BY ALI NAQVI –
What does it take to produce 1 gram of rice or a few kilos of wheat? How many of us think that way; at least I never could until I saw the advert of Dastak Cooking Oil on the eve of World Food Day. Split the Plate is an amazing communication developed by a brand a few of us are familiar with.
Food wastage is a global problem. Most developed countries including the United Stated dispose of millions of tons of cooked and uncooked food every day. In Pakistan food wastage is an issue never seriously discussed or paid attention to.
Food is a precious commodity and a basic necessity of life. We waste food in our houses, offices, social dinners, wedding ceremonies and other family and social gatherings. None of us realize that our leftover food of a single dinner party or a wedding dinner could feed many households.
The initiative taken by Dastak Cooking Oil is an effective way to create awareness about the value of food and the importance of feeding the underprivileged. The idea of the commercial is simple and the storyline is simpler yet the impact is far greater than anyone could anticipate.
Ideas and music have one thing in common, both have universal appeal. The hallmark of a great idea is that it can transcend geographical, cultural, racial and social boundaries. Split a Plate is the idea that can be understood anywhere in the world with the aid of language. Ideas have the power to build nations and change the course of history. In the context of marketing and advertising, a campaign based on a powerful idea can give the brand a new life and the consumer, no matter what the quality, feels fully satisfied in buying its product.
Let’s look at the storyline: Split the Plate has only two characters, the Officer and the Office Boy. In the first shot we see the Office Boy serving lunch to the Officer. The officer after he is finished eating asks the Office Boy to clear the table. We see the leftover food in the plate. The scene cuts to another day and again its lunch time and we see the same routine over again. On one occasion the officer tells the Office Boy that he will not be having lunch in the office, the expression of the Office Boy are worth noting at this point. Next comes some brief product shots of Dastak Cooking Oil. We cut back to the office. The officer gets his lunch and wonders why his mother always gives him so much food for lunch every day. In the next shot as the Officer is passing by the kitchen he gets the glimpse of the Office Boy eating the left over food. He is touched. In the last scene we see the same routine, the Office Boy serves the food. The Officer asks him to take away the plates. The camera shows the plate split in half. The smile of gratitude appears on the Office Boy’s face and the commercial ends.
Within few hours of the upload the video went viral on social media. The message is so direct and clear that it moves the hearts. Amid appreciation and praise there are people who seemed convinced that Dastak Cooking Oil is the best brand, one individual even went on to say, “Gonna be buying this brand from now on just to support their campaign.” That’s the power of creative advertising and value based communication.
World Food Day is observed around the world on 16 October. In Pakistan Dastak Cooking Oil has produced one of the most powerful and creative commercials in the advertising history of Pakistan to commemorate the day.