What comes in your mind when you think of lassi?
It is amongst the most popular drinks and beverages consumed in Pakistan. For many, on a hot sunny day it is only natural to quench one’s thirst with a tall glass of lassi. In Punjab it is the most preferred drink, and especially in villages, guests are still served with lassi rather than carbonated drinks. On certain occasions men even challenge each other to intake large amounts of lassi. It has also been a practice in many homes to start their day with lassi and women are renowned for making delicious lassi.
With its smooth, cool and refreshing taste, it perfectly compliments the hot and spicy flavors that epitomise Pakistani cuisine. It aids digestion and is a healthy addition to any balanced diet. Besides offering health benefits, lassi is also indulgent and can be enjoyed with or between meals.
I can imagine all this combined together to produce a concept, which shows that lassi is for everyone.
Whether young or old, it is a drink enjoyed by all age groups. You really can’t classify it as a ‘sexy’ drink, only aimed for young men and women and it is definitely not ‘pyar ka naya ilaaj’.
Firstly, since we’ve stopped producing original stuff, it’s not surprising that this commercial is a desi version of the Heineken Serenades campaign (not that the original is any good either). Secondly, what are they really trying to say? What’s the point behind ‘Guru, ho ja shuru’? Who is the Guru? Is it the man dressed in the hideous blue jacket, dancing away with women who are reminiscent of namkeen and meethi lassi-cum-love?
The standard of copywriting is appalling. What is the opening dialogue, ‘Kehtay hain, pyar lassi jaisa hota hai’ really suggesting? How can lassi be compared to love and also be the remedy for love at the same time?
Not only have they taken a long-established product, but also given it the wrong characteristics. They’re targeting the age group whose prime objective in life (according to the proposed strategy) is to find perfection in love. It’s not liqueur or an energy drink for the youth that they can choose a specific target audience or even try to change the characteristics of the product when it already has a deep-rooted image.The only good thing they’ve done with Omung lassi is to give it a hygienic packaging. This alone is such an amazing element that it could be used as a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). But the weak theory that they’ve chosen to market their product with really doesn’t entice the viewer to try the product.
Recently, Olpers also started a scheme where with every carton (containing 12 boxes of Olpers milk) you would get four packs of Omung Lassi free. Apparently, companies have to start implementing such promotions when their advertising strategy fails.
Even if their idea was to encourage the younger generation to have lassi as opposed to soda drinks, the concept would still have been successful if they promoted it the right way. That would have automatically encouraged the elders in the family to purchase more of this product, even if it was only to be consumed by children at home, since older people might still prefer to have lassi the traditional way but the new packaging may be more convenient for younger people with active and busy lifestyle.
I’m sure many of you must have seen the Wonderful Doodh commercial by Amul. The idea of encouraging people of all age groups to drink milk was simple with a very catchy jingle, which remained popular long after the commercial was off all media. Not only did people wait for this commercial during ad breaks because of its popular jingle, but also the commercial itself successfully encouraged more people to drink milk. Moreover, the concept is worthy of praise, keeping in mind the fact that this was a mid-90s production and technology and resources were limited at the time.
It is not worth spending so much time on meticulous detail, if your audience is not going to remember anything. If you want them to retain information and have a lasting impact, the key is to be original and let the character of your product bring out the best in your commercials. In return, it may even boost your brand.
The writer is a New Media Design Manager at Dawn.com
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