was like watching The Godfather in action all over again at the Welingkar Institute of Management auditorium, where the Effies 2008 case study presentation round was in progress. Lowe, the agency presenting the Tata Tea work, drew a strange parallel between the 1972 Al Pacino-Marlon Brando starrer and Tata Tea's competition.
The presenter, explaining how Tata Tea decided to become a challenger brand, went so far as to say that the leader, Brooke Bond, was like the mafia for Tata Tea: a gang that led the roost in the marketplace. "We had to break this 'mafia's' stronghold," he said.
Over the last few years, the entire tea segment was on a decline, which led even established players such as Brooke Bond to launch variants and revamp its packaging. Tata Tea thought of tackling competition as well as the segment issues with what tea really does to people: it wakes them up and refreshes them.
"As Mahatma Gandhi said, 'we must be the change we want to see in this world'. This philosophy fitted in well with what we wanted to say for Tata Tea," said the presenter. The brand shifted its positioning from a brand that wakes people up, to one that 'awakens' them - into being aware of the societal problems surrounding them. It was all about energy and change in one's mindset.
Tata Tea formed a website, www.jaagoindia.org, which took up different issues from time to time, seeking interaction with the youth and a hunt for possible solutions. The youth logged on to form mini-blogs on the website to discuss and debate issues such as corruption and abuse.
Radio station associations had radio jockeys (RJs) inviting listeners to share their feelings about various social problems and how they would like to bring about a change. These segments were sponsored by Tata Tea and called the Tata Tea Mega Phone Mondays.
Lowe also unleashed innovative OOH. In public toilets, one found messages such as 'Water will cost more than oil in 2060; Conserve water', with the Tata Tea branding on it. Around potholes on roads, Tata Tea painted messages saying 'How long will you ignore bad roads?'.
The whole point was to shake people out of stupor. As a result, the whole Tata Tea portfolio benefited, including Tata Tea Agni and Tata Tea Premium. Lowe claims to have overtaken competing brands such as Taj Mahal and Red Label in terms of volume share after the duration of the campaign. The website garnered 40,000 clicks within the first 15 days of its launch.
For the record, Lowe went all out to impress the Effies jury; the Tata Tea branding was seen in and around dustbins and washrooms at Welingkar, encouraging people to keep the area clean.
Whether that awakens the jury or not is yet to be seen. For the record, the Tata Tea 'Jaago Re' campaign has been shortlisted in the Consumer Products category.
Effies 2008 is organised by Ad Club, Mumbai, and is based on the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. The event has been sponsored by Yahoo India, Marico, Vodafone and Brand Equity.