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On using Dhoni to make your child drink milk


boost

Now that you have been sufficiently intrigued by the title, here is the context- Dhoni is the current brand ambassador for Boost (the chocolate malt drink) along with Virat Kohli. Cricket fans and parents of teens may recall that Tendulkar was the brand ambassador for the same product some years back.
So, on the back of Tendulkar’s retirement, a facebook friend posed this question on whether Boost had really reaped the dividends for using celebrities for branding in contrast to close competitor Bournvita (which does not use celeb ads). This sparked off an interesting debate on the role of advertisements in the health drinks category.
Those who were for use of celebs
• Using sporting icons (not any celeb) to promote a health drink is aligned with its brand purpose and not such a bad idea.
• Some kids who hate milk drink milk and boost chocolate eclairs just because Dhoni drinks it! For their parents (yes, not just the mother), Dhoni is a god send!
Those who were against use of celebs
• Celeb ads are a short cut and an expensive /lazy way to market the product
• Such ads appeal to children’s aspirations, rather than the mother’s intelligence
I could not quite make up my mind, torn between my twin identities as a marketer and a mother, in this specific instance, though I have some pretty strong views on how ads can influence children.

Which side are you on?

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Sudha Kumar is a marketing professional and runs a marketing services firm, Prayag Consulting. She has made her foray into publishing through ParentEdge. Over the last two decades, she has learnt a thing or two about being a working mom. That said, her views on parenting continue to evolve, as she learns from her experiences, reading, and now, from her children!


3 thoughts on “On using Dhoni to make your child drink milk

  1. Kritika Srinivasan

    Ha ha – amusing post Sudha. From the marketer’s angle, what difference does it make if the ads are lazy, appeal to aspirations, etc as long as they sell the product, right? Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander.

    And like you said, using ads to influence children, especially in the food and nutrition segment, is a whole other topic all together! Merits a separate article – Meera? :)

    Reply
  2. Ujwala

    Kritika, in fact, I AM researching this topic right now and writing about this .
    The question here is that of parental -awareness and celebrity -responsibility.
    1.) Do the celebs know for sure whether the product is doing the things that they are claiming? Or are they just pocketing the money.
    2.) Would they feed their child the product they are endorsing? Would they eat the foods they are hustling? eg. Lays, Maggie, Pepsi, etc.

    i say this because the child who will guzzle the milk- additive will also then demand the fizzy drink, burger, chips, noodles endorsed by his favorite celebrity and what logic can a parent use to refuse the child?
    Some countries are considering a ban on celebrity endorsement of children,s foods.

    Reply
  3. Sudha Kumar

    Good point Ujwala. I am totally with you on responsible advertising. In India especially, where celebs hold so much sway, it is a double edged weapon.

    In fact, the issue of advertising and promotions ( using celebs or otherwise) aimed at children is a broad topic that can be discussed.

    I remember when my kids were in primary/middle school, Nestle did quizzes in schools as a part of their promotional campaign and gave every child a Maggi sample at the end of it!

    Reply

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