Mirinda, a brand so far associated with quirky madness or ‘Pagalpanti’, has launched a new campaign to deliver a rather powerful message. Mirinda’s latest #ReleaseThePressure campaign addresses the issue of student suicides and depression brought on by the pressure to perform especially during exam season.
The 360 degree campaign conceptualised by BBDO India is led by a three-minute film directed by Shoojit Sircar that has garnered more than 11 million views on YouTube and the Facebook video has been watched by over 1.4 million users. The campaign which is Mirinda’s attempt to facilitate a conversation that deserves attention in the country has received more than two lakh pledges to #ReleaseThePressure on its microsite https://releasethepressure.in/
Speaking about the brand’s choice to rally for the cause of students, Gaurav Verma, Associate Director, Flavours Marketing, PepsiCo India said, “At the core, Mirinda is a fun brand that drives sociability, and at PepsiCo, our aim is to drive purpose and positive behavior change through our brands. This is the time of the year, when teenagers go through a lot of exam pressure, and pressure to perform. ‘No More Pressurepanti, Only Pagalpanti’ is a powerful idea and through it we want to start conversations around the issue of exam pressure amongst students and bring it to the surface while at the same time, give it a very realistic solution that a break amidst the stress can go a long way to release the pressure.”
When asked about the shift from Pagalpanti to the serious topic of student suicide, Verma said, “Through our latest campaign for Mirinda, we are looking to bring about a new, more purposeful meaning to what the brand stands for. While we aim to create awareness about the serious issue of exam pressure, we are giving a very realistic solution that a break amidst the stress can go a long way to release the pressure. If our film can help people acknowledge and discuss this issue, we will be home.”
He added that Mirinda has always stood for the bold taste that unleashes ‘pagalpanti’. “We will continue to communicate this philosophy with the ‘No More Pressurepanti, Only Pagalpanti’ campaign, albeit through a different lens,” Verma said.
The film mostly features real letters written by real-life teenagers expressing their distress over the tough time they go through and the parental expectations which add to the pressure, during exams to their parents.
The film dramatises these letters by having children read out these letters. “Exams are near and I am scared. Not from exam pressure but from pressure from you,” says a teenager as she reads the letter in the film. Parents of the children are brought in and are given the letters from their children. Reading the letters, parents break down, releasing their misdeeds. The film comes at a crucial juncture, when school children across the country are preparing hard for the upcoming exams.
The brand went with the topic of parental pressure and student suicides after meeting with Mirinda’s consumers- the 15-18 year old teens - and heard from them on the stress points in their life. “We saw one common theme in what they were saying- the pressure they face during exam time,” said Verma.
Mirinda’s brief to agency was to find a way to bring to light the issue of exam prrssue and drive a change in attitude towards expectations from students during exam time. “Through this campaign we aim to bring about a meaningful change in our consumer’s life,” Verma said.
This short-film is also Shoojit Sircar’s first short film. Speaking about the film, Sircar said, “Mounting pressure on the kids to perform has become a stark reality of every urban teenager’s growing up years. I firmly believe our primary responsibility as a conscientious parent, as citizens and as makers of this film, is to not only raise this issue but also to raise it in a manner keeping in mind the sensitivity of the matter for the teenagers that face it. And hence the film was shot in a manner where I only facilitated the process for the children to open up their feelings – an innocent, emotional, pure outburst of a teenager’s emotion.”
Verma said that the brand chose to work with Sircar for this campaign because he empathises with the cause. “Also, we felt Shoojit’s creativity and his style of film making is best suited to give shape to Mirinda’s message of ‘No More Pressurepanti, Only Pagalpanti’,” Verma said.
Mirinda plans to roll out a 360-degree plan starting with the ‘Release the Pressure’ digital film, followed by on-ground activations and a robust TV, radio and print campaign. Over the next few months, Mirinda will invite people to pledge to ‘Release the Pressure’.