Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Come Plan with Complan

Ad By: Leo Burnett

Plan height with Complan !
Almost each one of us has grown with Complan or Horlicks. May be not consuming it but knowing about it. Neither our parents told us nor it was informed in schools, but still we have this thought registered in our heads, that these health drinks are very important in a child's growth. Thanks to our best informer, television that has been showing since ages how a child grow (Growth in terms of height). In so many years, so many kids who endorsed the brand in their tiny times have taken Complan or Horlicks and with resulting increased height moved ahead into world leaving endorsement space for a new kid. The yellow mug holder, huge size t-shirt wearing "I am a Complan boy" kid after taking Complan for years is now a hunk Shahid Kapoor along with pony-tail "I am a Complan girl" who is today known as cute Ayesha Takia. Those were the time, when customer just knew these health drinks play important role in growth of kids and it has been such an obvious fact that many times we hear these names in bollywood movies also. Complan made its space in consumers mind earlier with its punch line "I am a Complan boy/girl" and now they are still remembered discussing that those kids were Shahid and Ayesha. 

Today when we see the ads of these health drinks, there are 3 things that remain same in any of the brands. First, how low height is humiliating. Second, Boys for endorsement (Not girls). Third, Scientific proofs and claims. Kids who are most glued to television see that how low height children are teased and how much important it is to have good height. It is kind of divide and rule wherein you are smartly trying to target the children (who play important role in purchase decision making) but more than that you are ruining their thinking. Then, why only boys are shown as competitive to have good height. In India, there is a major population who still consider boys to be superior to girls and thats why it becomes even more important for such strong media to bridge that gap. May be, these companies should survey that how height is equally important for boys and girls. Also, showing a nutritionist wearing a white lab coat and saying "It has been proved" does not add to any authentication for todays learned consumer. 

In this Complan ad, a young lady mother of a small boy comes walking with a tray in her hand and saree draped around her. She shares an year ago story when nearby kids used to tease her child for his low height. Though those kids themselves were of almost same height, just that camera alignment made them look longer. The mother says she was not going to give up and thus asked her kid to do everything possible. The kid looks so dull and sad as if his height has been the only important thing for everyone around. Whenever kid is upset, mother pacifies him with an expression that can demoralize anyone happy. Suddenly, comes a nutritionist like an angel to save the family from all their problems. The kid is going to get a drink which would increase his height at double rate. In that case, nutritionist should also mention the duration of consumption. With double growth, it is awkward to look longer than normal size in an age. Mother is a proud lady now with her head reaching sky because now her kid has got good height. Wow ! what sense of achievement. The kid is now on other side as now he teases another kid with his height. So what if he is standing on a bench/ table (not covered by camera) and then comparing his height with other kid. This teasing story goes on and on. 

Advertising is surely important to remain in minds of consumers but it is more important to take the challenge of changing times and not getting changed with times. If Complan would have simply stuck with its old punchline of "I am Complan boy/ girl", it would have shown that how times change but not the brand. It is important to adapt yourself in competitive world but that never asks you to leave your grounds. 

For kids, its the growth that matters not just the growth of height !


  1. Hi Aastha,
    Me and my friends were just discussing this issue. I am strongly against the complan Height Ads and it bothers me even more that they are targeted for children who have just started building their opinions about life.
    We are planning to start a FB campaign against this.

  2. Thanks Kalpana. M glad there are more to agree with me on this. Do share with me about FB campaign, i would certainly like to be part of it.