Ching's Secret makes a blockbuster bid to own the Desi-Chinese market

It’s a movie trailer, it’s an ad... it’s actually an ad shot like the trailer of an upcoming Bollywood action flick. When it’s a Rohit Shetty production, one can expect some over-the-top action and the just-launched ad for Ching’s Secret brand from Capital Foods, titled ‘Ranveer Ching Returns’, has a lot of such action.

Premiered at Mumbai’s Chandan Cinema on Friday, August 19, the ad sees Ranveer Singh back in the titular character of Ranveer Ching. With him is ‘Baahubali’ star Tamannaah Bhatia. Within a week of the theatre launch, the ad will premiere exclusively on Sony Entertainment Television.

Set in a dystopian, Mad Max Fury Roadish future, the film is a Desi-Chinese collaboration being released in multiple languages, including dubs in several South Indian languages. It tells the story of a fictional land where there’s a daily war for food as people die of hunger, while an evil warlord rules and controls all rations. The oppressed people, including Tamannaah, await a saviour, who arrives in the form of Ranveer Ching.

Complete with action, music, song, dance, dialogues and full on masala – the film is full family entertainer and showcases Ranveer in a completely new avatar. Commenting on the same, Ranveer Singh said, “I’ve been wanting to collaborate with Rohit Sir for a long time and this project has been a pretty awesome way to start! The film delivers everything one expects from a full family entertainer – action, emotion, drama, comedy, romance, song, dance and more – and all with a Desi Chinese twist! It’s been a ‘blast’ working with Rohit Sir and his team, and we’re hoping the audience also enjoys our serving.”

Ajay Gupta, Managing Director, Capital Foods, elaborated, “Ching’s has always been known for its innovations across its products, packaging, recipes and even marketing. Our first campaign created an iconic character in the form of Ranveer Ching. Our latest is a Rohit Shetty blockbuster that has all the ingredients that both Ching’s and Ranveer stand for – excitement, great taste, masala, masti and a Desi Chinese tadka! Don’t forget to get a taste!”

AdGully caught up with Ajay Gupta to know more about the growth plans for Ching’s Secrete, the making of ‘Ranveer Ching Returns, associating with Bollywood in such a big way, and more. Excerpts:

No one in this industry has done such a huge brand film before. What kind of mileage are you aiming for with this launch?
We were looking at how do we own Desi-Chinese. There are two things that connect India – Bollywood and Desi-Chinese. At the same time we also wanted to engage our core target group of 18-36 years. So we said, why not get the both together. And that’s the route that we took. As a brand we have always been very ‘hatke’ and innovative – be it in our packaging, our products, recipes and also our marketing.

Apart from this film, what are the other steps you are taking to create brand awareness?
The big idea was to create a Bollywood blockbuster. You can’t have a bigger idea than this. This is for the first time that you are seeing an ad trailer getting 4 million plus views. I am told it’s another 20-25 lakh more on Instagram, Facebook, etc. Where else will you get such kind of buzz, and now it’s a movie. We all love Bollywood, we all love Desi-Chinese. We believe iske baad humko agle saal ka sochna padega (After this we need to think for the next year).

What was the cost involved in the making of this film?
Bahut mazaa aaya’ is the cost. So yes, you could have made an average size Hindi movie out of this, but again we didn’t look at it from a cost perspective. We went out to do something, achieve something, and we believe whatever it takes then is what you do.

What is the revenue target that you have set for this year?
This year we should close at Rs 600 crore plus. How big the plus is…we will wait from tomorrow!

What is the strategy to grow the market share?
At Ching’s, we are not looking at market shares. The whole category is very nascent as of now. So with the nascent categories, how hard you work, how you connect with the consumers, how quickly you help them create excitement on the dining table, the more the consumers you are able to do this, the larger is your market share.

How important a role does cinema advertising play for you?
Hamara brand hatke hai. Hamara brand ambassador hatke hai. The YRF talent that we worked with closely, woh hatke hai. So we did everything hatke. Why did we go Bolllywood? Like I said, Bollywood and Desi-Chinese are two things that connect the country. We didn’t go out to make a film, we wanted to make a Bollywood blockbuster, simply because that was the need of the hour for the brand. What will others do? It’s difficult to say. We have set the standards extremely high now. So when we got to saying let’s do a film, some of my friends in advertising turned back and said you know 3 minutes films have been made, 4 minutes have been made. Yes, films have been made, they get 50,000 views and hundred thousand views and everybody has a party for that. That’s not what we wanted to do. The trailer has become bigger than that. We made money out of the trailer instead. So Google pays us money when people view it.

What was the brief shared with Rohit Shetty and team?
At the beginning of the year, we said gaana ho gaya... what next? Ab kya toh Bollywood blockbuster banana hai. So first was who will make it. We also had the very strategy that we wanted to go mass with it. So if I want to make a blockbuster, I need to approach Rohit Shetty, there was no other name that came up. Our brief to Rohit Shetty was clear – I want a Rohit Shetty commercial film. I don’t want the brand to be in your face, so it’s not a branded thing. The brand needs to be woven into the script. We are talking to the youth, so the language has to be that. That’s where this whole Mad Max look came about. But if you see what the Mad Max look has done, it has only made maximum madness really. So that’s what we went out to achieve and that’s what we believe we have achieved.

So there was no creative agency involved in conceptualising the idea?
Typically we don’t have an agency. We collaborate with like-minded people. With all due respect to agencies, if you see stereotyped advertising now, every ad is Maa-Bachcha. You take a brand ambassador, they charge a bomb and then you find them saying – ‘Kale Ghane Lambey Baal’! We didn’t want to do that. So I collaborate with like-minded people. Most of the work that we do is with YRF talent, which works closely with us. Besides, my own background is advertising.

So, advertising is basically your first love?
Yes. I don’t do the creatives myself, I channelise the best in the industry to help create the brand and move it further. I am not part of the creative.

What are the media platforms that you are looking at to release the ad film?
Once we knew want we had made and before the film’s launch, we had to close all the loops. The film is available on YouTube from August 19. You will start seeing the promos on Sony Entertainment Television from August 22, followed by the world television premiere of the ad film on August 28, rolled over from the ‘Kapil Sharma Show’. Again, something that has not been done before – the world television premiere of an ad. We love it! We have also spoken to a dozen other television channels who are also going to show the entire film. So there is YouTube, television, and from next week we have taken close to 600 theatres. So in one ticket people will be able to watch two films!

What was the duration of the ad film?
It is 5-and-a-half-minutes long. Again, we didn’t go out to attempt a ‘kitne minute ki film banayi’. We did not have any of those ideas. We said, we need to make a Bollywood blockbuster and when you look at any Bollywood movie – boy meets girl, villain comes in, fight happens, songs, romance and dialogues hotey hain. We got everything in bit by bit. On the sets Ranveer said, ‘Ek cheez missing hai yaar. Isme Maa nahi hai.’ So Ranveer himself brought Maa as well.

What was the thought behind the entire blockbuster brand film?
First of all, we needed to make a blockbuster. Why? Because we want to own Desi-Chinese, we want to go mass. These were really speaking two strong strategic points. Third being that we are talking to the youth, who form our core target group. We want to talk the language that they talk, we want Ranveer Ching, the youth icon, to be in his full force. So these were very simple briefs and thinking. As for the creatives, Rohit Shetty does the creatives, Ranveer is creative. They brought in some of the biggest names in the industry too. We have Gulzar, who wrote the lyrics; Milap Zaveri wrote the dialogues; Ganesh Master did the choreography. So, some of the best from the industry came together to create this film.


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