Akshay Kumar breaks stereotypes in new Fortune Oil campaign


New Delhi: Days after Dalda cooking oil claimed that Indian kitchens are changing, Fortune Oil brought Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar to reiterate its brand philosophy of the goodness of home-cooked food. The actor, known for pulling off daredevil stunts in movies, is doing more than just product promotion in the two-minute long campaign.

Made by advertising agency Ogilvy South, the film is set in an Indian army camp where soldiers tell Kumar that after their families, they miss home-cooked food the most. The actor takes the army men by surprise when he tells them that Rajiv Bhatia (his real name) will cook for them. What follows is a montage of shots featuring the actor taking over the kitchen, cooking and eventually sharing a meal with the soldiers. The film ends with the message that ‘Ghar ka khana, ghar ka khana hota hai’ (there’s no match for home cooked food).

“Fortune Oil’s communications have always been about connecting with our consumers on an emotional level. So when we were considering a brand ambassador, who better than Akshay Kumar? He is popular, likeable and relatable with people across different ages. Known to be a hardworking and conscientious person, Akshay epitomizes all the values that Fortune stands for and is the perfect representative for our brand,” said Angshu Mallick, chief operating officer, Adani Wilmar Ltd, manufacturer of Fortune Oil.

Agreed Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director, Ogilvy South Asia, who says that Kumar is a good fit owing to his experience as a chef prior to his Bollywood stint, “I’m sure he will touch the hearts of people and strengthen Fortune Oil’s connect with the people of India,” he said.

The integrated campaign will be promoted across mediums like television, print, outdoor, cinema and digital.

Azazul Haque, chief creative officer, Ogilvy South Asia, added that the execution of the campaign also comes from actor’s strong association with the Indian Army, “We thought a story of him cooking for the jawans, who miss ‘ghar ka khana’ the most will make for an emotionally engaging plot. ‘Ghar ka khana, ghar ka khana hota hai’ is not just a positioning, but also an emotion. The premise that one misses home cooked food when away from home is a human truth,” he said.

Apart from the length of the film, Sreeja Gopalakrishnan, creative director-copy at advertising agency Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi, says that the campaign has been well-shot and executed. “Also, the ad does not harp on the health benefits, so I feel cooking oil advertising is moving beyond health,” he said.

According to Titus Upputuru, creative head, Taproot Dentsu, a Dentsu Aegis Network agency, Kumar’s connection with food comes out well in the campaign and the perception that men don’t cook needs to be corrected, “Honestly, men do enjoy cooking, both my father and brother often cook so showing a male celebrity cooking is no longer an act of breaking a stereotype. In fact, it almost felt like that Kumar has become a part of the soldiers’ family by cooking a meal for them,” he added.