Nimbooz: Freshened up for Indian summers

By Antara Ghosal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | April 01, 2010
Nimbooz, in its new campaign, identifies some uniquely Indian moments of thirst and proclaims itself as the 'asli' Indian refresher

With summer setting in, PepsiCo India's Nimbooz has refreshed its advertising campaign with a set of three new commercials, which move the brand forward on its 'asli Indian' journey.

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This is the first film campaign on Nimbooz, after its launch film in early 2009. The launch film was primarily an announcer that established Nimbooz as authentic 'nimbu paani'.

The campaign, created by BBDO India, aims to connect Nimbooz to true Indian moments of thirst. Accordingly, it puts forward uniquely Indian situations, where one experiences the 'asli Indian' thirst, and thereby identifies a chilled bottle of Nimbooz as the 'asli Indian' refresher. The attempt is to weave the sounds and feel of everyday India into the communication to make it more relatable.

The first commercial dramatizes how an everyday discount sale turns into a battleground for two value-conscious women, as they scramble to outrun each other for the last piece -- a situation that whips up an 'asli Indian' thirst. The winner quenches her thirst with a bottle of Nimbooz.

The second commercial looks at Indian weddings -- the one great unifier of the great Indian extended family. Amidst the relentless dancing and the unending list of relatives, Nimbooz is claimed to be the best way to refresh this uniquely Indian thirst moment.

The third commercial tracks the incredible daily commute of a salesman as he adjusts, negotiates, squeezes in and hangs on to various offbeat modes of travel. The journey gives rise to the 'asli Indian' thirst that can only be quenched by Nimbooz.

Explaining the creative concept behind the campaign, Sandipan Bhattacharyya, executive creative director, BBDO India says, "The idea was to relate intrinsically Indian thirst situations, which are a part of our lives, to Nimbooz; for instance, dancing with relatives at a wedding, or running behind a bus. These situations give rise to an 'asli Indian' thirst that can rightfully be quenched only by an 'asli Indian' refresher -- Nimbooz."

The brand, which made its debut as the 'Ekdum Asli Indian' refresher, plans to stay with its positioning for the time being. The recent commercials are just a creative facelift, keeping the essence of the brand intact.

Further unfolding the strategy behind the positioning, Rajesh Sikroria, vice-president, client servicing, BBDO India says, "We continued the 'asli Indian' journey to further strengthen the brand's lead in the market, and elevate it from a functional authenticity plank to one that has a greater emotional connect."

The team at BBDO India that conceptualised and crafted the campaign includes Sandipan Bhattacharyya, Varun Goswami, Rajesh Sikroria, Josy Paul, Ajai Jhala, Jaten Jais and Sangeet Pillai. The films have been directed by Abhijit Chaudhuri (Dadu) of Black Magic Motion Pictures and written by Bhattacharyya and Goswami of BBDO India. The refreshing, experimental music composition is by the renowned percussionist, Taufiq Qureshi.

Refreshing campaign?

Among the advertising fraternity, the opinion is that the communication for the brand lacks freshness in its creative concept. They say the ads belong to the current school of "gritty India" advertising, which is being adopted by many categories; and thus, is not very distinctive.

Rupin Jayal, strategic planning director, M&C Saatchi feels that the campaign may work in increasing awareness for Nimbooz as a 'nimbu' drink, but doubts if it will succeed in distinctly positioning Nimbooz against the competition.

"While the observations that are based on a typical north-Indian wedding, bargain-hungry aunties, bursting transport are not new, and the TVCs belong to the well-worn school of 'gritty India' advertising; they are engaging. The use of the bioscope device to enshrine the consumption moment is an unusual touch. Overall, they are appealing, but not very distinctive," he explains.

Similar thoughts were expressed by Ashish Chakravarty, creative chief, McCann Erickson Delhi, who liked the 'traveller' ad the most. "The observation and the execution of this ad bring a smile on my face, but the other two simply fail to tickle me. The campaign needs a deeper insight; so that the communication captures something that may feel familiar, but is clearly distinctive," he says.

Although Harish Arora, executive creative director, Dentsu India finds the creative idea relevant and the execution part quite justifying, he feels that the ads lack emotional appeal. "In the next phase, the Indian pyaas could take on a more emotional dimension, rather than just being physical stress," he suggests.

Starting afresh

PepsiCo India, however, is happy with the way the ads have turned out, and hopes the campaign will help them in building the category for packaged nimbu pani in India.

"Nimbu pani is the national drink of the country. The market size for unpackaged nimbu pani is twice the total size of the carbonated soft drink market in India. But the market is hugely untapped; and a major chunk of people continues to consume nimbu pani from roadside vendors. Our challenge here is to reach out to these consumers and create awareness about the availability of authentic nimbu pani, which is both convenient and hygienic," says Alpana Titus, vice-president, PepsiCo India.

If the debut campaign of Nimbooz aimed at creating awareness, the new one, Titus says, looks forward to up the consumer engagement. "Having owned the authenticity space in consumers' minds through our earlier campaign, it is now time for the brand to own a distinct cultural context that makes it even more relatable," she adds.

Proclaiming that Nimbooz owns the category and has the lion's share of the market, Titus welcomes more competition in the segment. "The nimbu pani market in India is very nascent and has ample space for more brands to coexist. Competition is welcomed here, as it will create more awareness around the category, and thereby pump up sales," she concludes.