Deepashree Banerjee

Kinder Joy appears to target parents, not kids, with this print ad

Ferrero, the maker of Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Joy chocolates, Tic Tac mouth freshener and Nutella entered India in 2004. Back then, India, albeit a price-sensitive country, hardly had a market for premium chocolates. Market leader Cadbury used to sell its flagship product, Dairy Milk at an entry price of Rs. 5... remember those good old days?

Ferrero India (a subsidiary of Italy's Ferrero) rolled out Kinder Joy, the egg-shaped toy-and-treat combo for children in the year 2009. Priced at Rs. 40, the edible part of the product contains cocoa-milk cream filled crunchy wafer balls and is pitched as a healthy product with more cow milk than cocoa, assuring the parents to buy it. Kinder Joy faces competition in the same category from Cadbury's Lickables, which comes with surprise toys too.

An ET article recently reported that more than the edible part, the brand pays attention to the in-built toys for choking and other hazards.

There are more than 200 parameters against which Kinder Joy is checked before the surprise eggs are sent out. “A blind sample is periodically sent out to labs in Germany and Italy for random quality check for all the parameters,” the report said.

The front-page ad clearly seems an attempt to introduce themselves to the parents, the potential buyers.

But the reason it struck us was the choice of a print advert to communicate. Wouldn't the kids channels be the most obvious choice for the brand to convey its message?

Turning to the next page of the print ad..
Turning to the next page of the print ad..

However, according to a Ferrero India spokesperson, Ferrero applies the International Food and Beverage Alliance's (IFBA's) global policy on advertising and marketing communications to children globally. Accordingly, the company does not advertise its food products through TV, print and internet to audiences primarily composed of children under the age of 12.

"The IFBA global policy is applicable from January 1, 2018, where Ferrero has signed the “India Pledge” for not advertising on the channels which directly advertises to kids below 12 years," the brand revealed.

The brand source further states that they believe in responsible advertising and communication and for them being socially responsible means voluntarily adopting practices and behaviors that go beyond legal requirements. "This means adopting a series of self-regulation systems, particularly in relation to responsible advertising aimed at children," clarifies the brand.

Although print is a part of the brand's 360 degree marketing plan to amplify the new campaign “Isme Kuch Khaas Hain”, TV remains their first medium to create brand recognition. “We use other mediums like digital, OOH to drive consideration and build a better connect with our consumers nationwide,” the source adds.

Now, let's shift our focus back to the creative idea behind the campaign. The brand wants to draw home the message that every mother believes there is something special about her child and she always encourages this special side.

Every candy carries a surprise buildable toy to engage the children.

Was it really necessary for the creative to look like a disclaimer as it goes on highlighting the nutritional benefits of the product for kids. Was it always meant to be so?

Negating the claim, the brand affirms that through the print ad, “We've tried to highlight the various aspects that makes Kinder Joy a special treat for kids to encourage their enthusiasm, ingenuity and playfulness.”

Jagdish Acharya, founder and creative head, Cut The Crap points out something interesting about this ad, which he believes is clearly targeted to the metro parents.

"They don’t watch the same channel or content that their kids do unlike in the good old days. Take the case where both parents work and the kids back home watch a television channel meant for them. They see Kinder Joy ad, want it, but the parents don’t approve as they don’t know much about it. For they, only see the ‘adult’ Cadbury," he reasons.

Chetan Mane, vice president, business and strategy at Whyness Worldwide also echoes the fact that today's parents are extremely concerned about what they are feeding their kids.

"Kinder Joy is a favourite amongst kids and parents are concerned about its contents. This ad tackles the issue head on. It reassures the parents that there’s nothing wrong with the product. While it might seem a bit defensive, I think it’s perfectly justified and a good step," he signs off.

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