Part one of a two-part story on teasers on television is all it took to get Everest Integrated Communications, the creator of Digen Verma, to quickly pen an explanation about the Digen campaign. In a mail to agencyfaqs! sent yesterday evening, Everest makes a few observation, "to place on record its view on this issue".
The issue, here, pertains to whether or not the Digen Verma campaign for Frooti was a meticulously thought through teaser idea. "A lot has been talked and written about the now famous Digen Verma campaign," says the mail. "Most people, including industry folk, think that the Digen Verma campaign was a just a well-executed 'teaser' idea. Some go to the extent of saying that it had no relevance with the product, (and) hence does not work."
To elucidate the relevance of Digen, the agency furnishes the market reality that forms the backdrop of the campaign. "The task at hand was to reposition Frooti and make its appeal more relevant to the 'young adults' (teens) without alienating the current consumers of the brand (kids of age 5-10 years)," writes the Everest spokesperson. "To kick-start this repositioning exercise, it was first important to shake-up the beverage category and bring Frooti top-of-mind. All this, at a time when the category was seeing intense activity, led by soft drink majors like Coke and Pepsi. Both majors were using leading celebrities to endorse their brands, which meant that Frooti had to do something so different that it would make people stop and take notice."
Everest believes that "the first phase" of the Digen campaign has achieved that end. "The campaign successfully created a celebrity named Digen Verma, and built strong associations of him with the brand. More importantly, unlike, say, a Hrithik (Roshan) or a Sachin (Tendulkar), Digen is an exclusive property of the brand and will continue to remain so. All this, at a cost that was a fraction of what the brand would have otherwise spent, if it were to use an existing celebrity." Touche.
Specific to the success of the campaign, Everest contends that only time will tell whether the strategy worked or not. "All of us know that brands don't get repositioned overnight," goes the mail. "Perceptions take time to change, and the second phase of the Digen Verma-Frooti campaign will now leverage the celebrity status of Digen Verma to build strong relevance with the brand and the consumer needs."
By the looks of it, the agency does not view Digen as a teaser campaign - at least not in the conventional sense of the phrase. "It is amusing to see that some are calling part of this strategy a 'teaser' campaign - possibly for want of a descriptor that can best fit this strategy. However, both client and agency are clear that this is just the first phase of a larger exercise, and unlike all other teaser campaigns, Digen Verma continues to be the brand ambassador for Frooti. So let's just wait and watch, and till such time, let the debate continue."
The agency sure has made a point. But for one minor thing that needs sorting out. By definition, a teaser campaign is one where the consumer is not supposed to know anything about the brand being advertised till that opportune moment when the advertiser chooses to disclose details about the brand. Now if the Digen Verma campaign was not a teaser campaign (even initially), why was agencyfaqs! requested not to reveal what Digen Verma was all about when we came to know about Frooti?
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