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Bournvita

The latest Bournvita ad campaign has caught my eye for quite a few reasons and I shall discuss these below.

First, let me introduce the product to those not in the know. Bournvita is a malted drink which is sold in Europe, North America, India and Nigeria by Cadbury plc. It was discontinued in from the UK market in 2008. The product is marketed to potential consumers as a health drink. The ad compares five5 children as they go about their daily routine in terms of energy and performance. A catchy jingle sung with a regional twist communicates that while some children are full of energy through the day, others fall behind. Lyrics like “kuch bachhe chalat hain jaate, kuch pakke aam se tapak hain jaate” are employed. Naturally, the children who are ahead of their peers drink Bournvita.

I feel that this ad is not as effective in reaching out to the mass audience as its predecessor; the ‘Nature & Science’ Bournvita campaign (which was more specific in terms of characterization). It is quite exaggerated in terms of visual representation. Animated battery symbols dance above the head of each child depicting their energy levels. When a child’s “battery” is finished, he falls to the ground like a mechanical object whose time is up. This imagery is quite off-putting. The notion that today’s children have to have something special to stay ahead in a competitive world is milked to the fullest.

The target demographic of this campaign is the suburban middle-class homemaker who is responsible for the dietary needs of her children. Nearing the end of the 30 second time slot, a pleasant looking woman dressed in standard issue shalwar kameez proudly declares that her son drinks Bournvita. The brand itself claimsprofesses on itstheir website that itstheir ads are centered aroundon mothers with purchasing power.

, “It is a universal truth that mothers attach a lot of emotional importance to nourishment while bringing up their children.” It is interesting to note that this advertisement chooses to give more attention to the children who are the eventual consumers of Bournvita and focuses on their lifestyle. This is unlike the previous campaign where more stress was given to the distinctive features of the product that made it more desirable than other brands.

In my opinion the advert is quite mediocre and even offensive at times. A glaring point toof note is that all five5 children shown in the ad are boys. There is not a single girl child represented in this ad for a ‘health’ drink. To see this phenomenon on television is quite disheartening. Further, it makes use of annoying visuals of children dropping like flies. This is  a clearly a  psychological marketing tool: if you do not feed your child the featured product, this is what will happen.

That advertising campaigns make tall claims is an open secret. But the current campaign of Bournvita’s takes the cake for its ridiculous disregard forof other food sources and their importance.

From a practical standpoint I don’t see the sales of this product decreasing drastically because of one lousy ad campaign. However, it’s never a good idea to give the go-ahead for a shoddy creative process that will no doubt be associated with the brand for quite some time. The goodwill and image of a brand are no doubt closely tied with its advertising campaigns.

Akanksha Triguna Sharma