beer major Carlsberg, which entered the Indian market a while ago through a JV company, South Asian Breweries, has hired Lowe as its creative agency. Its first brand in the market, Okocim Palone, has been launched recently. This will be followed by the flagship brand Carlsberg and several others.
There were four other agencies in the fray for this business, but Lowe bagged the creative duties after the pitch processes and its media arm, Initiative, bagged the media duties.
Joakim Sande, marketing director, Carlsberg India, says, "India is an experimental market, and our primary focus at the moment is to bring the Carlsberg brand to India and get it accepted by the Indian consumer. Expanding our Indian portfolio brand offerings will definitely follow suit."
Talking about competition, Sande adds, "Kingfisher is a brand that is well embedded in the minds of people and caters to all kinds of people - from regular workers to the business class. However, there isn't much choice available to the Indian consumer. As a brand, Carlsberg wishes to enter new segments and price brands accordingly and place the (Carlsberg) brand in the premium segment."
The advertising communication for Carlsberg's range of brands, including Okocim Palone, which is a dark beer, will be released by the end of the year.
In the recent past, quite a few international beer brands have hit the Indian market. The names include Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser, SABMiller's Fosters, Asia-Pacific Breweries' Tiger, Molson Coors's Coors and InBev's Stella Artois. However, Kingfisher still enjoys a majority stake in the market.
A research by the company indicates that the annual beer consumption per person in India is among the lowest in Asia (0.7 litres per year), but the potential for growth in the Indian beer market is significant. The total beer market in India is 8 million hectolitres (hl), which makes it among the top three Asian markets in terms of potential growth. In 2005, the beer consumption in Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh was 1.7 million hl for a population of 250 million.
Carlsberg sells 83 million bottles every day - in more than 150 countries.