With every small kirana store stocking plastic boxes full of a range of candies, even a layperson would get that the category is extremely competitive. Prasoon Joshi, chairman, McCann Erickson, and the writer and creative director on the brand, added, “Nobody does homework before buying a candy; it’s an impulse purchase and the advertising has to be exciting so a brand can be top of the mind.” There wasn’t any particular brief for the new TVC, but the agency and company Perfetti Van Melle decided to continue with their ongoing campaign of Alpenliebe arousing greed. “The kids loved the crocodile, and sales shot up,” said Joshi. “This time, we were just exploring ideas, when I wondered ‘What would happen to the candy, if for some reason, humans were not the way they were and the monkeys had captured us? Would candy and Alpenliebe still be relevant?’.”
Playing with the Darwinian theory of evolution, the storyline of the new TVC is this: a madaari (the master who makes monkeys perform) lures his pet – Kajol, in this case – out from her hiding place in a tree by tempting her with an Alpenliebe. At his behest, she dances for the kids watching, pretends to be a bride and acts like a goon. However, when she realises the madaari may not give her the candy, she growls like a monkey and declares, “Chali jaungi main filmo mein heroine banne, bahut connection hai mera wahan pe [I’ll go and become a heroine in the movies, I have a lot of connections there].” The master instantly relents and gives Kajol the candy, as the voiceover states, “Aadmi ho ya bander, lalaach ek shaswat sach hai [Whether it’s a human or a monkey, greed is an unchallengeable truth].”
The film was made by Ram Madhwani of Equinox, who, according to Joshi, flew down prosthetics artists from foreign shores and worked hard to get the make-up of the monkeys right, since the film would only work if they looked believable enough. The shift in the setting of the commercial to a rural scenario has nothing to do with a new focus in terms of target audience, though. Sameer Suneja, managing director at Perfetti Van Melle, explained, “The consumer base for Alpenliebe travels really far and wide into the population strata. Our belief is that the audience for a piece of communication isn’t restricted to the language or setting it’s in; the crocodile commercial worked well for us in rural areas, inspite of its urban situations, and we believe this new one will deliver in the reverse way too.” Next up is a viral campaign online which will have testimonials from the monkeys.
Company: Perfetti Van Melle India Pvt. Ltd.
Advert title(s): Role Reversal
Creative Agency: McCann Erickson, India
Date of publication/release: May, 2010
Creative Director: Prasoon Joshi
Director: Ram Madhwani of Equinox