Salsa is just a candy away from boredom

Center Fruit’s latest television commercial gets you tapping your feet with your mouth agape

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, in Beyond Good and Evil, asks, “Is life not a hundred thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?” More than a century later, in this age of distraction, boredom continues to be reviled. Therefore, it seems pretty clever for a brand to place its elimination at the centre of their messaging.

In Center Fruit’s latest ad, the viewers are taken into a dusty shop, in which an old tailor is mechanically taking the measurements of an indifferent woman customer. The atmosphere reeks of tedium. His grandson, a teenager, is assisting the senior and trying hard to stay awake. “It weaves the brand proposition that Center Fruit’s taste makes one’s mood happy, by showcasing the life of an ordinary teenage grandson, who works with his grandfather in his ancestral tailor shop,” says Rohit Kapoor, director-marketing, Perfetti Van Melle India.

Conceptualised by Ogilvy India, the ad is effective because it changes tone within moments of the product appearing on screen. The bored grandson finds a Center Fruit lying under a pile of things, pops it into his mouth and he feels a burst of energy, an explosion in bright pink. He feels electrified, picks up a measuring tape and completes the task while dancing with the customer, who is startled at first but later plays along. The chewing gum has lifted the mood and, as the voice over says, made it “ting tong”.

The entertaining dance routine is the highlight of the 30-second commercial. Anurag Agnihotri, managing partner — creative (West), Ogilvy explains that they decided to go with salsa as it would be something new to the masses. “The steps had to be selected and choreographed very carefully so that they didn’t end up looking cheesy. To add to the appeal of the film we decided to pair up the protagonist with an older lady, both of whom were good dancers,” he says.

Ogilvy and Perfetti Van Melle have been working together for over 20 years, and the consumer brand’s recent ads have addressed everyday moments of boredom from a teenager’s perspective  be it with school assignments or family functions or regular chores. Whenever they seem defeated by the tediousness of every day, they pop a gum and all becomes ‘ting tong’.