Unwrapping Sweet, Powerful Nostalgia

The latest ‘gender-reversed’ Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate ad hits the perfect sweet spot. Taking the iconic 1994 ‘Asli swad zindagi ka’ created by Piyush Pandey, and powered by the Shankar Mahadevan ‘Kuch khaas hai’ jingle, the 2021 twist has Prabhneet Singh invading the pitch with unbridled joy and whatever-dance steps in place of the Shimona Rashi’s epic ‘liberalisation’ from the stands. The promo is not just about tapping the zeitgeist — in particular, the growing brand value of the already valuable talent in women’s cricket — but also unleashing the raw power that nostalgia holds. True, a majority of viewers may not have seen the ad on which the tweak has been based on. But by sheer mythological force, they either were aware of it or have been made aware of it through the updated resurrection.

Some usual uber-woke suspects have purportedly found fault in the new ad in its ‘male confirmation’ for a batswoman hitting the ball out of the park in the storyline. Barring such ‘lactose-intolerant’ nitpickers who see a military-Cadbury-industrial complex, the ad doesn’t forget its primary job: selling chocs. That it does so while celebrating women at the crease, mining nostalgia and still not looking cheesy is proof that quality advertising in a hyper-promotional world is alive and kicking wonderfully awkward dance steps on the grass.


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