Monday, September 26, 2005

Shah Rukh and biscuits

Walk across any biscuit shelf in any supermarket and the brands (Parle, Britannia, Sunfeast) are hardly distinguishable from each other on the shelf. Theres Marie (call it by whatever name) of various brands in nearly similar packaging (usually red). Then theres a familiar salted biscuit (all of which for some reason mimic Monaco, the old favourite), a glucose biscuit (and its thousand variants), a milk biscuits, a cashew, butter, pista combo biscuit. To a great extent, the shapes are standard too. Marie is round , the combo biscuit is round. Glucose and other biscuits are rectangular. Even among cream biscuits, Bourbon is rectangular, the others are almost always circular.

The only distinguishable biscuits are perhaps Jim Jam (with its jam center), Arrowroot (almost Marie) and some Nutri choice (essentially tasteless), all from Brittannia.

Now, in this crowded marketplace how does one distinguish or even sample a new brand?? The answer is, Main Hoon Na. The only biscuit packet which has a recognisable face is, well, Sunfeast with Shah Rukh Khan. Shah Rukh Khan sells soap, sells biscuits, well why not? He is the most recognised face these days after the Big B. I wondered a few weeks ago as to why ITC is using Shah Rukh on its biscuit packets and laughed at the idea. The answer came to me a few days back. Many a time its the children who pick up biscut packets in supermarkets (or see the hanging Pop's in the kirana retail store), for them, its easy to pick up those which have a recognisable face in it among the entire cluster of biscuit packets on the shelf.

So, what if recognisable faces appear on all biscuit packets. Well, then there will be something else to differentiate.

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