect of this season is the increased consumption of sweets because nothing correlates festivals better than a pedha or laddoo or any sweet you love. And we always make sure to share it with our loved one first before eating it ourselves.
This aspect of ‘sharing’ plays the lead in Haldiram’s two new ads. Conceived by Lowe Lintas Bangalore, the two ads are replete with relatable moments such as the guy who decides to share his box of sweets during a train ride to get into the good books of the girl he’s begun to like. Or, how about the two kids who cannot wait to grab their hands on the jamun but have to wait because you ought to share first.
We (afaqs!) reached out to Haldiram’s and asked them about the conversations it had for the ads. Neeraj Agrawal, director, Haldiram Foods International Ltd over an email conversation told us that while Indians loved sweets, “ … the share of mouth for traditional sweets are waning especially with the modern consumers as they are getting accustomed to different sweet formats.” We wanted these consumers to fall in love again with Indian sweets by showcasing the indispensability of sweets in their lives.
When inquired about the ads’ timing (festival season and the of atmosphere of pandemic fatigue) Agarwal said that when lockdowns were brought in, a lot of us expected to return to normalcy within a couple of weeks. However, months later, we are still dealing with the pandemic. “Yes, pandemic fatigue has set in. The campaign is executed in a tone that would lift the sentiments of the people as a run-up to the festive season.”
But, are people buying sweets or remain apprehensive and will we see a muted festival season this year? The director told us that people are getting used to the new normal and are trusting brands that deliver quality, hygiene and safety. “While our sales were down during the lockdown, we are seeing a rise in the volumes as the sentiments are now moving towards buying packaged products from the brand they trust.”
He further said that festivals in India are incomplete without any sort of sweets and with the festival season just around the corner, we are hopeful that people will make traditional sweets a part of their celebrations.
We also spoke to Sagar Kapoor, chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas who told us that the brief from Haldiram’s was “to rekindle India's love for Indian sweets. And the rekindling was purely at a communication level. Since at the ground level we Indians cannot forget our sweets.”
The most striking aspect of the two ads was the ‘sharing of sweet before consuming ourselves’ when asked how they (Lowe Lintas) zeroed on it, said Kapoor, that it comes from our overall culture of food, not just sweets. “We take huge pride, joy and responsibility in feeding others before us. More so with sweets, whether it is an offering to god or even hosting guests at home for food and then waiting for the 'serving the dessert moment'.”
And he revealed that these films were shot in the pre-COVID era.
Carlton D’silva, co-founder, House of Awe, gave his take on the ads and said, “It's a nice take ... Clearly gearing up for the festive season and trying to reclaim their space as the 'sweet' for every occasion ... Cadbury Celebrations took it away from them but communication like this can have them reclaim the space …”
Aalap Desai, National Creative Director, mcgarrybowen India told us: Right now, all of our lives are severely affected by the pandemic. We are stressed, and there is work pressure every day. We are looking for things to remind us that things are normal and will get normal as days pass. For me, Haldiram not showing people in masks and face shields subtly tells me that when the festive season starts, things will be closer to normal. It might just end up being false, but I like the positive impact of normalization it had on me when I watched the films.
I don’t mean to say that we shouldn’t wear masks, or we shouldn’t propagate wearing a mask. I am just talking about the positive sentiment of normalization that the films triggered in me. Plus, since the films are emotional, masks covering faces will also cover emotions. The films are aspirational, and that’s what I like about it.