Bollywood's King Khan goes ape over Frooti, one of India's top-selling mango-juice drinks, in this ludicrously loopy commercial.
The cray-cray starts when Indian megastar Shah Rukh Khan climbs some steps in a nondescript airplane-hanger-size room and pushes open a mysterious gray door marked "Life." Inside, gray-clad office-drone types chant "Chase the mango, choos the mango." That's the campaign's slogan, excising the "e" to create a play on words, because, for Indian audiences, the word "choos" means "to suck." (No jokes, wisenheimers!)
A giggling kid dressed like a monk shows up with a mango-hued pooch. Khan licks a doorknob. Then, he sips from a vial marked "The Frooti Life" and explodes in a spray of powder. Frenetic dancing begins on a huge, stylized set decorated with giant bottles, SUV-size paintbrushes and, for some reason, a humongous screw. Of course, the dancers wear giant mango slices around their necks.
By this point, the minute-long ad is only half over:
Agencies Sagmeister & Walsh and SpecialGuest collaborated with director Karim Charlebois-Zariffa of 1stAveMachine on the commercial.
"We all have a version of the 'gray world' in our lives where we feel that we need to meet decided-upon expectations," Aaron Duffy, SpecialGuest founder and executive creative director, tells AdFreak. "This Frooti film is a call to action to break those expectations and be confident about trying a different path. Drinking Frooti is about doing what you most feel like doing rather than choosing what everyone else is doing."
The clip comes a year after the same agencies and production house helped Frooti rebrand with an even wackier ad that showed tiny people struggling to create the fruit drink. By comparison, Khan's adventures seem almost restrained. (He'd probably start seeing tiny people after a second sip from that vial.)
Khan, who also appeared in the earlier spot, was cast because, in addition to being one of India's most beloved media personalities, "he has given many speeches at universities about his belief of following your heart and never living other peoples dreams," says S&W creative director Jessica Walsh. "Considering his own mantras are so in tune with this campaign's message, he was the perfect fit."
Khan's charisma shines throughout the spot, which is compelling and mildly subversive without going totally over the top. (Note that Khan stands among the chanting, gray-clad group in the opening sequence, advising himself to cut loose a bit.)
Besides, the zany visuals—like an episode of Club MTV if David Lynch directed—are well worth the trip.
Chief Marketing Officer: Nadia Chauhan
Agency: Sagmeister & Walsh
Partner, Creative Director: Jessica Walsh
Creative Partner: SpecialGuest
Founder, Executive Creative Director: Aaron Duffy
Business Lead: Ashley McGee
Executive Producer: George Roca
Director: Karim Charlebois-Zariffa
Executive Producer: Sam Penfield
Producer: David Marks
Indian Production Service: Flying Pigs Productions
Executive Producer: Salil Khurana
Producer: Suhana Sharma
Associate Producer: Arti Gupta
Line Producer: Sachin Singh
Production Designer: Twisha Pal
Wardrobe Stylist: Edward Lalrempuia