The taste of authenticity is in the spices. One can only master the art of cooking by rightfully estimating the amount of spices to fine-tune the taste of a particular dish. As a solution to this, Parampara, Indian masala brand from General Mills, has rolled out a new range of expert masala mixes that have the exact blend of pre-mix masalas for a range of food items like Tawa Pulao, Paneer Butter Masala, Butter Chicken and more.
And for the promotions, the brand has launched a campaign titled #MenInKitchen where it demonstrates that even men can cook. Conceptualised by BBDO India, the campaign comprises of two films, one for each of Tawa Pulao and Omlette Masala made by the son who hadn’t ever entered the kitchen before.
In one film, Reema Lagoo playing the mother, is completely taken aback when she is served a tasty omelette breakfast by her son. The other film is her being impressed by her son’s tawa pulao and how lucky he is to have the Parampara expert masala that has made him an expert too.
The voiceover says ‘___ so easy that even men can cook’ , while a text blurb flashes the hashtag #MenInKitchen.
As per a company press release, Parampara’s #MenInKitchen was devised to challenge the existing stereotype of only women doing all the cooking. “’Men in Kitchen’ questions traditional thinking and kickstarts a new ‘Parampara’ – a new world order. It’s encouraging to see the brand taking sides – and going all out and aligning itself with a more progressive social agenda, “ Josy Paul, chief creative officer, BBDO said about the campaign.
It is impressive at first as most kitchens are indeed occupied by the women of the house. But, that hardly qualifies to make a claim that with the Parampara expert masala ‘even men can cook’. Men have been cooking since ages, for the kings and queens as well as for their wives and children at home.
Besides, the use of the hashtag in the TVC is also unnecessary. Why have #MenInKitchen when you do have a social media presence to capitalise on it? Parampara has no Facebook, YouTube or Twitter page of its own, where it could share the TVC and get people talking about them (We could only find the website of General Mills India which had no listing of its social networks).
Hashtags can be leveraged to create conversations on social networks as well as keep a track of social sentiments on the campaign. Here, the only benefit of #MenInKitchen is to help the brand in social listening and see how people are responding to the campaign.
Dear Parampara masala what do mean by *even men can cook*?? Are you calling men dumb!!!
— Princess Consuela (@SatanKiNani) June 7, 2015
If it were even ‘women can drive’, – sexist. But men don’t care. Parampara’s masala promises to make experts of (even) #MenInKitchen
— Jasjiv (@jsjv) June 1, 2015
The brand could have focused on the masala’s ‘convenience factor’ with stories of urban families it seeks to target. Whoever cooks at home and is looking for an authentic taste minus the hassles of preparing the right blend of masalas – the housewife, the working mother, the hosteller, the batchelor, the lazy foodie, etc. could make for a great subject in the ad. A ‘progressive social agenda’ was just not necessary in this piece of brand communication. It looks to be forced upon just to play around with ‘parampara’.
Parampara could build on its social media presence and demonstrate digitally how convenient cooking authentic Indian dishes is, with its range of instant masala mixes. It holds a lot of potential in the brand name and the product benefits, but sadly none can be leveraged due to the absence of a social media presence!