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Unfold a murder mystery, the Mentos way

12-March-2013
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Unfold a murder mystery, the Mentos way

Extending the global positioning from freshmaker to smart thinking, Mentos has produced memorable work right from ‘Aam Zindagi, Mentos Zindagi’ to the ‘Dimaag ki Batti Jala de’ campaign that makes everyone believe that one can love it or hate it but cannot ignore it. The brand has always told a Mentos story that has a person “getting smart” as a result of having the product. However, the ‘Evolution’ campaign moved away from the brand’s regular wisecrack ideas and diverged from Darwin’s theory of evolution, where the monkey pops the mint and evolves into a man.

Sticking to the essence of humour and wit with a pinch of bizarreness, ‘Batti Jalao’, the latest campaign by Mentos, is based on the insight that people have a natural fascination for puzzles and mysteries. It presents a riddle with unrelated instances and urges the audience to use their brain laterally and win a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh on solving the riddle. The campaign has been conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather, while the voice-over has been provided by Piyush Pandey, Ogilvy & Mather’s Executive Chairman and Creative Director, South Asia.

The film shows unconnected instances and asks questions like, “If Sumi is walking on grass, if a particular type of drum is called ‘thavil’ in Tamil Nadu, if balloons had life, if the harmonium was not invented in India, if Raju is sleeping peacefully, if Simon doesn’t understand English, then tell us – who is the killer?” The film ends by asking viewers to give a missed call to a number – 08130606060 – to win the cash prize.

Commenting on the campaign, Nikhil Sharma, Director - Marketing, Perfetti Van Melle India said, “Through this campaign we hope to engage our consumers in an interesting and never-done-before way. With this communication, we have taken a leap and thrown a challenge to the consumers to solve a bizarre mystery. The entire look and feel for this is witty and humorous.”

To reach out to its target audience, Mentos will be using various platforms, including social media, microsites, mobile, internet, radio and electronic media.

Abhijit Avasthi, NCD, Ogilvy India said, “With a brand as fun and iconic as Mentos, there’s always this huge question: what next? It’s not easy to catch people by surprise and leave them with a laugh time after time, but we’ve done it yet one more time. And with the ‘Riddle’ campaign, we’ve gone a step ahead by giving them something that will play on their minds even after they find out the answer.”

Piyush Pandey added here, “There comes a time in a brand’s journey where it must do something startling, something radical, even if what it has been doing earlier has worked really well. The new Mentos ‘Riddle’ campaign does exactly that. It takes a new leap without letting go of the essence of the brand.”

The campaign was first launched on digital media with a sneak preview for the Mentos Facebook community. Viewers can also logon to the Mentos India website and give their responses. Branded destinations on the internet and mobile have been specifically launched for this campaign. These zones enable the viewers to participate in the contest and also provide them with clues to the riddle. Another mobile platform is the Mentos bot in a chat aggregator, created for Mentos by Nimbuzz.

Intriguing and engaging: Experts
The industry feels that the ad is humorous, nail biting and highly engaging. It binds the audience by making them brush their grey cells to find out ‘Khooni kaun hai’.

According to Satbir Singh, Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide India, “This is intriguing and nicely engaging. Very unlike not only what Mentos has been doing, but also most advertising on TV. The interactivity quotient is very high. I also like the missed call part. Missed call is a part of our collective consciousness! I’d like to know the staggering number that must have generated by now.”

Ravinder Siwach, Group Creative Director, DDB Mudra remarked, “Well, this one is going to make people wonder and look at it again and again. And I think that does the trick for the brand. My guess is that there will be a follow-up to this and they are playing a prank on the audience. Fresh, nice and will get them lots of hits on YouTube as well, because people will be trying to figure out an answer (that most likely doesn’t exist!). Though it may still go viral, but I feel they could have done a little more to make people go berserk guessing an answer in social media.”

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