How Center Fresh placed its bets on rap music to engage with youth caught up with Rohit Kapoor, Director (Marketing), Perfetti Van Melle India, to talk about the brand's strategy to celebrate Fresh Breath Day in collaboration with MTV India through a rap music video

Akansha Srivastava
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On the occasion of Fresh Breath Day, Perfetti Van Melle’s Center Fresh launched a rap music video titled ‘Taazi Saans, Taazi Soch’ to thank India’s young, spirited youth for their fresh thinking and relentless efforts in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic.

Center Fresh’s media agency Wavemaker facilitated the collaboration with MTV India for the music video, which is sung by rapper Krsna.

Special occasions, days and festivals give an opportunity to brands to engage with consumers through various content formats such as long films, UGC contests, influencer-led content, etc. With so many brands creating such content on special days, it becomes really difficult for brands to stand out in the clutter.

The music video:

What worked in Center Fresh’s favour, in this case, is that the brand took the first-mover advantage to celebrate a day like ‘Fresh Breath Day’, which not many other brands will pursue. This automatically reduces the clutter of similar content reaching consumers celebrating a particular special day. Secondly, the brand took the rap music video route, which is trending and appreciated by youngsters (who also form the brands’ core TG) a lot in India.

Rohit Kapoor

Talking about the brand’s strategy to sticking to the music route for Fresh Breath Day, Rohit Kapoor, Director (Marketing), Perfetti Van Melle India, said, “Music tends to cut across age, class, and demographics. Any piece of music content that’s refreshing definitely takes the spotlight. Rap songs have emerged as a popular choice of expression in the last few years, especially among our audience. Traditionally, rap songs have been used to voice issues that matter the most to our youth, be it celebrating the power of togetherness or uniting for the greater good. So, we wanted to hit the right notes with our target audience and I am glad the rap song has helped us reach out and convey our gratitude in perfect tandem with the fresh spirit of our audience.”

The concept of the song adheres to the brand’s 30-year-old positioning of ‘Freshness’. The sensitivity, fresh thinking and approach of young minds are a testament to how they’ve braved through the life-altering second wave of the pandemic. This ‘never-say-never and fresh spirit has been vividly expressed by rapper Krsna in the track.

Kapoor gave insights into why the brand chose to celebrate Fresh Breath Day. He said, “As a brand, we have always been on the lookout for relevant occasions and activations that seamlessly connect with the brand proposition and resonate well with our target audience of young adults. We saw Fresh Breath Day as one such opportunity as it fits well with our brand’s core philosophy of ‘freshness. We feel that with our recent campaign, the brand has had a first-mover advantage of leveraging an occasion that will help the brand stand out.

Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik Nagarajan, Chief Content Officer, Wavemaker India and Head, Branded Content, GroupM India, said, “As one of the country’s leading youth brands, Center Fresh’s initiative recognises the youth of today not as stereotypes but as catalysts of change through their fresh approach and formidable voices. From donating food and masks, helping migrant workers, to being on the frontline to mobilising for oxygen and beds during both waves, it was the youth who stopped complaining and started doing. This film by Centerfresh is a tribute to all of them.”

The song will be played on MTV throughout August and is available on Spotify. The song was featured in the Indian edition of Rolling Stone magazine and hence, continues to gain organic traction online (through the brand’s, Krsna and MTV India’s social media handles), thereby increasing its shelf life beyond the actual day. The song has already crossed over seven million views across YouTube and Instagram. Kapoor said the music video has got excellent view-through rates and positive comments from our audience.

The brand could have independently launched the music video on its social media or collaborated with some other platform. But it chose MTV for the occasions. Explaining the thought behind this, Nagarajan said, “MTV continues to be a formidable youth brand and has the pulse and mood of the nation. They also became the right partner to give this thought the scale it deserved. Through MTV, MTV Beats, and the Viacom social assets (MTV, MTV Beats, VH1, Comedy Central and Colors Infinity) and the artists’ huge following, the content reached the intended audience at scale.”

Center Fresh