From Coca-Cola to Spencer, brands hunt for the diaspora in festive pitch

Topics Durga Puja | Myntra | Coca Cola

Titan talks about gender equality in its ad for the season
Fashion, food and personal care brands have been early to launch their festive pitch for 2019, using popular causes such as fitness, waste recycling, gender rights to get the online conversation meter ticking around Durga Puja. Straying aggressively into a territory that was once the preserve of local and hyperlocal labels, many such as Coca-Cola, several from the Tata group and online fashion brands such as House of Pataudi (Myntra) and ITC are using the occasion to create long-term associations with customers. 

Occasion-led marketing, say those running their campaigns around the festival, offers brands an opportunity to be a part of a personalised consumer narrative. It helps get their attention and lays the base for greater trust; a foundational requirement for brands looking to navigate the ‘young consumer’ landscape.  

A recently released  report by Nielsen points out, “A transaction today involves more than just an exchange of payment for goods and services. It involves an exchange of data and is a reflection of trust.” The report says that brands need consumers to trust them completely with their data. And brands need the trust to build a long term connection and market meaningfully to them. 

Coca-Cola is focusing on Thums Up this season, pitching it as a drink of choice for the young, fit and energetic. This helps disassociate the brand from what are seen as negative traits (too much sugar, unhealthy) that all cola brands have to live with today. The company has lined up contests and social media engagements under the ‘Thums Up Toofani Gang’ initiative, which chooses a bunch of young adults on the basis of their fitness levels. The select few will join a team of local celebrities and travel across the city, as ambassadors.

“Thums Up has planned multiple initiatives, including installations and displays at select Spencer’s stores in Kolkata city where consumers are encouraged to take a selfie and post online using #PujoyeTolpaar (turning the world upside down during Puja), a company official said. Plus it will have kiosks at premier pandals where consumers can return used PET bottles in exchange for attractive merchandise. “This activity is in line with the company’s vision of ‘World without waste,’ which aims to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells globally by 2030,” a company spokesperson said.

Soha Ali Khan helms the campaign for an eponymous fashion brand under Myntra
ITC, on the other hand, is looking to reinforce its local connections. It has revamped two trams with the brand colours of Bingo Tedhe Medhe (pink and yellow) and set up shops inside them to sell branded jhalmuri (a local Kolkata delicacy). It is also reaching out to 50 chaat vendors to come up with unique mixes using the Bingo brand. The aim, said a spokesperson, is to help rightly position Bingo as an interesting chaat ingredient. 

Tata Global Beverages is focusing on Tata Tea Gold, it has come out with specially crafted alpona (festival art that adorns floors and walls this season) packs for the occasion. “The visual language, the motifs and colour scheme are inspired by alpona art. The side of the pack includes another popular visual element, the Dhunuchi Naach (a special dance during the Puja),” said Puneet Das, vice president, Marketing at TGBL. 

Brands such as Sony, Khadim’s (that has a large local presence), the Future Group, Spencer’s Retail (owned by R P Sanjiv Goenka or RPSG group) and several others, are banking on discounts and offers. Sony that has a Rs 25 crore promotional budget during the Durga Puja is offering innovative smart home solutions with television purchase and offering discounts on sound bars, said Sunil Nayyar, managing director at Sony India. The season is expected to lift the sentiment and sales revenues in the retail sector and Shashwat Goenka, sector head of RPSG’s retail and FMCG business said, “This is one of the best months in terms of revenue.” The Future Group, too, has jumped on to the bandwagon with Pantaloons, FBB and Central. Pantaloons has an ad around gender equality for the season.  All of this is giving local jewellers, restaurants and food brands a stiff run for the consumers' attention this year.



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