It’s been a while since I wrote about something. Have a few pending subjects, but need to delve a bit more before I post them here.

For now, I read about this interesting campaign at Ad Punch by McCann Ericksson for their client Nestle Romania (Brand Maggi). . This campaign recently got shortlisted for the Golden Drums Awards 2006.

The theme of the campaign reads ‘if only women spent less time cooking’, and reflects the places women could reach, beyond the kitchen. Undoubtedly, very good execution, but the concept per se does not seem to be too appealing. For one, it reflects a strong gender stereotype. Though the creatives include popular male-dominated reflections like Godfather, Tarzan and Mount Rushmore, the “connect” is missing, somehow. How does spending less time in cooking relate to being Jane, or Godmother, or for that matter, the President of the United States?

However, all said and done, it does entail a good recall and has a strong “entertainment” value, and is a well-deserved contender for the Golden Drums Awards.

Talking of the Brand Maggi in Romania, the agency responsible for Nestle in Romania, McCann Ericksson has been aggressive consistently in the Romanian Market. Last year, it launched the “Cook from the bottom of you heart!” campaign for its client Nestli, where every flat was appeased to put a heart-shaped sticker with a “Maggi” logo on their window, in order to win a prize.

According to an article last year “Free Advertising” at Yo MaG In this campaign, Almost everyone living in 40 selected cities of the country received stickers in their mailbox, representing a big red heart `Maggi` and were asked to stick it on their window. A “Maggi Patrol” traveling through 40 cities of the country rewarded those residents with 200 euros those who had a Maggi heart on their window. For every Maggi product they had in their kitchen they received another 50 euros, up to 1000 euros!

Worked well with the kids, and in turn, their families! Kudos to the creative team at McCann Ericksson. Innovative concept indeed.

Ironically, this campaign reinforced the fact that women spent more time in their kitchen, sticking Maggi logos, so that they could win prizes.

Now, may I ask “What if women spent less time cooking?” 😉

4 Responses

  1. I wonder what kind of society Romania is in terms of status of women and their role in society.

    For example, I honestly feel that Maggi’s TG in India, would be quite offended by the ad.
    In India, you could probably show that saving time in the kitchen would therefore lead to an enhancement in the quality of upbringing of children. Time and again our consumer panels come out with the same set of results in India. Kids are everything.The time I spend on nurturing is non negotiable.

    They would have to tailor the execution differently with the same concept.Maybe show illustrations of kids doin better at school, etc.

    But you are right.there is a slight disconnect in the illustrations given. Would love to know the numbers for recall of the ad and the brand seperately.

  2. Romanian women have spent all too much time in the kitchen. The society is kind of macho, with quite distinct gender roles.
    Indeed, the campaign wouldn’t work everywhere, but from all I know about Romania, it probably works fine there. Probably both men and women find it entertaining, but perhaps in different ways.

    Anyway, these ads remind me of a campaign by the Finnish women’s magazine “Me naiset” (‘us women’) in the 1990’s, where they used photographic remakes of classic paintings, with swapped genders. Here are two examples:

    1, 2

    (The latter is a famous work by the Finnish painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela – original here.)

    However, in the “Me Naiset” campaign, the issue was not to say that “you women *could* be like this if you’d buy our product”, as in Maggi’s Romanian campaign, but more like “buy our product and acknowledge the woman you are”.
    (To the quite strong and emancipated Finnish women it might actually be insulting to suggest the former.)

  3. Guys, if McCann Romania spent less time making fake ads… they wouldn’t get so many prizes.
    Sorry I get so late in the loop, but I feel the utter need to spare your energy and good thinking.
    Relax, no romanian woman was exposed to this campaign. The campaign is the purest fake ad. It was never published, it’s just festival work.
    Don’t worry, Maggi is doing the same shit in Romania they do all over the world.
    This agency was just more successful in persuading clients into the fake ads territory than other agencies.

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