Tops corn flakes and the choice of models in their advertisement

This full-page advertisement from yesterday’s Hindustan Times (HT City, Delhi edition) caught my attention for a curious reason.

Before I share that reason, take a look at this communications device called framing. Read the full article here: This is how tiny changes in words you hear impacts your thinking.

An excerpt:

In marketing and advertising, framing is used more commonly not in connection with negativity (because, usually, marketing and advertising avoids negativity; except in cases where it is absolutely necessary to address it head-on, like in life insurance), but more in connection with the perception and association the brands want customers to have when they see the communication.

That’s why you see beautiful, good-looking people in most ads. When brands use foreigners as models, they think they are aiming to make it aspirational for us Indians (somehow) 🙂 Similarly, when FMCG breakfast item brands use happy kids as models, they want kids in the audience to feel like the ones in the ad. When Kellogg’s uses Deepika Padukone in cornflakes ads, they want people to aspire to be her.

Amidst all that, I was thoroughly intrigued to see this brand of cornflakes use a generic old couple in their ad!

Now, old couples have been used in ads before (Vodafone’s The Dhananjayans, for instance), but that was part of an overall marketing narrative (which included ZooZoos in one end).

Are old people a big enough target segment for Tops? Or, is it a statement about HT City’s Sunday readership profile? Or, is it just some random happy, old couple the agency picked, without any thought? Usually, brand managers and agencies have specific reasons for every element in an ad., so I’d not make that assumption.



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