Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Maamta Forever

Dalda's latest campaign centres on a mother and her son and showcases their journey through time.
Updated 25 Apr, 2024 04:52pm

We live in times when brands are constantly repositioning or even reinventing themselves in an attempt to attract new consumer segments, especially Gen Z. For instance, Servis Shoes updated their iconic nineties’ jingle ‘Servis Shoes for Everyone’ to ‘Servis Sab Kay Liye’ in 2022 (although the earlier version did go viral among Gen Z in 2020) and Knorr recently introduced a rap song to resonate with Gen Z by Young Stunners in their communications. 

Then there are those brands that despite changing consumer behaviour stick to their original positioning based on the fact that their jingles and taglines have been embedded in the minds of successive generations. One such example is Dalda’s ‘Jahan Maamta, Wahan Dalda’ thematic approach and which was once again reprised for a new campaign launched in September 2022 and is currently on air and so far consists of a single one-minute D/TVC and two shorter ones.

Like Dalda’s preceding campaigns, the new one centres on a mother (played by TV actor Zara Tareen) and her son (his grown-up version is played by superstar Fawad Khan), and in the longer D/TVC, showcases their journey through time in three phases. The son as a child, as a teenager and finally as a father with a son of his own. All the while, the D/TVCs highlight a mother’s enduring ‘maamta’ and her relationship with her child and then her grandchild. 

According to Aziz Jindani, CEO, Dalda Foods, this portrayal across three generations celebrates Dalda’s intergenerational commitment to motherhood – and is a tribute to the brand’s tagline ‘Jahan Maamta, Wahan Dalda’. In Jindani’s opinion, although Dalda has benefitted from a now quasi-iconic positioning for decades, the brand lacked a “consumer-facing asset.” 

He refers to Lifebuoy to illustrate his point. “When you mention Lifebuoy, you often hear several people humming to ‘tumhara sabun slow hai kya?’ [from their TVC]. Dalda, however, did not have such a memorable asset.” He adds that no one actually remembers a specific Dalda ad or the lines used in it, other than the lyrics of their nineties Ramzan campaign ‘Wo tum ho; tumhi ho…’ and that too, vaguely. Therefore, to increase brand recall, and consequently sales, the brand initially wanted their new campaign to incorporate these lyrics. “We wanted to build on ‘wo tum ho; tumhi ho; tum pe hai naaz; tumhi ho maamta ki awaz’, create brand loyalty and celebrate Dalda’s enduring commitment to motherhood.” 

Based on this brief, the brand received a multitude of creative ideas but none clicked. The brand then went back to an earlier option that did not incorporate the lyrics, but which, according to Jindani, had made an impact on him; such that he remembered the entire storyboard because it was so “fresh and new.”  

Having decided to drop the lyrics for the sake of a better idea, the next challenge was the casting. They wanted “someone as big as our brand” and Khan’s name came up. The fact that he only appears at the end of the longer commercial was, says Jindani, a deliberate ploy to ensure that Khan’s appearance served as “the big reveal.” Jindani calls this “controlled exposure,” which according to him is something that only a “market leader” like Dalda could pull off because it is not as dependent on star power as other brands are.

Jindani adds that Tareen’s presence was equally – if not more – important in the campaign’s success as the matriarch for a brand that is centred on motherhood. She ‘ages’ as the commercial progresses, which is why casting the mother was a crucial aspect of the campaign’s success. Tareen was also chosen because she is not an overexposed TV actor. 

The campaign was well-received by the target audience, which includes “anyone who cooks and uses cooking oil,” and more specifically urban-based consumers as Dalda is a “premium” brand.

Talking about the maamta proposition, Jindani says he does not know who originally came up with the idea, although “they must have been a genius.” He adds: “Even though Dalda was a Hindustan Lever brand before partition, Jahan Maamta, Wahan Dalda was never used in India, to the best of my knowledge, and originated in Pakistan.”

Dalda, of course, was launched by Hindustan Lever in 1937 and after partition, it continued to be produced in India until 1948, when Lever Brothers Pakistan opened a factory in Rahim Yar Khan to manufacture Dalda Banaspati. Then in 2004, Unilever Pakistan exited from the cooking oil category and the brand was bought over by former Unilever Pakistan employees and became part of Dalda Foods (their portfolio today includes olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, banaspati and corn oil). 

Despite its longevity, Dalda’s brand equity has remained intact and the brand is one of the leading cooking oil brands in Pakistan, with a market share of approximately five percent. In this respect, Jindani points out that “the cooking oil segment in Pakistan is huge. There are at least 1,500 brands and this is why Dalda’s five percent market share can be considered substantial.” 

Part of Dalda’s success is the loyalty it has acquired through consistent brand building centred around a message that celebrates motherhood. Although the brand did introduce new taglines over the years like ‘behtar sehat, behtar maza’ and ‘koi jo rakhe pyar se’, it always went back to the original tagline and even extended it as was the case for their 2021 campaign, which refers to the maamta of stepmothers.

Although Dalda centres on mothers, Jindani says this is not stereotypical. “Why should maamta be restricted to a mother’s love? It is an emotion and even fathers can have maamta towards their children.” This thought then leads him to conclude: “This actually sounds like an idea for another campaign.”