Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Left to Rot

Published 04 Mar, 2021 02:05pm
From 'The Cutting Room Floor' – a new online series which discusses great ideas that were rejected.

Our agency was pitching for a well-known cooking oil brand that wanted to tackle food wastage in Pakistan. We believed cooking oil would be a unique and relevant platform to achieve this and we were determined to come up with something that would make an impact and drive behaviour change. Despite brainstorming most of the day, the creative team and I didn’t come up with any ideas we felt did justice to the objective. Worn out, we decided to call it a day and meet the next day with fresh minds.

At about nine o’clock that night, while having dinner, I had a stroke of genius and called up a colleague to share the idea. I proposed shooting a DVC in which we would go to popular restaurants and candidly film society’s elite enjoying some fine dining. We would also, however, film the amount of food that was wasted by diners. At the end of the night, a team of food collectors (representing our brand) would collect the food scraps and deliver them to a separate kitchen where a master chef would transform the leftovers into extravagant fine dining creations. We would then serve these meals to the less fortunate with a message explaining how ‘your leftovers can be a 5-star meal for someone else’.

It was hard-hitting, poignant and clear. It also seemed to go way over the brand team’s heads as they never got back to us on the campaign and also erratically changed the brand’s positioning shortly after. As expected, a smaller (and smarter) cooking oil brand quickly swept in and stole this positioning (doing a pretty decent job in the process). Although they had a completely different execution, they went on to own the food saving platform while the brand we were pitching for faded into obscurity.

Taimur Tajik is Creative Head, Interwood.