Neha Prasad decodes PepsiCo’s Kurkure ‘Halke Mein Lo’ proposition

Kurkure, one of India’s most popular snack brands, has expanded its brand with the launch of a fresh new sub-brand – Kurkure Playz, bringing a humorous touch to the new year. Based on the expanding customer preference for light-textured snacks, it includes the hugely popular and successful Kurkure Playz Puffcorn and the all-new Kurkure Playz Pastax.

Starting 2023 on a lighthearted note, Kurkure has unveiled a fun new TV campaign celebrating its new sub-brand – Kurkure Playz. The film is set in an old cottage that a family has recently moved into, bringing the snack’s light texture to life. While settling into their new house, the protagonist, a young guy, is surprised by an unexpected ghost that terrifies the family to death. A mouthful of Kurkure Playz Puffcorn, however, converts the youngster’s panic into a relaxed ‘Halke Mein Lo’ attitude, prompting him to make clever wisecracks that turn a frightening scenario into a laugh riot.

On the launch of Kurkure Playz Pastax, Neha Prasad, Associate Director, Brand Marketing - Kurkure, PepsiCo India, said, “Industry reports show that there is an increasing demand for soft textured snacks, which is growing at 10% CAGR and contributes significantly to India’s salty snacks market. Tapping this growing yet highly competitive market, Kurkure is introducing a new, modern sub-brand – Kurkure Playz for the younger audience. There are two parts to it – one is puff and the other is the pellet segment. Puff is where we already had a play with the product Puffcorn, which we are bringing under the umbrella of Kurkure Playz, and pellet is the place that has been showing a lot of growth momentum in the last couple of years, where we did not have a play. This campaign also marks our entry in the pellet category through Kurkure Playz Pastax.”

She further said, “Kurkure Playz Pastax is on its way to reaching great heights. Otherwise, this category is cluttered with masala and tomato flavours. Majority of the players have not been able to crack a differentiated proposition like Pastax, which we are doing by launching our product in international flavours. Kurkure Playz Pastax has been launched in creamy herb and onion flavour, which is a very differentiated flavour in this category. When we checked with the consumers about the overall concept of Playz Pastax, this was a top winning concept in the list and we received a green signal from the consumers.”

“It is important to understand the nerve we are going after, which is the GenZ consumers. We explored a lot of consumer places to understand what captured the pulse of this generation and which differentiates us from the other competitors in this category,” Prasad added.

Elaborating on the campaign, she said, “The whole approach of ‘Halke Mein Lo’ is very seamless, which is so colloquial to this generation that we feel it’s a huge idea and we have touched just the tip of the iceberg. The way we laddered the light texture of products of this category helps you take the lighter approach in life and that is what ‘Halke Mein Lo’  campaign is all about. We have started this with our campaign that went on air on December 30, 2022. We will also be coming out with another creative or another TVC with the same idea of ‘Halke Mein Lo’,  but through a different storytelling. The idea is not to only keep it as TVC, but also to different platforms like Digital. We are also planning some social and on ground activities, a robust 360-degree surround campaign.”

This was the first campaign by Leo Burnett on Kurkure, which won PepsiCo India’s creative mandate in 2022. Sharing her excitement and experience on working with the creative agency, Prasad said, “Definitely there is a lot of excitement and there is a lot of onboarding and inductions we had to do in the beginning to get the pulse of the brand. Kurkure has a particular way of storytelling, when it comes to the campaign we have a very structured process, we tell them what the strategy is, and we do not treat them like a creative partner, but partners only. So, they understand where we are coming from, and understand the growth potential. Once it is all done, it becomes very seamless to be on the same page and crack something differentiated. About the product, we know we are creating something that can break the clutter in the market. Once they are onboarded, and they get the idea of what the overall goal is, from there it goes easy.”

Sharing her views on the trends that they observe, she mentioned, “One thing we have noticed, after the recovery from the pandemic, is that people are open to experimenting and they want to try new things. But they also want to try different things only from the brand they trust. When talking about trust, it is about legacy, the quality of the product and also the manufacturing of the product, overall the hygiene they are looking for, and going for the experimentation from these trusted brands only. That is why our overall strategy for the last 2-3 years has been to get into innovative launches to meet up with this changing consumer trend.”


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