Iconic Ads: Perk – Thodi Si Pet Pooja

Cadbury Perk targeted casual snacking dominated by chips and wafers. Positioned as a light snack for subduing the first pangs of hunger.

With its chocolate and wafer construct, Cadbury Perk targeted the casual snacking space dominated primarily by chips and wafers. It was positioned as a light snack for subduing the first pangs of hunger. It is targeted at the youth.

One version of the happening goes like this:

On a Friday night, in 1996, Sonal Dabral attended the exclusive Friday night party at the Bombay Gymkhana. He was waiting for his buddies when he bumped into the famous model Anupama Chopra. She introduced Dabral to a Shimla girl who had just relocated to Mumbai.

Soon after, Dabral had the epiphany that the girl would be ideal for an advertisement he had written for Cadbury’s Perk. He visualised her in the film. They had chosen a beautiful model, but the Himachali matched the role so much better.

However, there was a major obstacle. It was just a week before the scheduled shoot for Cadbury’s Perk. The client had approved of using a popular Veejay. All the formalities had been completed.

Dabral contacted Anupama to get in touch with the girl.

Dabral requested that the girl come in as soon as possible for a screen test. The client was surprised that Sonal wanted him to look at another model after fixing everything. However, on Sonal’s insistence, the client agreed.

The girl was Preity Zinta

Soon after, Dabral brought his client the VHS tape with the test. And the client understood why Sonal was insisting. But, there were concerns would the ad with Zinta work since she was an unknown face versus using a celebrity. 

That’s why Cadbury’s Perk had recruited a well-known video jockey (VJ)  from the era to front their hunger strike ad campaign. In contrast, Zinta was almost unknown in those days. Especially since the launch advertisements featured Raageshwari, a popular VJ then.

But Cadbury had a reputation for taking risks. So he pursued the matter with the client, after which the client agreed.

Zinta had a different version which goes something like this:

A 21-year-old Zinta was at a friend’s birthday party when she bumped into Sonal. Impressed by her personality, it inspired him to write an advertisement for Cadb

He requested her to come for an audition in Mumbai mentioning that when he wrote the advertisement, he had thought about her.

Preity did not want to go as girls from ‘good’ families did not do these things. Sonal assured her that it was a simple & decent ad.

She successfully cleared the audition from more than 500 girls and starred in the film.

The dimpled smile, impishness, high energy levels and Preity’s ability to emote the right way added a lot to the film.

The rest is history




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