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How juicy is Ogilvy's ad for Center Fresh Paan?

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How juicy is Ogilvy's ad for Center Fresh Paan?

Living up to the popular belief that ‘laughter is the best medicine’, Perfetti Van Melle India (PVMI), the confectionery maker, has launched a commercial to promote its new offering called Center Fresh Paan flavour, a chewing gum with the authentic taste of Paan.

The ad conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather reaffirms the base brand positioning that portrays the product as so tasty that one would rather chew than talk. The insight translates into the tagline ‘Zubaan Pe Rakhe Lagaam’ (Keeps your mouth shut).

The ad opens with a son announcing to his father, who is a washer man, that he has got a lucrative government job. Both of them are happy and proud as the father won’t have to wash clothes. Suddenly, the boy spits ‘paan’ juice and stains his white shirt. The father screams and rubs his son against the place where he washes clothes. The father calms down after some time and gives his son a Center Fresh Paan. The ad ends with a voice over and a tagline ‘Center Fresh – Zubaan Pe Rakhe Lagaam’.

Commenting on the launch, Chaitanya Shekar, Group Product Manager, Perfetti Van Melle India said, “Center Fresh and paan have significant synergies, given their mouth-freshening properties and it was only a matter of time in getting this logical extension on the brand. We are extremely excited about this new launch and we believe this format will open up new avenues for consumption of paan in a quick and fun way.”

Abhijit Avasthi, NCD, Ogilvy & Mather said, “We have all come across the not-so-pretty sight of people stuffing paan into their mouths and talking. Half of the time it’s not even clear what they are saying. But they go on, without caring whether the spittle is staining their clothes or flying off from their mouths and landing on the other person’s face. We took this insight and crafted a funny ad that showed the consequences a dhobi’s son has to face due to his talking while chewing paan.”

Is the spitting humourous or gross?
Expert take
Sachit Sadanandan, Creative Director – Dentsu Communications, Bangalore said, “It is a funny ad.  They have done an excellent job on the casting. It is very similar, but not as impactful as the report card TVC.”

The insight opens up a lot of opportunities but I am not sure if this creative rendition is the best. The spitting of paan might gross out a few, but hey, as long as he shuts up and gets a dhulai from his father, who’s complaining?” he added.

Our take
High dose of humour and entertainment has always been the Perfetti success mantra. Standing true to its flavour, Centre Fresh’s new ad might delight a few and disappoint the rest. However, disappointment will be relatively less as the ad plays on a powerful idea. Traditionally, paan has been accepted as a mouth freshner in India and making it possible for Indians to enjoy paan in a chewing gum can be revolutionary for the brand.

The insight that the product is so tasty that one would rather chew than talk is good and the ad portrays it very well. The message comes out loud and clear. The characters used in the ad add to the humour quotient and the location of the ad is also apt.

While chewing paan, people tend to stain their clothes and sometimes end up spitting on someone else. It might not be a delightful sight for many, but it is a brilliant observation by the brand and this insight will help in attracting the attention of consumers to the juiciness of the product.

However, the ad looks very similar to the earlier ones as the brand has always been riding on humourous characters and their accents. Hence, it poses a big question: Is humour the only riding factor for Perfetti?

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