How a ‘Bollywood Badass’ Turned Paprika from Ordinary to Extraordinary

Feb. 27, 2023
  • Reportage

Originally published on Little Black Book

LBB’s Delmar Terblanche speaks to the team at Wolf BKK about their LIA-winning commercial


Outlandish, spectacular, and comical ads are nothing new. They’re the kind of thing that gets people talking; the works that get discussed at cafes and around the 2023 equivalent of the office water cooler.


But with their Bollywood Badass campaign, Wolf BKK have surpassed them all. The creative team partnered up with Salmon House to produce what has to be one of the most memorable and eye-catching advertisements to strike Thai television in some time. And all this in the name of a new Paprika-flavoured snack from BunBun.


The advertisement is centred on the idea of taking Bollywood action cinema to the extreme. It features a hero who comes to the rescue of a kidnapped girl; using every tiny, insignificant object at his disposal to finish the job. It features a woman who falls from an upper floor for five minutes (and eventually grows bored with it); a man being uppercut with a rock melon; and a henchman complaining to his crime lord boss about workplace safety. It is, in short, a delight.


We sat down with Wolf BBK Team: Torsak Chuenprapar, Chief Creative Officer, Phannika Vongsayan, Managing Director, Nopharit Dusadeedumkoeng, Deputy Executive Creative Director in order to understand just how this miniature epic was put together, and why a new product from a snack brand demanded it.


LBB> What was the initial client brief from Calbee?

Phannika > Thai consumers have long been familiar with paprika since the market is awash with paprika-flavoured snack brands. But these paprika snacks have the same plain and bland taste, and so Thai consumers perceive it as standard, with no appealing personality.

The green pea snack brand BunBun is launching a new paprika flavour, and it boasts bold, intense spices. That’s unlike any other available brands. But how can we overturn that existing perception of paprika as bland and basic, and foster a different attitude?


LBB> Where did the idea of invoking Bollywood action films come from?

Torsak> When we looked into the ingredients in this BunBun snack, we found out that it was mixed with Indian paprika spice, which has a reputation as being “bolder and tastier”. Since our goal was to make BunBun Paprika distinctive (and in order to fight our greatest enemy, the skip-ad button) We decided to go with the idea of “Bold flavour like the boss” and make an online entertainment film in an Indian style.


LBB> How do you prepare to shoot a hi-tech Bollywood style action scene like this?

Nopharit > The process was actually not hi-tech at all. We tried to use practical effects as much as possible, for two reasons: First, to imitate the actual Bollywood action style, and, second, to manage the budget. We did tons of research to find surreal action gags from original Bollywood movies, and worked to shoot them in the same raw and honest fashion. Another major factor of the film was the casting. We can honestly say that we looked through every Indian actor or extra from every corner of Bangkok to find the right face and character for our ‘Bollywood Badass’. It was a real challenge, and time consuming as anything. Fortunately, we found Mudassa in the morning before the pre-production meeting with the client. We literally rendered his casting tape one hour before the zoom meeting started.


LBB> The spot immediately wins you over with a madcap sense of humour – how did the team come up with those gags?

Nopharit > We built the story, largely, by using memes popular on social media. For instance, we referenced a news report on fancy electricity poles that had gone somewhat viral; we used iconic images from the Dragon Ball comic books; we cast a lead actor who resembles a well-known public figure; and we designed an exaggerated, over-the-top action style which pays tribute to and draws heavily from Bollywood films.


LBB> Tell us about the shoot. What was the most challenging special effect to achieve?

Nopharit > The sling part was the most challenging, since our production team hadn’t worked with anything like this before. Although we did a rehearsal with our special effects team and the actor one day prior to the shoot, we still spent almost an hour on every mid-air shot in the movies. And since the shoot took place in an abandoned warehouse, it was hot, humid and exhausting for everyone.


LBB> Do share any figures regarding the campaign’s overall impact.

Phannika > The result has proven sensational. The short received 7.2 million views, and has been shared on popular social media platforms. On Reddit, it’s garnered over 1,000 comments. The feedback we’re receiving from social media across the world is that people are impressed with the movie’s bright, bold and humorous style, and the subtitles have been translated across many different languages. Bollywood Badass himself (and his superpowers) have become a lively source of discussion. Most importantly, the sales of Bun Bun Paprika have shot up. We calculate a total sale value increase of around 8.4%. The product has become a bestseller with consumers snapping it up and emptying the shelves of many stores around Thailand.

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