Capital Foods' new TV ad: Sridevi makes Chinese masala tasty for mothers

Conjuring up unfamiliar flavours in a manner that can suit our food palate is hard work. Ching’s Secret from Capital Foods recognises this challenge, and so it is out wooing the head of the kitchen—moms—to introduce Chinese masala flavours to their kids and family. Ching’s Secret has rolled out its first television commercial (TVC) campaign starring screen icon Sridevi. The campaign features the actor in three avatars—a Punjabi, Bihari and Gujarati. She is seen relishing the role of a cook as she uses Desi Chinese masalas to dish out quick meals that satisfy the entire family. The campaign aims to convey that Chinese street food is no longer difficult to replicate at home if you have Ching’s Secret’s masalas. The ads show Sridevi using the spices to come up with dishes such as paneer chilli and schezwan fried rice without compromising on Indian taste buds that seek spicy food.

Capital Foods already had actor Ranveer Singh as a brand ambassador for Ching’s. So what inspired the company to get Sridevi on board?

While Singh continues to serve as an ambassador for the master brand, the masala category needed a spokesperson with aspirational affinity towards the consumer—the desi mom, says Ajay Gupta, MD, Capital Foods. And who better for the role than Sridevi, a wife and mother herself? “Over the past few years, she has made a mature and stunning comeback in films as a stable family figurehead who knows what’s best for her household, while maintaining her quirky self. And that gelled well with Ching’s Secret’s new Desi Chinese masala range.”

The TVCs were conceptualised by GREY Group India.

Sunil Lulla, chairman and managing director, GREY Group India, says the first and most obvious part of its strategy was to focus on homemakers. While a large part of the Desi Chinese portfolio is snacking, this campaign had to focus on convincing the gatekeepers of kitchens and providing quick, easy and tasty solutions to their daily culinary issues. “Desi Chinese is loved by all, yet consumed mostly out of the home as it’s perceived to be cumbersome to prepare at home. We showcased how simple it is to make it.”

The agency had to meet the demand of a campaign that did justice to Ching’s Secret’s quirky brand personality and at the same time lived up to Sridevi’s versatility.

Commenting on the brand positioning by Ching’s Secret, Ferzad Variyava, group creative director, FCB Interface, says in a market that is steadily migrating to app-based restaurant food consumption, the ads seem to fill many gaps in the consumer’s mind. For one, it gently discourages the idea of “outside food” with the charm of home. Everything in the ads seems approachable and doable. Though there’s a fair amount of information that the advertisers are trying to pack into the films, one does get the core message of the offering, that is being at ease. And repeat viewing would not be a chore, thanks to Sridevi’s multifaceted presence.

“Using her star value makes sense for such a mass-led, wide demographic target audience. She cuts across the oldies who’ve grown up with her films and makes inroads into new audiences with her charm and undeniable talent. It also doesn’t hurt that she looks as gorgeous as she did in Mr. India. To sum up, these ads may not break any stereotype in daily household consumables advertising, but they do hit the right notes and bring that vital ingredient to the table that this category always needs,” says Variyava.

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