Digital medium is gradually becoming highly competitive, with every brand jostling with each other for some consumer attention. Kellogg’s Cornflakes which had usually maintained a very simple tone in their communication strategy, this time around, has gone out of its way to be different on the digital space. As part of this initiative, Kellogg’s has launched few films under the campaign ‘Kellogg’s wale Guptaji Ki Family’ which narrates the story of a quintessential modern Indian family, where every member has varied tastes and preferences.
According to Harish Bijoor, brand expert & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults, the execution quality is typical to the digital medium which is ‘not good, and not bad for sure’. “These are brand advertising serial-killers. Executions that pack variety, carry a different brand recipe with every execution, and bring a smile to the face. These need to be however, forcibly served out to audiences in the initial stages, till the ‘Gupta-ji ka family’ becomes a family whose antics you want to want to see again and again,” he said.
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These short videos highlight a host of easy-to-do cornflakes recipes for every occasion. Each of these films revolves around the Gupta family members and a story around them. The films have been produced by Bolt Media Ltd, a Balaji Telefilms Venture.
Speaking on whether the content is interesting enough to be put online and can it go viral? Bijoor elaborated, “It is important to understand that there is a purpose to it all. Entertainment is the lure and the brand recipe is the bait. Mothers in the target segment will like it for sure. There is entertainment and naughtiness value in these executions. Add to it recipe-learning, and the purpose is complete. However, I don’t think it has the potential to go viral because one should always remember that, what goes viral is not necessarily brand- centric stuff.”
Commenting on the same lines, Samir Kumar, Head of Creative Strategy, Brand Harvest opined, “Brand's are increasingly feeling a pressure to create and share content on social media. Long format film campaigns on YouTube are commonly being created to engage with audience. Kellogg's recipe film falls short of achieving the emotional connect, but what is really interesting about these films is that they are attempting a crossover between advertising film formats and content marketing strategy.”
“Typically, a product brand like Kellogg's would create a content-led micro site, Facebook page, etc. to share innovative recipes and leverage popularity built over time to become a platform and have more user generated content. By attempting this crossover, where they are trying to narrate a family story along with useful content (in this case recipe), they are unfortunately not able to create an appeal for either of the purposes. Staying true to a content strategy would have been a better approach - if you want your audience to see and share your films for recipes, why do you want your audience to see that little bit of family drama. It just appears like an excuse to share the recipe eventually,” he added.
Rajiv Dingra, Founder & CEO, WATConsult felt that these films are an attempt at creating a sitcom style content super imposed with branded recipes. The challenge in such content is always how much brand should be integrated while trying to create interesting content. “Clearly in this case the brand sort of over powers the content even though the content has been kept natural and not over the top. Personally the videos don't hit the mark for me but I do appreciate the attempt by the brand to do something different. The content could have been better. Such content works day in and day out on TV as sitcoms but for digital a little extra humour or emotion is needed as it’s opt in viewing. However, having said that, it is indeed a brave attempt by a brand to do something differently,” he cited.
Elaborating on the potential of the content, Dingra said, “Not all video content is meant to go viral. It should meet its objective. In my opinion recipe videos never go viral but they get searched and viewed over and over again. What the brand has done here is tried to create an identity of its consumer and situation he or she faces at the breakfast table and in doing so maybe they have missed a trick or two in getting the story telling and branded content balance right.”
Amit Desai, Chief Marketing Officer, SocioSquare highlighted that the films are great, but the story could have been a bit funnier to gauge the user attention. He said, “It is actually a great decision by the Kellogg’s team to leverage and focus the campaign for digital. While the approach is in the right direction, it will have to be backed with media spends to get the desired numbers.”
Charulata Ravishankar, CEO, Razorfish on the other hand, felt that the format of these digital videos is contrived and verbose. The actors could have acted better, the mother looks overly made up and tired and the son should have been a healthier kid so that Kellogg’s health aspect is not compromised. But, the idea of turning Kellogg’s into more than breakfast cereal and giving interesting tips to make it a quick snack with Indian overtones is very smart.
Speaking on how the content doesn’t fit the patience level of the voracious content consumer, she highlighted, “The films try to be entertaining but don’t mange to bring a warm smile or tickle the funny bone adequately. 1/3rd of the content is informative (about the interesting ways to eat it) but the other 2/3rds tries to take on family angles. The brand is trying to weave too many stories into one – not ideal for online content. The first 20 seconds have to be high impact and absorbing or else you lose the viewer. Must make the point snappy and zesty. A two minute film online can seem like a 3-hour mammoth production. Leave that for TV serials not breakfast cereals!”
Will this fresh attempt work? Bijoor pointed out that with the growth in the digital medium, execution of this kind of digital content, which are rampant in the US, will happen here as well.