Epic clove-cigarette ad evokes 'True Indonesian Soul'

Philip Morris presents its DSS brand as a "true Indonesian masterpiece" in a campaign led by JWT Indonesia

JAKARTA, INDONESIA — Philip Morris has launched a television-led push for its premium hand-rolled clove cigarette brand, Dji Sam Soe (DSS).

The campaign seeks to reposition DSS as the "true Indonesian masterpiece" and thus reinforce its image as the "King of Kretek" (clove cigarettes, a tobacco product native to the country).

"With the new campaign, Dji Sam Soe wants to widely spread the message that the true Indonesian masterpiece lies in the quality of Indonesian people itself," Andre Dahan, marketing director at PT HM Sampoerna Tbk.

The campaign is being spearheaded by JWT Indonesia. The agency recently scooped the account in a four-way pitch that also included Lowe, Landor (Sydney) and TBWA. Landor is the incumbent agency.

The appeal to Indonesian pride marks a course reversal. In a bid to modernize the brand over the past few years, the communication had moved away from Dji Sam Soe’s Indonesian heritage, said DD "Lulut" Asmoro, CEO, JWT Indonesia. "This created a bit of dissonance in the mind of DSS’ consumers. The brief given to us by the client was to reconnect the brand with all things Indonesian, albeit without taking it back into history."

Launched in a back street of Surabaya in 1913, Dji Sam Soe has become a heritage brand among Indonesian smokers. It is a market leader in the hand-rolled clove cigarette segment that includes some other well-known local brands such as Djarum Super, Gudang Garam Internasional and Gudang Garam Surya. "DSS is the ‘king of kretek’ and a part of the Indonesian fabric of life," Asmoro said.

The new campaign titled "Jiwa Indonesia yang Sesungguhnya (True Indonesian Soul)" — comprising a 120-second TV ad accompanied by 90-second and 60-second edits — is aimed at "discerning adult smokers" who are DSS’ primary target audience.

"Even though the Indonesians come from diverse cultural heritages, values such as modesty, collaboration, perseverance and patience run through every person across the archipelago," explained Johan Shabudin, chief account officer with JWT Indonesia.

"The discerning adult smokers have depth of character and never forget the values they hold dear and their origins. These are the values that build a true Indonesian masterpiece. The campaign captures vignettes of manifestation of these very human values."

According to Shabudin, the timing of the campaign is also important as increasingly the society is concerned about the erosion of values; where style wins over substance, image rules and success is instant. "Dji Sam Soe is aware that our adult smokers are looking for guidance, a reaffirmation of the timelessness of the values they hold dear, which is where the brand plays a role."

Campaign credits

Client: PT HM. Sampoerna, Tbk
Agency: J. Walter Thompson Jakarta
Chief Executive Officer: DD "Lulut" Asmoro
Chief Strategy Officer:Daniel Siswandi
Chief Creative Officer: Ivan Hadi Wibowo
Creative Director: Leonard Wiguna
Creative Group Head: Erwin Santoso
Art Director: Jonathan Nata
Senior Copywriter: Arsyad Dede
Executive Producer: Yutha Oktavina
Chief Account Officer: Johan Shabudin
Account Director: Sherly Basri
Account Manager: Niken Angganawati
Senior Account Executive: Aryanti Widi
Production House: Se7en Sunday
Film Director: Jan Wentz
Director of Photography: Stuart Graham
Head of Production: Saifful Shah
Director’s Executive Producer: Gill Kenny
Executive Producers: Rodney Louis Vincent and Ajeng Louis Vincent

This article first appeared on campaignasia.com.

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