Little doses of ingenuity

Written by Sukalp Sharma | Updated: Feb 12 2013, 06:43am hrs
Campaign name: Kal ke genius

Brand: Parle-G

Company: Parle Products

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

The Campaign

The campaign includes three 45-second television commercials showing how children can find extremely creative yet simple solutions to their problems using their gift of uninhibited creativity and imagination. The stories: A father is shocked to see cutouts in his morning newspaper but as he turns around to admonish his daughter, he realises that she has made a birthday message for him on the wall using the cuttings. A young boy dressed as a superhero with a cape can't make the cape flutter and fly. His sister then holds a hairdryer under the cape for the fluttering effect. Similarly, two boys who are not able to fly kites because of rain use a kite made of plastic that makes it waterproof. The soundtrack of the ad, Roko mat, toko mat, plays constantly in the background. Each of the ads close with the voice-over: Bachpan se bada koi school nahi and curiosity se badi koi teacher nahi. Parle-G. Aao banayein kal ke genius. (There is no greater school than childhood and no greater teacher than curiosity. Parle-G. Let's make the geniuses of tomorrow).

Our Take

Let's start with a popular quiz. When was the last time you recall Parle-G coming out with a new campaign For those of you wracking your brains or itching to google the answer, well, the answer is a decade ago. Yes, Parle-G's last campaign G maane genius was launched in 2003 and has enjoyed top-of-the-mind recall for an extended duration of time. That campaign worked really well for the brand, and its extension which the Kal ke genius campaign is supposed to be only takes it a notch higher. It's unassuming, direct, evocative and inspiring, all at once. Creativity as a concept, as an idea exists somewhere inside all of us. And when that creative streaked is fanned or encouraged, it's emotive and inspirational appeal may be second to none.

It is out and out a positive campaign, urging parents and families to encourage kids to find their way around, rather than hassling them down with prohibitions and questions. That's where the brand moves ahead of its product and extends the communication to a commentary on the manner in which children and their raw and undeterred creative instincts are dealt with by parents generally in our society. The films show a potential promise for the future of this country and propagates its cardinal message that if we need to create geniuses tomorrow, we need to work on them today, we need to let them be as creative as they want to be. It also does well in keeping the message simple, humble, and friendly, dripping with child like innocence and even a dash of affable humour. Interestingly, the campaign is actually directed at the new generation of parents and dares them to identify and garner the explosive creativity children possess.

What makes this campaign special is the soundtrack. The master poet and lyricist Gulzar has penned down an extremely delightful and lovable song, employing his trademark wordplay and a style that his highly conversational and evokes smiles, awe and, in general, positivity. Gelling well with the central communication, one can go to the extent of calling it liberating. No matter how blurred or forgotten, a child exists in all of us and that child can't help but identify with this campaign, the song, and the beautifully shot visuals. I'm vaguely reminded of The Jungle Book's legendary Hindi soundtrack which again flowed from the nib of Gulzar Saab's pen all those years ago. This song reflects similar unpretentious and non-presumptuous carefree innocence that only children can flaunt. The trio of Gulzar, Piyush Mishra (vocalist) and music director Clinton Cerejo breathes life, soul and much of the meaning into the campaign.

For the country's most known and loved biscuit brand, this campaign only cements the bond of the brand with the consumers, for most of whom Parle-G was an integral part of growing up. This campaign preserves legacy and pushes the frontiers to be contextually sound with the changing times.