The campaign conceptualised by BBDO brings up the brand’s message of ‘No more pressurepanti, only pagalpanti’ to create awareness about the serious issue of exam pressure and give a very realistic solution that a break amid the stress can go a long way in giving wings to teenagers
Akansha Mihir Mota | Mumbai | February 21, 2017
With summer approaching, Mirinda has hit the advertising front, but this time with a surprise campaign on digital. One would neither get to see Asin (Bollywood actress) acting hilarious, nor people playing pranks in its latest commercial. In this powerful campaign, conceptualised by BBDO, Mirinda lends voice to a cause that matters to teenagers in India.
With crucial examinations around the corner, for most teenagers tension is building up. National Crime Records Bureau and other independent reports show that exam pressure and pressure to perform are leading causes for depression and suicidal tendencies among teenagers. As part of its new campaign, Mirinda brings forth the sentiments of these teens, and urges everyone to pledge to ‘Release the pressure’.
Through a moving short film where teenagers are writing letters to their parents, explaining what they go through when they are under pressure. Later, parents are shown in tears reading the letters, which depicts the reality. Mirinda aims to ignite and facilitate a conversation that deserves attention in our country. The digital film features real-life teenagers reading out letters they have written to their parents. They express their distress over the tough time they go through and the parental expectations, which add to the pressure, during exams. It goes on to show the parents’ touching reactions to the letters.
Josy Paul, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, BBDO calls the initiative not just a campaign, but an ‘invitation’. “It is Mirinda’s way of connecting with today’s 14 to 18 year olds who are going through immense competitive pressure. It is about empathy, about resolving conflict. By creating a platform to discuss and debate this issue, Mirinda is playing a useful role – something that progresses society and our target audience.”
Vipul Prakash, Vice-President, Beverages, PepsiCo India, said, “At PepsiCo, our aim is to drive purpose and positive behaviour change through our brands. With Mirinda’s message of ‘No more pressurepanti, only pagalpanti’, we want to create awareness about the serious issue of exam pressure and give a very realistic solution that a break amid the stress can go a long way to release the pressure. We are confident that our film will help people acknowledge and discuss this issue, while also encouraging parents and teenagers to take a momentary break.”
Shoojit Sircar, the director of the film, added, “Mounting pressure to perform has become a stark reality of every urban teenager’s growing up years. I firmly believe our primary responsibility as a conscientious parent, as citizens and as makers of this film, is to not only raise this issue but also to raise it in a manner keeping in mind the sensitivity of the matter for the teenagers who face it. And hence the film was shot in a manner where I only facilitated the process for the children to open up their feelings – an innocent, emotional, pure outburst of a teenager’s emotion.”
Why change in the communication strategy?
The brand very well understands the meaning of purposeful and meaningful advertising. To connect emotionally to its consumers is one important aspect that the brand managers and advertisers understand well. Therefore, not going completely away from the ‘Pagalpanti’ theme, BBDO has conceptualised a campaign with the message ‘No more pressurepanti, only pagalpanti’, which aims at bringing about a change in the society, as well as not lose its communication positioning of ‘Pagalpanti bhi zaroori hai’.
Clearing doubts about Mirinda changing its communication strategy, Gaurav Verma, Associate Director, Flavours Marketing at PepsiCo, said, “At the core, Mirinda is a fun brand that drives sociability and has always stood for the bold taste that unleashes ‘pagalpanti’. We will continue to communicate this philosophy with the ‘No more pressurepanti, only pagalpanti’ campaign, albeit through a different lens. In the first phase, we aim to create awareness about the serious issue of exam pressure and at the same time give a very realistic solution that a break amid the stress can go a long way to release the pressure. In the second phase, Mirinda will revisit its pagalpanti attitude, with our TVC.”
Paul further explained, “The task was to find and commit to a social context that is relevant for 14 to 18 year olds in India today because the brand is in a position to elevate its role in the consumer’s life -- to have a point of view about the world, to have a purpose it can call its own. The brand is evolving with society and with consumers.”
It is a full-fledged 360-degree campaign, encompassing digital, on-ground activations, radio, print and television. The campaign kicked off with a digital film, A microsite www.releasethepressure.in will also be activated and through various platforms highlight the impact of exam pressure on teens.
The media plan will go beyond social media and cover TV and radio. Paul added, “It’s about brand commitment. You’ll soon see how the Mirinda PET bottles and caps are also part of the media plan.”
Paul also talked about the shoot process. “The shoot was emotionally charged. I broke down on several occasions as I sat at the monitor. I couldn’t help myself. It was too intense and authentic. Shoojit created a special environment, a comfortable personal space for parents and students to speak straight from the heart. It was one of the most moving shoots I have ever been a part of,” said Paul.
This film will also be aired on television for a period. In the second phase, the brand will also focus on driving awareness around the issue, and urge parents to take a pledge to ‘Release the pressure’.
Peers review the campaign
The peers like the idea of the film but also raise questions on the shift of the communication strategy.
Vandana Das, President and Managing Partner, DDB Mudra North, said, “Mirinda has always connected with the youth through fun and pranks. Keeping the same target group in mind, they have gone one step forward to look closely at their other state of mind, as exams are round the corner. #ReleaseThePressure is a connect with the relevant issue at hand. Though it may create a bit of a dissonance with whatever Mirinda has stood for till now, but there is great potential in exploring and exploiting different interpretations of #ReleaseThePressure, at different points of time.”
Jagdish Acharya, Founder and Creative Head, Cut The Crap, appreciates the idea of the film, but raises concerns over the execution. “To begin with, releasing exam pressure is a sharp idea for a fun drink to connect with its target audience. Aptly put, rightly timed. However it travels down a serious, morose note and ends up adding to the pressure rather than releasing it. The execution too ads to the melancholy, the narrative being almost twice as long as it needed to be. It’s a case of opportunity lost, the idea can be revived and I hope they do. Whacky ways of releasing the pressure that can make for brief twitter breaks? Why so serious, Mirinda?”
Reiterating the views, Anupama Ramaswamy, Executive Creative Director, Dentsu Impact also said, “It’s a fantastic attempt to address the mounting pressure on kids to perform, which in today's day and age is a stark reality biting us. The cut-throat competition is making parents more vulnerable to push their children to be someone else. Sometimes the parents don’t even know what they are doing to their children. And the sad part is that even today these conversations are not happening. But my problem is that this doesn’t quite feel like Mirinda communication. It doesn’t fit the brand tonality. This is an extremely serious communication.
It’s a good attempt but somewhere I feel the connect is forced!”
The digital film:
Creative Agency: BBDO
Chairman and Chief Creative Officer: Josy Paul
Sr. Executive Creative Director: Ritu Sharda
Sr. Creative Director: Anunay Rai
Sr. Art Director: Natasha Mehra
Junior Copywriter: Aakancha
Junior Art Director: Shubham Minocha
Production House: Rising Sun Films
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Producer: Ronnie Lahiri & Supriya Macwan
DOP: Avik Mukhopadhayay