If a shopkeeper asks you to pick a random candy or gum because he is out of Rs.1 coins, which one do you choose? The one that even crocodiles are a fan of, the one that makes your tongue wag or the one that lights the bulb in your brain. Without naming any, you could figure out that we are talking about Alpenliebe, Centre Fruit and Mentos. This is the power of Perfetti Van Melle’s advertising campaigns.
When a product is considered loose change in a country of 1.3 billion people, it becomes all the more necessary to advertise it uniquely to the masses, and Perfetti Van Melle has managed to crack this code. In its kitty, it has years of campaigns that have established a humourous connect with the audience. This time, mixing humour with a social message, it is back with a Happydent ad. “We are back on air after a hiatus of over nine years as we see immense opportunity for the brand going forward,” says Rohit Kapoor, director - marketing, Perfetti Van Melle India.
The 45-second ad plays out in a packed bus, where a young lady asks two men to vacate the Ladies Seat. When the men ignore her request citing they are unable to see any such sign, two youngsters sitting nearby decide to lend a helping hand, or in this case, teeth. They pop Happydent chewing gum and flash their high-voltage, sparkling white smiles to throw light on the ‘Ladies Seat’ sign. Embarrassed, the men hurriedly get off the bus, while the passengers gleefully jeer them.
The ad ends with the jingle ‘Dikha Battissi, Kar Baat Achhi Si’, which encompasses the message of goodness of a smile. The idea to depict this was cracked by McCann WorldGroup India CEO Prasoon Joshi and creative head of the agency, Kapil Batra. Elaborating on the execution, Batra recollects, “The ad was shot through the night. Despite all challenges, the team managed to finish the shoot.” And, the hardwork paid off. Within minutes of the ad going live during the India Australia cricket series, people started sharing memes and tweeting about it. The film has garnered over 17 million views on YouTube over two weeks.
Today, the brand is remembered for its iconic Palace ad, in which many men, all chewing Happydent, light up an entire city with their teeth. Also helmed by Joshi, it is now placed in the list of 20 best ads of the 21st century by The Gunn Report. “It has been an incredible journey of ideas which have connected with consumers at many levels. The expectations are always high,” says the lyricist and screenwriter. While humour was the central theme in that ad, it was consciously decided to include a meaningful message in the recent TVC. “In these challenging times, we wanted to make it more relatable and relevant to the social situations of our consumer’s life,” adds Kapoor.
So, smile more often. You might end up making someone’s day.