There is a new guy in the world of ‘brand ambassadors’ in advertising. He is a quirky little character named Mel, who suffers from an identity crisis, for he does not know whether he is milk or granola. To put it in short, Kraft has launched a new product ‘MilkBites’, which is actually granola bites baked in milk. It’s supposed to be for people who don’t have time for breakfast. But this MilkBite needs to be stored in a refrigerator, so it’s a ‘pre-made, refrigerated cereal’. It’s a complicated product, which required a different positioning; for here is a cereal, which has to be picked up from a refrigerator in a departmental store! So Kraft decided to use this strange positioning to its advantage and came up with the character Mel, who battles with low self-esteem and deals with identity issues (something we too battle with often!). The character Mel is turning out to be an interesting fellow as you get to know him better through various advertisements; where he tells the story of his confused life, and in the process, also tells us how he is to be consumed.

MilkBites is going to be Kraft’s biggest launch this year and it’s using an underdog to win market share. No great stars, no super achievers. We have a little confused fellow as the brand mascot of Kraft. He is a misfit who has a sad story to tell.

Why would Kraft choose such a character? Think about it. On a TV channel full of happy mascots, here is a sad character, a misfit. As a result, Mel is instantly noticed. More importantly, he is instantly sympathized with, for we all love the underdogs. This is human psychology and it remains the same, whichever part of the world you go to. Everybody sides with the underdogs. Kraft probably is placing its bet on a winning strategy. Look around you and you will find that quite surprisingly, the underdog always wins!


Go back to your childhood and think of all the stories you loved and chances are that most of them were around a character who no one expected to win, but he/she fought against all odds and pulled off the most unlikely of victories. Cinderella became a princess. Rapunzel was united with her parents and even found her Prince Charming after all the hardships. These are very old tales. Yet, till date, they do not fail to inspire, not just us but even Hollywood and Bollywood. Cinema is cinema because of the underdog. Be it James Braddock from the movie The Cinderella Man, an impoverished ex-prize fighter who went on to win against all odds and ultimately even take on the heavyweight champion of the world; or be it Vijay Dinanath Chauhan of Agneepath, who, in spite of all difficulties, managed to avenge the killing of his father – our hearts always reach out for the weak. Julia Robertsmade us fall in love with her as the underdog in the movie Pretty Woman, where life gave her a second chance to make things better. Be it Seabiscuit, Karate Kid, 3 Idiots, Taare Zameen Par, Guru or Koi Mil Gaya; we love to watch the small guy win. This is a story line that always works. This is a strategy that never ever fails.

Take sports, as an example. Today, there is only one player in the USA who is making waves and is being talked about today. He was a star basketball player at Harvard, but after graduation (in 2010), no one showed interest in him. He spent most of the season at the end of the bench and his career seemed to be in the doldrums. But Jeremy Shu-How Lin never let go of his dreams and stuck on.

Then something magical happened this month (February). His team New York Knicks was losing and the coach decided to bring Lin in the game against Jersey Nets. This was the ‘golden ticket’ he was waiting for and he dazzled everybody by scoring 25 points and leading his team to victory. He repeated the same magic in the next match, and the next. The man from nowhere has built a frenzy around himself. He has created a new phenomena called ‘Linsanity’. He is a hero who appeared from nowhere. His story is inspiring kids to believe in their dreams, in who they are and to keep going; even when the going is tough. It’s similar to the storyof the movie ‘Rocky’, where Sylvester Stallone made it, in spite of all the odds against him.      Read More....

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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IIPM: Management Education India
Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri's Website

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26/4/2012 08:12:23 pm

Milkbite has been krafts biggest launch this year.....i found its advertisement featuring mel really interesting.

26/4/2012 08:14:59 pm

I'm a big fan of your articles ma' m ... you indeed are a marketing brand.

26/4/2012 08:30:14 pm

I always look forward to your articels indeed are a great inspiration and a true expert when it comes to marketing and advertising !!!

26/4/2012 08:31:02 pm

I found this commercial fantastic........ love the ad and the character Me!!

26/4/2012 08:33:15 pm

Nice article Rajita are an excellent marketing expert and an example to many of India's women today who want to make a mark for themselves.

26/4/2012 08:36:22 pm

We all love underdogs..... specially when they come out of their limitations and conquer the world... interesting ad......

26/4/2012 08:39:27 pm

Nice and interesting article.... I really like your articles Ma'am.

26/4/2012 08:44:18 pm

Heard about the new milk bite milk and granola bars from Krafts, I'm really excited to try them out whenever i get a chance.

26/4/2012 08:50:26 pm

good innovative product by krafts..really it makes a great breakfast!!

26/4/2012 08:51:01 pm

No great stars, no super achievers but a little confused fellow Mel as the brand mascot of Kraft......nice and creative thinking.

26/4/2012 08:59:46 pm

Stories of the underdog has a universal appeal, which very few stories have.....nice concept

26/4/2012 09:01:45 pm

Quite interesting and innovative way of advertising !

26/4/2012 09:07:23 pm

Great product and equally great concept for its advertisements!!!

26/4/2012 09:35:46 pm

The marketing world today has really become very competitive and needs to come up with such innovative way of advertising.


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