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Storyboard18 | Why Center Fresh went full 'filmy' in its long-format brand film

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Storyboard18 | Why Center Fresh went full 'filmy' in its long-format brand film


A behind-the-scene look at Perfetti Van Melle’s Bollywoodesque ad for its mint brand

Storyboard18 | Why Center Fresh went full 'filmy' in its long-format brand film
Don’t let masks and the pandemic stop you from falling in love. That, it seems, is the message in Perfetti Van Melle-owned brand Center Fresh’s latest ad campaign. The brand in collaboration with Dharma Productions’ ad division, Dharma 2.0, released a film called ‘Parda’ to celebrate the idea of romance during Covid times.
Rohit Kapoor, director of marketing, Perfetti Van Melle India, says in an exclusive chat with Storyboard18 that in a brainstorming session the brand’s media agency Wavemaker India suggested the concept and partnership with Dharma 2.0. Kapoor and his team instantly liked the sound of it and that’s how this story started.
Ogilvy India, the brand’s ad agency, supported with creative supervision along with Wavemaker India. For digital campaigns, Perfetti Van Melle is open to partnerships that add value to the brand, however, “long-term agency partners always help to fine-tune ideas that we want to experiment with,” says Kapoor. These exercises have kept relationships with its agency partners strong and fresh over the years, he tells Storyboard18.
The over two-minute long film has all the masala of a Bollywoodesque love story. The setting is a corporate office where two employees, from different floors, fall for each other while riding the elevator. Featuring actors Shantanu Maheshwari and Anjali Sivaraman, the film has garnered over 2.5 million views on YouTube so far. Maheshwari has been seen performing in various reality shows like Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 8, among others. He is also a part of the Desi Hoppers dance crew that won the World of Dance 2015 Championship in Los Angeles. Maheshwari is set to make his major motion picture debut with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Gangubai Kathiawadi, starring opposite Alia Bhatt.
On the other hand, Sivaraman has been associated with brands like Tinder, Sabyasachi, and Durex, in the past, and will be making her streaming platform debut with the Netflix film Cobalt Blue.
The long and short of it
A recent Bain & Company report indicates that by 2025, 650 million Indians will watch short-form videos for an hour daily. Though consumption of micro-content is skyrocketing, there is still a place for longer videos, Kapoor tells us. Center Fresh wants to script memorable pieces of communication that users would want to back to, he says, adding, “It’s not about picking long or short content format, it is about finding the right storylines for both long and short formats. For instance, ‘Parda’ as a film demanded more time for the story to build and unveil. We cannot make a 30 second cut of this film because we want to fit into a certain format.”
Punit Malhotra, director, Dharma 2.0, agrees with Kapoor. With ads getting shorter, a lot of them look functional, says Malhotra. That is why according to him, “for a storyteller, long format (ad scripts) is like pure gold. It’s like a breath of fresh air.”
Center Fresh will release a second film with Dharma 2.0 early next year. In 2020, too, the brand released a long-format film with romance as the core theme. Through the #KeepItFresh spot, Center Fresh gave life to a love story that bloomed in a virtual classroom.
Young adults, the brand’s core target group, are often seen discussing online how emotions and the joy of romance are the same even when people are at a distance. Kapoor says taking this communication route has only helped in “bringing back brand consideration.” The campaign rolls out at a time when people are masking up and moving out of their homes. “Now is the right time to create campaigns that will have a recall value and move the demand needle,” adds Kapoor.
During the second set of lockdowns this year, the business of products like confectioneries, gums, and candies was hit again. According to research firm Research and Markets, the category, which was valued $1.64 billion in 2020, is largely driven by impulse purchases and is massy in nature. Perfetti Van Melle has been pushing harder to drive at-home consumption during the pandemic. But as we return to schools, colleges and offices, confectionery consumption out-of-home has also returned. And Centre Fresh, for one, hopes more people fall for each other IRL and reach for a pack of mints even when they're masked up.
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