By Malay Desai
From: Ogilvy India
Adani Wilmar’s cooking oil brand has unveiled an initiative as part of last year’s ‘Ghar ka khana, ghar ka khana hota hai’ campaign. Targeting Indian mothers whose children study in cities away from home, it has set up a microsite where they can sign up and look for mothers in the city where their child resides. In the exchange that follows, the mother can get the distant mother to make a particular dish and have it delivered to the child’s college. The web film shows one such mother from Chennai connecting with another in Jodhpur and them making favourite dishes foreach others’ sons and then meeting them.The emotionally charged film ends with a call-to-action to log in to the microsite.
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In a segment where every big marketer finds new ways to position itself as heart-friendly, cholesterol savvy et al, the largest selling brand does not make any such claim. In fact, Adani-Wilmar’s Fortune has been saying nothing about itself at all since last year when it unveiled its new campaign focused on home food. But whileJune 2014’s ‘daadi visiting ailing grandkid’ film choked me up, this one put me to sleep.
Coming from the revered stable of Piyush Pandey, the concept seems thoroughly original, only if you were born yesterday. Otherwise, you’d know that award nominations and advertising blogs worldwide are filled with stories where a brand helps a common consumer connect with a loved one (and makes a tear-jerking, YouTube-views-raking film).
So do I despise the campaign? No, but I find it hard to swallow, like deep-fried bhajias bathed in oil. It’s been cleverly targeted to moms of students and not migrant workers, i.e. the young, decision-making customer. It’s been cleverly guised as a do-good service for Indian mothers, apparently here to stay, hoping for word-of-mouth publicity. It’s been named simply, and weird as it may sound, Mother Exchange is a catchy phrase.
But five whole minutes of a film whose end I knew in the first 20 seconds? Nope. Even the daadi’s film was yawn-inducing, but I was gripped by real acting and a lovely soundtrack. This time, the north-meets-South cliché, the ‘I miss my son’ set up and the eventual ‘reality show’ reactionsare put-offs. This spin to Coke’s many ‘Happiness’ campaigns of this kind is so desi, it’s like presenting pasta with coriander garnishing.
Even though Mr Pandey and others involved have said stuff like ‘I wish this was there in my time’, the concept may not work because families trust local guardians rather than strangers through some microsite. And for this ‘network’ to really catch on, it would need a Facebook or a Flipkart’s backing.
Can’t wait for someone to spoof this!
(To watch this film and understand the campaign,visit motherexchange.in)
Your regular dose on the shifts in the social media universe
FB gets 108k supporters for Internet.org..
In perhaps the most important times for net neutrality in India, this column has decided that we need a hashtagfor the takeover of the world that Mark Zuckerberg is planning. Last week, Zuck threw open his magnum opus ‘Internet.org’ (his so-called philanthropic initiative) to all developers where any firm could sign up and be zero-rated – i.e. its customers won’t have to pay for accessing them. The catch? They wouldn’t be allowed to use hi-res pictures, video or anything high volume. Meanwhile, in a googly, it has begun its own online petition on change.org extolling the virtues of free Internet for a billion Indians and er, over 108,000 of us have already signed it, maybe some misgiving this for something actually good. And in case you haven’t been reading up why it isn’t good, go to savetheinternet.in to get a deep perspective. As for the hashtag, how about #BasKarZuck?
Change.Org likes this
..while LinkedIn claims over 30m users in India
I was flipping through my tweets the other day and spotted Housing.com thanking LinkedIn for its 100,000 followers. Further probing into the unknown territory that is the professional networking site revealed that the service’s India offices have been working hard, i.e. hard enough to imbibe every cool feature of other SNS sites. Like, status updates, and sharing… and er, liking. Anyway, I will have to try harder now to ignore it because it now claims to have crossed 30 million Indian users, and that its edit team here is now bigger than ever before. It also counts PM Modi (#okaythen), Swati Piramal, Ronnie Screwvala and NandanNilekani as members. Another reason why – it has made some smart acquisitions, such as a tutorials and training platform Lynda.com and a digital briefing service, Refresh. Can it please stop sending my friends requests on my behalf now?
Suit Boot ki Sarkar likes this
My super-viral bet: Dubsmash
Regular readers of this space, you’d know I see an app or a social network picking up the storm and alert you before it hits our shores. So listen up, Dubsmash, a video messaging platform that broke in around November last year, has hit the right notes and raked in downloads by the millions. Basically, it lets you choose a famous sound (music or dialogue), record your video mouthing the same words and send the ‘dubbed’ work to your friends. May sound simple or inane, but believe me you, there are enough RJs, musicians, funny men and the likes who are absolutely loving this. Explore it and show off on your timelines before it goes super-viral (or taken over by an Internet biggie).
Don Vito Corleone likes this