When Ponds took the social experiment route…

ponds india jhappi van
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Taking a break from the usual product-centric advertising, Ponds India in it’s latest communication adopted the social experiment route for the Ponds Jhappi Van campaign. Experts share their verdict on how far was the brand successful in going the trend way.

Ponds Cold Cream’s latest campaign highlights the need for ‘actual’ meaningful conversations and shares the moment of mutual love with our loved ones through physical connections. Taking its legacy of trusted care further, Ponds Cold Cream executed a social experiment titled ‘Jhappi Van’ by touching the emotional side of today’s youth.

Campaign Insight

In a world of constant virtual connectedness, there is so much time spent on social media and so little time spent on making actual, physical connections with those we love. The effort of the ‘Jhappi Van’ social experiment conducted by Pond’s is to gently nudge young people to go over and hug those they love. In Indian parlance, ‘jhappi’ means much more than a simple hug. It’s the embrace and protection that only a loved one can provide.

About the digital films

The campaign was rolled out on the occasion of International Hugs Day celebrated every year on the 21st of January.

When was the last time you hugged someone? Is the question posed to random consumers while they find it difficult to recall and crave for one at the moment? That’s when Ponds Jhappi Van makes an entry to fulfill their wish and make the loved ones meet.

The films have garnered millions of views on Youtube and reactions on Facebook.

Objective to launch ‘Jhappi Van’ and ‘Pond’s Ki Jhappi’

Embodying warmth, love, and care, ‘Ponds’s Ki Jhappi’ aims to spread the joy of real hug synonymous with the product Pond’s Cold Cream.

Also Read: When Big Bazaar went the Emi-Way….

With the launch of #PondsKiJhappi in 2017, the brand looked at ways to take it forward and build on the same thought.

Also Read: Are social experiment campaigns dying?

“Interesting consumer insights helped us understand that it’s relationships even beyond the mother-daughter bond (which is what we’ve shown in our TVC) that hold value when it comes to ‘care’ – which is what led to the idea of the ‘Pond’s Jhappi Van’. Our new set of digital films talk about different relationship dynamics and how a ‘jhappi’ is a great way to show that you love and care,” shared Prabha Narasimhan, Vice President, Skincare and Colours, Hindustan Unilever.

Creative Thought Process

With an aim to build brand love, Zenobia Pithawalla, Senior Executive Creative Director, at Ogilvy Mumbai and the team came up with the Pond’s Jhappi van. She added, “This ‘hugs’ van gave you the opportunity of returning the love and care you got from those who showered you with theirs. Bringing alive all the attributes and emotions that Pond’s Cold Cream stands for.”

Whether it be devising the communication for pimple problems and providing the consumers with ‘Ponds Pimple Clear Face wash and It’s Time to Move on’ or the evergreen ‘Googly Woogly Wooksh’, Ponds has always resorted to focus on the product specifications and consumer needs until it joined the storytelling and social experiment bandwagon. Why Not? Isn’t that the current content marketing trend?

However, in the quest to stand out advertisers end up stepping into the same shoes as the competitors’ trying to fit in by weaving yet another tale with an added or different twist.

Experts review:

Mr. Porus Jose, Creative Head, IdeateLabsPorus Jose, Creative Head, IdeateLabs

It took me a while to react. Not because I was not sure if I liked it. Let’s say, it’s cute. But it definitely didn’t make me sit up. Didn’t spread a warmth inside, didn’t make me go, “Ah. That’s clever” or get me squirming in my seat.
What is the connect between ‘catch up for those lost moments with your parents’ and ‘skin care’? Are brands really getting desperate to stand for a cause?
It isn’t about some brand trying to open your eyes to teenager-parent relationship apathy, gaining precious goodwill from the cream-slapping populace. It’s the race brands are running to churn more and more content. To stay ahead in the SEO game. And what better way than videos. Looks like Pond’s Institute has a back-door entry into a digital marketing lab. Good luck with the rankings.
Faaizah Husain, Client Services Director, Monk Media Network
Faaizah Husain, Client Services Director, Monk Media NetworkA tug at a forgotten heartstring. 
 
In a world of, ‘compulsive emoticoners’ the campaign is a beautiful reminder to express love to the people who matter the most. It highlights the closest relationships we almost always take for granted. Something worth observing is that parents’ first reaction was to be scared and confused rather than feeling loved. The reason this spontaneous affection seemed out of place is that we do not do it as often as we should. Pond’s has taken a big step forward from the efficacy driven communication that is commonplace in the personal care category. 
kumar vansh moondraKumar Vansh Moondra, Founder, webtraffic.co.in  
Positives
The brand took the initiative to convey to people the importance of those who love them unconditionally. These people may not be related to you but they love you nonetheless.
Negatives:
The ad looked scripted. Every ad is, but the better ones feel real.The product promoted through this video, ‘Pond’s cold cream’, seems a bit forced. There is no connect between the message of this video and the product, which is in contrast to what was done in the brand’s previous ads with the ‘#PondskiJhappi’ tagline.

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