Balaji Wafers goes Hawa Hawa

Balaji Wafers may not be a fashionable name when compared to Lays, but it is taking on the multinational giant when it comes to the chips segment!

A common joke in the chips segment is about the amount of air inside the packs, so much that people ask if you are paying for chips or air. Balaji takes this premise head-on, with Ayushmann Khurrana to add to the visibility.

The most interesting thing about this is that this is the second time they are using this messaging.

Back in April 2019, when Publicis Beehive won the Balaji Wafers account, they launched 3 films. At that point, the positioning around ‘hawa’ was “Kam Hawa, Zyaada Wafers”. Literally the same positioning that Vini Cosmetics took with Fogg, to target other deodorant brands – are you paying for gas or perfume?

But this attempt failed because the brand and the agency did not follow Fogg’s strategy fully, by carpet-bombing the media with the films. Balaji did not also have a celebrity to carry the film.

Most importantly, those films made fun of people who could possibly be seen as Lays’ buyers (fangled English speakers, Yoga practitioners and a mother talking out of her hat).

No wonder, that campaign was virtually unseen.

Publicis Beehive seems to have learnt some lesson with this new campaign. It doesn’t poke fun at anybody specifically. In fact, it has Ayushmann playing a double role and one of them is the bumbling fool opening a pack of ‘ordinary chips’ full of air. This time, instead of making fun of people (and them talking in the air/full of hot air), the agency cleverly makes fun of the product’s direct rival, quite literally.

So, even as the earlier campaign’s intent was to attack the rival directly, the narrative ended attacking people choosing that product instead of the product itself. With the campaign, Balaji finally finds its mooring, thanks to the agency’s earlier experiment, and targets the rival head-on. Hopefully, given that Ayushmann’s star is on the ascent (for a foreseeable future, till he runs out of bodily and physical problems to depict on screen), this campaign should stay on air (pun intended). It’s still all very silly, but if Vini/Fogg can use this ‘are you paying for gas or perfume?’ line, why can’t Balaji replace gas with air and try to sell the same promise?

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