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‘Pappu pass ho gaya’ — another entry in pop culture

10-April-2007
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‘Pappu pass ho gaya’ — another entry in pop culture

There are occasions when a communication has been catchy and frequent enough to become a part of popular culture, and taglines become phrases used in everyday situations, that have nothing to do with the brand. Some of the earlier cases in point were ‘Fevicol ka Jod’, then to some extent, ‘Wah Sunil babu, badiya hai’, and the latest hit is ‘Pappu pass ho gaya’, which is O&M and Cadbury’s contribution to this fad.

O&M’s Group Creative Director Abhijit Avasthi created the campaign and the script was penned by Arshad Sardar. The tagline was used for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. Pradeep Sarkar from Apocalypso produced the TVC.

From Dairy Milk’s ‘Pappu pass ho gaya’, when the campaign was first created, today there are ‘Pappu Guthkha’, ‘Pappu Churan’ and ‘Pappu Puffs’ available. There was also a front page story headlined ‘Pappu pass ho gaya’ in Mid-Day. A movie will soon be released with the title ‘Pappu pass ho gaya’. On ‘Koffee with Karan’ last week, actor Konkana Sen Sharma used the phrase after a Rapid Fire round — and these are just some of the instances where the tagline has been used by no encouragement by the agency or the client.

Explaining on what worked in favour of the tagline, Avasthi explained that the ‘underdog’ trick was the first leg of success. He said, “People who emerge as winners, especially after a lot of struggle, are automatically endearing to the Indian audience. That worked well with ‘Pappu pass ho gaya’ in both the commercials. Also, as a phrase, it encapsulates struggle and finally winning, and it is catchy.”

But why ‘Pappu’ of all the names? Avasthi replied, “Pappu is an endearing name and also commonly used in our language. Our broad campaign idea really is ‘kuch mitha ho jaye’. ‘Pappu pass ho gaya’ was under the long-term strategic campaigns — we didn’t even use in the last TVC in this campaign, which had Ms Palampur. But it’s a phrase at our disposal. If we feel the need to use it in an interesting manner, we will use it again.”

Unlike Fevicol, Cadbury was not used in the tagline. So is that a miss? Avatshi said, “Not really. When someone writes a line, he never knows whether or not it will click — it’s only in hindsight. But when people use it where the brand doesn’t have a role, it makes all the difference. Every time someone uses it, it reminds of Cadbury and that helps.”

However, Avasthi is clear that this doesn’t alter their creative thinking on the brand. He said, “It has its benefits. In fact, we will be using the tagline soon in one of our upcoming ads. However, this doesn’t change the course of the larger creative strategy.”

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