Product / ServiceRECIPE MIXES
CategoryA07. Use of Music Technology or Innovation


Name Company Position
Imtisal Abbasi IAL Saatchi & Saatchi Managing Partner

Why is this work relevant for for Music?

Music plays a far greater role in South Asian communication than Western communication. Ads often feature original songs, which not only become mainstays on radio but often also end up in wedding henna ceremonies as part of the dance performances. Research has often showed that commercials featuring a catchy or ‘sticky’ number outperformed others both in terms of brand love as well as sales. The original song featured in the National Recipes commercial was therefore key in putting together a communication that delivered on the brief. Unlike previous musical numbers, this one was less traditional and much more modern.


Situation: National Foods Recipe Mixes like many Pakistani food brands stereo-typically placed women in the kitchen and men at the table. Women were responsible for all the meals served but also held to exacting standards. While adhering to societal norms had paid off in the past, the brand had started to stagnate. It was being associated with an older, more traditional demographic and was increasingly alienated from younger consumers. Brief: The brief from the client was simple yet challenging – revitalize the brand to ensure that it did not lose no. 1 position in the marketplace and create a fresh, more contemporary communication for the new positioning. The background score was a key deliverable. Objectives: The core objective was to establish the new positioning of ‘New Taste of New ideas’ and connect with younger consumers. On an executional level, a key objective was to create a strong background song.

Describe the creative idea

The New Taste of New Ideas: Our senses and instincts are geared to welcome that which is familiar – whether that is the taste of flavors and aromas associated with food or new experiences associated with a changing social context. And while new ideas may taste unfamiliar and unusual by no means should they be unwelcome, especially when they come in delicious bite-sized morsels. That was the intent behind the new campaign – that cooking isn’t solely the responsibility of wives, mothers and sisters. That a boy can be taught how to cook by his mother, that a couple can cook together and bond better, that a grandfather can learn something new with his granddaughter. Communicated in a subtle way with music that drew you in on warm intimate family scenes helped the brand stand for much more than just good food.

Describe the strategy

The brand faced multiple challenges when approaching this campaign. In addition to heavy fluctuations in sales due to seasons, National Foods also faced intense competition from Shan Foods which, owing to its communication, is seen as the well-educated and progressive brand as opposed to National Foods which is seen as an introverted brand for the middle aged. Since, 63% of Pakistan’s population is under 30 years of age, there was a need to target the young progressive audience. Multiple focus groups were conducted to deep dive into the minds of these individuals to derive the insight which was that these forward-thinking Pakistanis were heavily against archaic traditions that were dictated by the patriarchy in our society. With evolving gender roles, it is high time that household responsibilities be shared equally to create an atmosphere of intimacy, trust and non-discrimination. Big Idea: Inspiring new traditions.

Describe the execution

Implementation: Western instruments and Foley work came together to create a feeling of calm and intimacy, to draw the viewer in on intimate family moments. Local influences were packaged in a modern, westernized sound in a departure from the more traditional scores of past National Food commercials. The result was soft and lilting with a hint of whimsy with a much simpler arrangement than previous songs. Timeline: The entire process from briefing the music director and execution took two weeks. Placement: Used as the background score for the thematic campaign of National Foods. Where the new positioning of Inspiring New Traditions was launched. Scale: Played on TV in the commercial and radio as a song. It was seen as a game changer and influenced a change in ad campaign of other brands.

Describe the outcome

Growth in Primary Sales: Month Growth Over Last Year September 18% October 61% November 46% December 19% With negative Growth over Last Year throughout H1 of 2018, the campaign fueled sustainable growth in usership during and post the campaign period. To gauge traction with younger audiences, a YouTube Brand lift study was conducted which indicated: 14.6% overall Brand Lift in Favorability (Best in Class) 18-24 Year Old: 9.4% Brand Lift (Best in Class) 25-34 Year Old: 23.7% Brand Lift (Best in Class) YouTube 4.5 Million+ views with 10,455 interactions A record breaking 1.5 Million views in 24 hours on Youtube Facebook 1.9 Million+ views with 2 Million interactions 13.2 Million+ total impressions 16% engagement rate with 8% being industry standard Sentiment 99% positive sentiment on Twitter 82% positive sentiment on Facebook

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