February 13, 2015

Utterly Butterly Obnoxious - we are not A-mule!

Misleading advertising is nothing new, especially in a country like ours where the average consumer is not as aware as our first world counterparts! How often have we seen advertisements make bold outrageous claims and still have that one friend who goes and buys the product?

Misleading or incomplete advertising is the last thing in the era of #JaagograhakJaago, and we all need to stand upto it. Transparency and honesty in brands is no longer a ‘good to have’ quality – it is an imperative for each of them, if we are talking of placing Indian on the global map!

Brands can’t be preying on unaware uninformed consumers, especially household names like Amul, which is nothing short of an inspiration for every Indian! We all know about the story of how it was founded by Dr. Kurien and the White revolution in Gujarat, benefiting thousands of farmers. Which is why it’s even more disappointing that a well-known brand such as Amul, that is seen in every household has resorted to misleading and incomplete advertising.

The common man is not Afool, Amul. The packaging of the 500gm pack of Amul Butter shows a food pyramid with fruits, vegetables and cereals at the bottom, and Amul Butter at the top. That’s it, nothing more! They haven’t even bothered to explain to the people out there what a food pyramid actually is. A food pyramid basically shows the ideal amount of servings of different food groups with those with maximum servings at the bottom and it keeps reducing on its way up. The average Indian consumer is unaware of this concept (originally American) and misunderstands this. What the food pyramid actually portrays is that butter should be at the top because it needs to be eaten in smaller quantities.

At the first look of it, doesn’t it seem like something else? Is Amul trying to show that their butter is at the top because it is better than the fruits, cereals etc.? Wouldn’t the consumer think of a ‘positive imagery’ by placing butter right next to fruits and vegetables? Amul - Are you making a negative connotation into a positive inference through surrogates?

If the consumer thinks butter is better than fruits and vegetables she’s obviously not going to go easy on that toast or that dal makhani or that extra topping on the ‘pav bhaji’! People will consume more butter due to this misnomer and end up with heart conditions and arteries clogged like the roads of Mumbai. Studies have shown that excess of foods such as butter containing saturated fat increase the risks of heart disease considerably, not like the average Indian doesn’t have enough worries already, Amul plans to add to that. They didn’t even bother to put a warning which could maybe say ‘to be used in moderation’. Fruits, Vegetables and Cereal on the other hand are absolute essentials and provide vital nutrients, carbs, roughage etc. which we cannot do without.

Since the Stone Age man has survived on these commodities without the luxury of butter, but if it were the other way round Adam or Eve would have probably died of obesity or a heart attack! It remains to be seen what decision the Advertising Standard Counsel of India takes on the matter, but we’re pretty sure that the Amul loyalists in the market need to re-think their buying habits. Our tip to you is to stay informed, stay healthy and maintain a balanced nutritious diet. All we can say to the smart Marketing Amul team – what do you think guys, consumer is A mule?

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