Does Schmitten's 'bold and bare' digital ad hit the sweet spot?

This is the first creative work from McCann, after the premium chocolate brand moved over from Publicis

e4m by Sarmistha Neogy
Updated: Aug 18, 2015 8:06 AM
Does Schmitten's 'bold and bare' digital ad hit the sweet spot?

Rajhans Group owned premium chocolate brand, Schmitten donned a bold look in its latest digital advertisement. It stars Bollywood actor Kunal Roy Kapoor and is the first creative work from McCann, after the brand changed agencies at the start of this year. According to sources, the brand was not satisfied with their previous agency Publicis South Asia’s work.

The digital video shows the actor getting accidently locked outside his hotel room wearing nothing but a pair of socks. Stuck in a hallway sans clothes he tries desperately to avoid being spotted by other guests in his state of undress. At this point he spots a tray of Schmitten and soon sets aside his dilemma in order to enjoy the rich chocolate.

Watch the ad here:



In 2014, Schmitten launched with Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra featuring in a TVC. The communication was conceptualised by Publicis South Asia and revolved around the idea that Schmitten is not meant to be shared with anyone. While Chopra looked sensuous, the commercial along with the jingle, was a little complex to comprehend and didn’t go down well with viewers.

Watch the ad here:

The advertising industry is in two minds about the new ad film. While some are relieved that McCann has not gone the way of Publicis, others aren’t convinced it’s a good enough effort.

KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Office, Sapient Nitro said, “One should have a look at the ads done by Hamlet Cigars during 1960’s to see what good creative work looks like. They have been done so beautifully and there is intelligence in each and every piece of work. I felt Schmitten’s new ad went a little overboard and therefore, it killed the humour of somebody getting locked out. Also, it is not a fresh take, getting lost while having the chocolate is not new- it was déjà vu for me. But yes, for the content, it might grab a few eyeballs, but probably not the required ones.”

According to him, chocolate advertising is a wonderful category and one can explore different things with it while keeping the personality of the brand intact. However, for this brand, it has not been the case. Priyanka Chopra’s ad looked populist, feel-good, likeable and approachable. On the other hand, the new ad is of different taste. It has an exaggerated feel and is not meant for a universal audience. There is no one uniform personality, like that of Dairy Milk, which maintains the same optimism, celebration and enjoyability in all its communications.

Keshav Naidu, co-founder, Naidu and Panjabi feels the new ad is a step in the right direction. “It is much better than the previous one, which had some comprehension issues. The new video is fun and also the best thing about showing a naked male body is that no one will take any offence. However, they could have pegged it a bit differently; instead of using the phrase ‘There is a sweeter side’ they could have used something more prominent to define the real taste of the chocolates, because sweetness usually doesn’t come to mind when you talk about luxury chocolates,” he said.

Speaking on the same lines, Subhadeep Dawn, Senior Art Director, Bates CHI and Partners commented, “The Priyanka Chopra Schmitten ad was not impressive because few things went missing from it. There was lack of human insight and mass appeal. It had a retro feel but it didn’t work. For example, The Ramesh-Suresh campaign of Cadbury 5-Star also uses a retro look, but there was always a human insight. On the other hand, I felt the new ad has the intensity and a stay-on factor. According to many research studies, people tend to forget the product, but the communication effect stays much longer.”

Commenting on the bold subject of the video, Khushboo Rai, Group Senior Manager - Media and Communications, Rajhans Group said, “The idea was not specifically to create anything ‘bold’ but we wanted to create a moment for Schmitten, a moment that the brand could own. The storyline was about depicting that no matter how bad a situation, Schmitten can always sweeten it.”

She further added, “Schmitten is a young brand and we wanted to find newer ways to engage with our target audience. The entire idea was to increase relevance among youth by placing the brand in their universe. For the new campaign, we wanted to take a positioning, which we believed would resonate with this audience. And since we were creating content for the digital medium, we wanted to explore a storyline that had the potential to get shared and become talk-worthy.”

The brand went on to clarify that Priyanka Chopra continues to remain the face of both their chocolate brands- Schmitten and Hoppits. “The brand has benefitted from her association and it has helped to create a certain aura and memorability. So this association is very much in place. Priyanka Chopra will continue to lead brand campaigns for us. Kunal Roy Kapoor was signed specifically for this campaign because we believe that he brings a lot to the campaign’s memorability. We are working with McCann in developing new thematic work for Schmitten with Priyanka Chopra. This, we are hoping, will help to build the luxury codes for the brand,” she cited.

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