All Out – Tough Moms Vs Tougher Mosquitos
So All Out came up with their new brand film – Stand By Tough Moms. The film is quite interesting where a junior NiMo (Nirav Modi) is throwing a fit on the dinner table. He is angry because he was scolded by his tough mom for stealing INR 10/-. The Mom is first questioned, then scolded, then reminded of her humble maika ( Mother’s home) for her irrational and un-motherly behaviour. Like c’mon look at that cute little future fraudster, how can you not give him jabelii?
Finally a powerful Dada Ji raises his voice to support the mother. (Yeah Bahoo! Punish this little satan). Now, there are opinions and debates which one may read on social media like – Why does the mom need a validation from a male? What about the rest of the females on the table? This male seems like, he was, is and will be… the leader of the pack…I mean if this had been a restaurant scene, at the end of the meal the waiter would give the cheque to Dada Ji. Who expects a woman to settle the bill?
I was appalled when I saw the film. Not so much with of the politics of it, but because of the fact that it reminds me of this scam called “mosquito repellant liquid”. You might ask, how on earth, ‘All Out’ as a brand is helping the cause of Standing by Tough Moms… but my disappointment is even more fundamental – There is no product here. The question is not “what does it promise?”, it is “Why does it exist?”. My heart aches when I see that we started paying more attention (and money) to the brand than the product. This reminds me of a story my researcher friend had told me once.
She was out in the field conducting market research interviews about a facial cream brand. She was accompanied by the brand team who were excited to be on a mission to explore their brand image and to see if the customers knew the brand in detail. In research interviews the brand loyalists (regular consumers) were asked about the brand promise and the brand message. One of the respondents could not recall anything about the brand (because it was not important for her). She was declared not fit for the interviews. My friend told me that customer, for a fact, was someone who bought that facial cream month on month for last 5 years without fail. She even knew when the prices were slashed or and when there was an extra 10% added. But she did not fit the definition of a “desired loyalist” as per the brand mandates. This is like saying, a great brand makes a great product.
We, as marketers get so obsessed with the articulation of brand messages that we sometimes forget about the core value that the product adds.
In this current context of the All Out Film, we must hold an FGD (Focussed Group Discussion) with mosquitos of NCCS A and B households, spray a bit of repellent liquid on them and ask for their favourite fragrance from All Out, Good Night and Mortein…and what’s the tag line of each. My bet is they will be equanimous – because they don’t care. This product does not mean anything to them.
I think that kid in the film stole that money because he wanted to buy a Kachhua Chaap to kill those damn hummers. And with experience I can tell you that the time has come when the tough mom needs to pick up arms. Here is something that could potentially become the national weapon of India.