From ‘biwi’ to ‘apnon’

One of the most popular advertising slogans in the 80s and 90s in India was Prestige pressure cookers’, “Jo Biwi Se Kare Pyaar, Woh Prestige Se Kaise Kare Inkaar?”.

The 80s ad was written by Sadiqa Peerbhoy of MAA Advertising and directed by Prahlad Kakkar.

In the ad, the shopkeeper tells the husband (played by actor Raja Bundela), “Jo Biwi Se Sachmuch Karte Pyaar, Woh Prestige Se Kaise Kare Inkaar?”.

If in the current times this focus on linking cooking (via a pressure cooker) explicitly with the woman seems awkward and quaint, it is understandable. The 80s and 90s were a different period, and we have evolved, along with our world-view. Thankfully.

Prior to this ad, an older print ad from Prestige even frames their cooker as a time-saving device for the housewife.

In 2013, Prestige signed Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan as brand ambassadors. They used the same line even here, but with the user (presumably Aishwarya) uttering it to her husband!

I must, however, confess that imagining Aishwarya Rai cooking (with or without using a pressure cooker) seemed as curious as Shilpa Shetty using EXO dish-wash bar to wash her utensils herself.

After using this line for many years, TTK updated the line to “Jo Apnon Se Kare Pyaar, Woh Prestige Se Kaise Kare Inkaar?” in 2018.

The Tamil equivalent of the new core slogan was, “Kudumbatha nesikkiravanga, Prestige eppadi vendaamnu solluvaanga?”. ‘Apnon’ in Hindi symbolizes ‘people we love’, broadly, without involving any gender. ‘Kudumbam’ in Tamil is ‘family’, again gender-agnostic.

But, interestingly, who utters this line, and to whom, is something worth pondering about.

In the original TV ad, the shopkeeper utters this, as general advice to the audience (and to the husband in the ad, in a way). The context is that the people who make the decision to buy by spending money (presumably the husband, back in the 80s) and the people who use the product (the wife, of the 80s) are different.

The important consideration for coming up with that line was the safety-related concerns around pressure cookers. The original 80s ad spends some time explaining why Prestige pressure cookers are safer. So, the ‘love for wife’ was literally from a life & limb point of view.

When Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan were the brand ambassadors, Aishwarya utters the line to Abhishek, as a reiteration that he got it because of his love for her. There were no safety concerns in the 2010s since pressure cookers were taken for granted as safe. Now, the implication was simply on the lines of ‘If you care for your wife, you’d get her the best’.

With ‘Apnon’, uttered by Vidya Balan (the ‘user’, as shown in the ad), it seems directed at the audience in general, with no gender markers of who the user of the product is meant to be. A generic, “If you love your people/loved ones, how can you say no to Prestige?”.

Let me summarize the evolution:

1/ Jo Biwi Se Kare Pyaar, Woh Prestige Se Kaise Kare Inkaar? – 80s to 2018

To the decision-maker (one who pays, the ‘husband’ of 80s): “Do I love my wife? Of course, I do. So I’ll choose Prestige.”

To the decision-influencer (one who uses, the ‘wife’ of 80s): “Does he love me? If he did, he’d get me only Prestige.”

The crux was, “If you love this product’s user, you’d buy Prestige”.

2/ Jo Apnon Se Kare Pyaar, Woh Prestige Se Kaise Kare Inkaar? – 2018 onwards

To the decision-maker who could be male/female, single/married and who could also be the user: “Am I getting the best for my family?”. Instead of it being uttered from the buyer to the user, Prestige has removed those markers.

The crux now is, “If you care for value, you’d buy Prestige”.

It is a good evolution, building on the original line’s popularity. The fact is that TTK considered this change, to adapt to the changing circumstances.

And they have extended it to several other lines too, recently:

Jo Sehat Se Kare Pyaar, Woh Prestige Se Kaise Kare Inkaar? (health)

Jo Bharose Se Kare Pyaar, Woh Prestige Se Kaise Kare Inkaar? (trust)

Jo Svachhta Se Kare Pyaar, Woh Prestige Se Kaise Kare Inkaar? (cleanliness)

Jo Bachat Se Kare Pyaar, Woh Prestige Se Kaise Kare Inkaar? (savings)

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