Hellmann's Mayonnaise was introduced in Pakistan, by Unilever Pakistan, in April. Last month, the brand collaborated with two leading influencers, Akbar Chaudry and Faiza Saleem, to create awareness for the product - on digital - with a video titled Eat a burger, Like a Burger.
The DVC starts with a Hellman’s product reel followed by what seems like a behind-the-scenes conversation between two desi people pretending to be ‘burgers’ for an ad. The juxtaposition between their off-screen desi-ness and on-screen burger ‘OMGs’ are entertaining as the two contrasting situations/conversations inter-cut one another. For example, Chaudry renders Strings’ Ayo Ayo Aa Hay Koi Hum Jaisa to help Saleem pronounce mayo the way ‘burgers’ do it; the way the characters switch their accents adds an interesting angle.
Mehr Hamid, Creative Director, JWT|Grey describes the DVC as “a taste trial with a difference. Our objective was to entertain and educate consumers in a non-contrived way and communicate that real, authentic ingredients make Hellmann’s superior in taste compared to its competitors.”
She adds: “Faiza and Akbar are both entertaining influencers on social media and have a very REAL style of humour that entertains people. They connect with their audience in a relatable fashion and this makes them very popular.”
Despite a decent script and exceptional acting, the DVC did not go ‘viral’ as one would expect (given the presence of two comedic powerhouses like Chaudry and Saleem); one would expect nothing less than a viral bomb when these two stand-up comedy A-listers come together.
One of the reasons for this could be is that the whole ‘Burger versus Desi’ theme has been done to death and hardly carries the hard comic punches it once did. Another could be that the ad is extremely ‘branded’ from the get-go. Despite consistent efforts by agencies, subtle branding remains an outlandish concept and they still believe that the product and its logo must be in your face. Brands still struggle to comprehend that the minute content becomes aggressively branded, it tends to lose its impact.
Saleem’s sketch The Good News for the lawn brand So Kamal garnered approximately 1.1 million views and 1.4k shares and is a great example of subtle branding. The sketch delicately touched on the topic of desi aunties badgering married women for ‘good news’. The audience only finds out in the last few seconds that the real good news is that there is a 70% sale at So Kamal. This shows that branded content can be hilarious and achieve virality if it brings something fresh and new.
However, the Hellmann’s brand team is quite satisfied with the response. “The idea was to use social media influencers to make the communication go viral. And that’s exactly what happened. As soon as it was uploaded through the influencers’ social media pages, the video got a lot of comments and shares. The campaign achieved a view-through rate of 29%; as the industry average is 15%, it is almost double in terms of shareability and reach,” says Hamid.
In the future, Hellmann’s plan to conduct real taste trials in large and small towns in addition to seasonal digital content; to increase consumption, they will emphasise how a variety of food items that can be used with Hellmann’s.
“We have planned more digital content featuring other social media influencers to communicate the same, consistent message for the brand,” Hamid adds.
Taniya Hasan is a content marketer.