Beta, mann mein laddoo phutaa?

What comes to your mind when you hear, “Mann mein laddoo phutaa”?

Motichur laddoos in your mouth? Or does your mind remind you of a specific brand/product – Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate Shots?

Chances are, the phrase may remind you of the latter given the relentless and memorable advertising campaign by Cadbury’s over the years. Our memory of that phrase may even be in a specific tone – that of an old man’s quivering voice uttering it, just like the ads.

The same thing is applicable in Tamil too: Cadbury’s ad was translated in Tamil with the memorable equivalent, “KaNNa laddoo thinna aasaiyaa?”. The phrase was eventually used as a movie’s title too in 2013!

Ad agency Ogilvy had created a series of memorable ads with the ‘Beta, mann mein laddoo phutaa?”, followed by, “Beta, mann mein doosraa laddoo phutaa?”.

The first one below is memorable, no doubt, but I also wonder about the product, meant primarily for kids, that went with a decidedly more adult theme back then (in hindsight) on national television!

And the Tamil version:

I presume Cadbury’s wouldn’t mind if people think of the literal, traditional Indian laddoo when they hear the phrase – after all, they appropriated that phrase for their brand, away from the original, actual laddoo.

But, if Haldiram’s used the phrase to market their motichur laddoo, wouldn’t Cadbury’s (now Mondelez) be upset/annoyed? After all, they cannot claim ownership to the line, “mann mein laddoo phutaa”.

However, given Cadbury’s extensive advertising investment (at least a few years ago) in the phrase, how would the brand feel if the phrase, which is so memorably associated with Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Shots, was appropriated by a rival chocolate brand?

To be sure, a rival chocolate brand has not appropriated the famous phrase. But, a new film song has the line “Mann mein Ferrero Rocher phut gaya ji”, written by stand-up comic, writer and poet/lyricist Varun Grover!

The song is ‘Dil Melt Karda’ from the film Haseen Dilruba, with music by Amit Trivedi. The film’s director, Vinil Mathew (who directed Hasee Toh Phasee earlier) is a veteran ad filmmaker with many ads to his credit!

From what I came to know, Ferrero Rocher had no part to play in getting the brand to be mentioned so specifically inside (not even in the beginning of the song) this Hindi film song. But it joins other brand mentions in Hindi film songs, like Zandu balm (Munni badnaam hui) and Fevicol (Fevicol se), among others.

It’s more likely that Varun looked at the song’s meter and flow, and needed a 2-word phrase that fit within the tune with specific syllables. And within that quest, it’s probable that Ferrero Rocher fit better than say, motichur laddoo or Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Shots (the latter was never used in that phrase even in the ad that always had ‘laddoo’ as an alternative for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate Shots).

If the lyrics went, “Mann mein laddoo phut gaya ji”, people may have recalled Cadbury’s famous campaigns and the product may have been in the current mind-space afresh for some time. But the lyrics specifically name a rival chocolate brand (that has made tremendous inroads in India as a festive gift/offering because of the gold color used in the packing) within a line made popular by Cadbury’s. Given the price difference and the premium-association with Ferrero Rocher, it almost feels like the ‘mann mein laddoo phuta’ phrase has moved up in terms of social mobility – from the humble laddoo, to a mass-market Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Shots… to finally a premium Ferrero Rocher! 🙂

While Cadbury’s has not used that ad campaign or that line after the early 2010s, the ads are still popular in the meme circuit and bring to mind the product easily. So, I’d be really keen to see what the two brands concerned may do given the line’s revival in a new song.

Would Cadbury’s stake a claim afresh for that line, or would Ferrero Rocher embrace this new brand mention in some way in their marketing for the upcoming festive season? Should be really interesting, if there’s some brand-related action on this front!



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