BY ALI NAQVI –
The recent Morinaga TVC for BF Chil School titled “Nutrition On, Toh Worries Gone!” is important for a number of reasons. The idea the campaign is built on is child nutrition. But the scope of the idea is not as limited as the campaign shows. Child nutrition is one of the biggest health issues in Pakistan. If you browse through the web to know how things stand, you will be baffled, befuddled and benumbed to find dismaying statistics about malnutrition in the country.
Malnutrition among young children and infants is a serpent none of us are willing to see even though the monster is a clear and present danger. According to UNICEF, approximately ten million children in Pakistan suffer from stunted growth. A high percentage of children are deficient in Vitamin A, D and Zinc. These deficiencies lead to ailments related to skin and bones among others.
Morinaga highlights the habit of children not taking proper diet and the plight of mothers running after them. The insightful idea is developed creatively and executed to perfection but Morinaga falls short of highlighting the actual problem discussed above, malnutrition.
The brand tackles the issue from the point of view of housewives or households that do not face any financial hiccups in providing for the health of their children. The problem comes not from children refusing to eat rather the inability of the family to provide sufficient food for their young. Come out of the few metropolitans and see the rural areas of mainly South Punjab and interior Sindh and you will find malnutrition in children thriving in the misery of poverty.
Having said all that the fact remains that Morinaga is a brand whose only objective is to sell its product and obviously it cannot target people worst hit by poverty. At times we can expect more from a brand, something that lifts its brand image. Brands do go for CSR campaigns that usually do more good to the brand than the conventional hard-sell campaigns. The recent Cadbury Dairy Milk Generosity Bar campaign is the best example. It highlights the real causes of malnutrition among children and makes a small gesture towards eradicating the problem which in the end matters a lot.
According to Morinaga Research Center Japan BF Chil School is most suitable to fulfil the nutritious and dietary needs of children. The campaign “Nutrition On, Toh Worries Gone!” is certainly a food for thought for all of us. The government, the media as well as the civil society should be vocal about the issue and work together to make the situation better. There is nothing to take away from the brand that has developed a powerful campaign that engages its core target audience really well.