It’s the run up to the Oscars and everyone is wondering whether Leonardo DiCaprio will finally win his golden statuette. Of course, for an actor or director winning brings with it a danger. The danger is that once they win one, they may be pressured into proving that the award winning performance was not a flash in the pan. A similar challenge is faced by marketers.
A successful campaign is like an award winning performance and no matter what you do, no matter how much you work and evolve, people will always compare your later work to that glory moment. One brand that seems to feel no stress about creating a follow-up to an epic campaign is Sooper. If you know about the confectionery industry you will know that Sooper accounts for approximately 20% of all biscuit sales. It would not be far-fetched to say Hamare des ka biscuit hai Sooper.
However, the current and much talked about campaign released by EBM for Sooper, seems to be an attempt to replicate the success of the Breathless-inspired “Sooper sab se aagey” campaign.
EBM and their agency have taken a jingle based approach, contrary to the past, when they followed up the Sooper sab se ooper campaign with humorous ads.
We all know that jingles are an effective device in our market – there is no fluffing of lines there. However, in my view, the bad direction of this performance comes from the decision to replicate the popular Bollywood tune Badtameez Dil.
I also don’t have an issue with the fact that the brand selected an Indian song. Patriotism is fine and dandy but practicality also counts and in Pakistan Bollywood songs are an ever present feature be it at mehndis, on buses or at advertising awards. So if there is demand and recall of Hindi songs, why should we object?
First let’s look at the strong points. EBM did not copy the tune – they bought the rights and had the original vocalist sing it. That is a great sign for our market where you watch news reports with Bon Jovi’s Blaze of Glory playing in the background. From the brand’s perspective, they are proud of the fact that they could pay a ton of money and create this campaign. For them it is a national achievement if a Pakistani brand can hire talent from India. I understand the logic but don’t agree with it. Again, kudos for going the legal way, a route that was not considered when the Sooper sab se ooper campaign was created. Times change fortunately. As per the brand, that jingle was inspired by Breathless and other tunes. As I have no software to analyze both the tunes, I can’t contest the claim.
So we have established that EBM did well by buying the rights and even better by getting the original singer. My concern is that the ad does not promote Sooper, rather it aids in recalling Badtameez dil. Whereas the Breathless-inspired campaign created an image of Sooper using Breathless, this ad will be remembered as “Yaar wo konsi biscuit ne Badtameez dil ka tune use kia?”.
Again I might be wrong. The brand says that they are pleased with the overwhelming response and feel justified. I, on the hand, wonder what will be the long term result will be. I discussed this with Waqas Almas, one of the few people working in the music rights management field.
He agreed that opting for a popular tune and then not owning it was a mistake. He also said that the Telefun number gets such a high recall, because it is based on the Lollywood classic Koko Korina. According to research conducted by EBM, Sooper sab se ooper had the highest recall for an FMCG jingle, so the decision to use a jingle was spot on.
Waqas also felt that the brand could and should have opted for a local song and talent, although he understood the seductive grip Bollywood has on our society and marketers.
The brand explained their rationale for the new campaign as such:
“The need to continuously reconnect with our target group is something that the brand needs to do to keep the momentum going and stay top of mind with consumers. With this communication what we have managed to reinforce the fact that Sooper is a biscuit brand for everyone. Our objective was to reach out to all SECs and age groups.”
Have they done that? Time will tell. Come March we will know whether DiCaprio has managed to break his losing streak; we will also know whether the end result of this campaign will be memes that say “Acha to hai, magar Sooper sab se ooper jaise ke maza nahi hai”