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Revisiting the Cadbury Dairy Milk Cricket Ad: ‘Kuch Khaas Hai’ 1994

, October 1, 2021, 0 Comments

khuch-khas-hai-cadbury-dairy-milkOn September 17th 2021, Mondelez India, known for Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolates released a fresh take of its iconic ‘Kuch Khaas Hai’ ad that was originally broadcasted on Indian television in 1994.Although the basic plot of the ad was same, the ad portrayed role reversal or rather a gender twist as the ad showed a woman cricketer playing an aggressive shot which turned out to be the winning shot and her boyfriend was found to break into an impromptu jig after zooming past the security in front of a packed stadium. The ad retained the original jingle sung by legendary singer Shankar Mahadevan and it ended with the #GoodLuckGirls

Over the years, Cadbury Dairy Milk as a brand has been found to maintain its reputation of conceiving relatable and lovely advertisements that have not just stood the test of time but have also been labeled as iconic by both consumers and industry insiders. But then, it was the ‘Kuch Khaas Hai’ advertisement with the tagline ‘Asli Swad Zindagi Ka’ way back in 1994 that catapulted the brand to durable stardom and changed the way chocolates as a category was perceived. 

‘Kuch Khaas Hai’ Advertisement [1994]: The Gist 

In 1994, Cadbury Dairy Milk’s cricket advertisement with the tagline ‘Asli Swad Zindagi Ka’ was introduced. The ad showed a male cricketer batting on a score of 99 runs. A bowler bowls and he hits an aggressive shot. Initial reactions among the spectators suggest that it was a lost case. Soon we find a girl in a floral dress who was initially found to bite into a bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk praying to the Almighty for a divine intervention. Her prayers are answered as the ball sails over the boundary ropes for a six. As that happens, she hugs her friend sitting next to her and then runs past the security onto the field to break into an impromptu and uninhibited jig in front of a packed stadium. The final shot showed the cricketer and his girlfriend sharing and celebrating the moment with Cadbury Dairy Milk [I]. 

The Differentiators  

This advertisement conceived by well known advertising personality, Piyush Pandey of O&M (Ogilvy & Mather) was iconic and a trendsetter in the history of brand advertising in India for more ways than one. First and foremost, the ad brought about a change in consumer perception towards the product category viz. chocolates. Prior to this advertisement, chocolates were meant for kids and any adult openly consuming it was not considered a norm. The ad thus was found to break away from the stereotypical image towards adulting. The ad introduced the idea that it was okay if adults consumed chocolates and thus it expanded the consumption base of the product. The advertisement was found to erase the long embedded idea in people’s mind that chocolates were a ‘kids only’ product and the advertisement celebrated the child in every adult. The ad reportedly repositioned Cadbury Dairy Milk in the market. The jingle ‘Kuch Khaas Hai’ that played in the background was sung by legendary Indian singer Shankar Mahadevan.khuch-khas-hai-cadbury-dairy-milk

There was another significant first associated with the advertisement and that was the way the woman character in the advertisement was portrayed. The advertisement emerged at a time when women in ads had a stereotypical portrayal. It was a time when women in the society were supposed to behave in a certain dignified and formal way in front of the public. In ads, women were found to either dress scantily or play roles of a caring and concerned mother or a concerned and dutiful wife or daughter-in-law. However in the Dairy Milk cricket advertisement, the model Shimona Rashi was found to exhibit mannerisms that were quite different from the existing norm as far as conducting oneself in the public as a woman was concerned. Television viewers found Shimona dressed in regular blue floral dress biting into a chocolate bar on the sidelines of a cricket match as if there was no one watching her. Further the way she went about expressing her joy in an uninhibited and impromptu way in front of a packed stadium was surely a trendsetter as far as exhibiting women’s emancipation in contemporary advertising was concerned. 

One more aspect to be noted was that at a time when all advertisements sold products directly with an in-your-face approach, the Dairy Milk cricket ad by Piyush Pandey was found to challenge common perception and had a revolutionary impact on how ads were made as the commercial had just few glimpses of the chocolate itself. Communication experts observe that the content of the advertisement along with its presentation was so strong that it remained thoroughly etched in the minds of target audiences for decades to come.