The opening shot shows a middle-aged woman sitting on a bench in a park. She suddenly notices colourful buttons sprouting from the ground near her. She looks around with apprehension, gets down on her knees to pick up and taste one. As she does, the buttons appear with rapidity. Fearing somebody may steal her treasure trove, she lies prostrate over the buttons, only to be pushed up by the sheer force of the sprout. The tagline reads Raho Umarless (Be ageless).
The latest commercial for Cadbury Gems is one among many in recent months where maker Cadbury-Kraft has been attempting to “up-age” or target consumers beyond kids, the latter considered to be core to the chocolate and confectionery categories.
A few months earlier, Cadbury, leader in the Rs 3,500-crore chocolate market with a share of a little over 70 per cent, came out with a campaign called ‘Get Lost’ for its Eclairs brand. Again, there were no kids in the commercial. On display were a series of ads showing adults handling prickly situations with an Eclairs. Then there was the famous ‘Masterji, pitaji ki patloon ek bilang chhoti kar do’ for the Cadbury 5 Star bar. It showed two guys, Ramesh and Suresh, so immersed in eating their chocolate that they forget to supervise the work of the tailor, who happily lops off a good length of the pant, not once but thrice while speaking on his mobile phone.
|THE CONSUMPTION STORY
Country-wise per-capita annual consumption (in euro)
|Source: Euromonitor report
In between, Cadbury attempted to up-age consumers of its bubble gum brand Bubbaloo, too, by targeting young adults rather than pre-teens, its core users, in a commercial called ‘Face Ka Gym’. The ad shows a rather chubby adolescent, the cynosure of the eyes of his neighbourhood aunts, happily chewing Bubbaloo gum to gain the attention of the girls around.
Chandramouli Venkatesan, director, snacking & strategy, Cadbury-Kraft, says the need to widen consumption stems from the desire among manufacturers to have as many users as possible in their fold. “Up-aging, creating new occasions to consume, are all part of the exercise to broadbase consumption,” he says.
Narayan Sundararaman, director, powdered beverages, gum & candy, Cadbury-Kraft, adds, “Our research shows that gum and candies are liked by adults as much as by kids and we thought of leveraging this.”
This is also important because the per capita consumption of chocolates and confectionery in India is low when compared to other markets. According to a Euromonitor report, the per capita consumption of chocolates, gum and sugar confectionery in India is Euro 1.2 (Rs 83) per year versus Euro 149.1 (Rs 10,325) in Britain and Euro 76.1 (Rs 5,270) in the US per year, respectively. So, it becomes imperative, say experts, for category players to expand the market.
Cadbury is not the only one looking at broadbasing consumption. Rival Perfetti Van Melle has also attempted this, a case in point being the 2Choco Eclairs ad playing on television these days. While children have not been alienated, with an animated white bear which turns brown appearing in the commercial, Kareena Kapoor’s presence is intended to get adults interested in the product, too.
“Eclairs is a segment that sits between a gum and a candy. It has small doses of chocolate in it and is consumed by both kids and adults,” says Nikhil Sharma, director, marketing, Perfetti. “We needed someone who transcends age barriers when endorsing it. Kapoor fit the bill.”
Perfetti’s try for mature consumers is not restricted to this product. In the last 10 to 15 years, it has used humour effectively in the advertising for its chewing gum brands Happydent, Chlormint, Center Fresh and Center Fruit. Experts say this is partly because chewing-gum as a category has been identified more with adults and less with kids. In recent years, in fact, the chewing gum segment within the overall Rs 1,200-crore gum market in India has grown from 20 per cent to 36 per cent in size. The other segment, bubble gum has shrunk from 80 per cent to 64 per cent.
This, say experts, is because gum consumption is no more perceived as being a kid’s pastime alone. The category as a whole is evolving and moving out of its kiddie domain. The result of all this is that bubble gum makers are also speaking to adults now. Perfetti’s Big Babol, for instance, has targeted both kids and teenagers through its advertising. Says Prasoon Joshi, executive chairman, McCann Worldgroup India, the creative agency for Big Babol: “With Babol, we have focused on the obsession that children and teenagers have of blowing disproportionately large bubbles. They simply love it.”
Cadbury, meanwhile, is gearing up to launch its second Cadbury Gems commercial on television. The protagonist this time is a middle-aged man.