afaqs!

Nestea - The big Indian foray

By Anushree Bhattacharyya, Devina Joshi and Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, New Delhi and Mumbai | In Advertising | February 07, 2011
Young adults in Mumbai were given yet another on the go drink option when lemon-flavoured Nestea hit the markets on November 16, 2010. This is the first time that iced tea was made available in a bottle.

Young adults in Mumbai were given yet another on the go drink option when lemon-flavoured Nestea hit the markets on November 16, 2010. This is the first time that iced tea was made available in a bottle.

The product is a global brand licensed to Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW), a joint venture (JV) between The Coca-Cola Company and Nestlé S.A. This Switzerland-based JV was initiated in 2001 and entails a 50:50 partnership between the two companies. The JV combines the nutritional expertise of Nestlé S.A. with the marketing and distribution leadership of Coca-Cola and its network of bottlers. Ad spends are aimed at category building and expansion of future consumption channels.

Nestea is already present in over 60 countries in several flavours besides lemon. It is particularly strong in the US, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and China. Interestingly, the flavour and packaging vary depending on the country. The creative agency for the product is Pickle Lintas while the media duties lie with Lodestar Universal. In India, Nestea is being manufactured at Hindustan Coca-Cola's bottling plant at Atmakuru in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. Consumers, believes the company, crave for convenience above all else.

In 2010, the product was available only in Mumbai. Says Rahul Jauhari, national creative director, Pickle Lintas, "It will spread across India in 2011." Why so? "Well, that's the classic 'Coke way' of doing it- Coca Cola typically breaks new products into new markets via a stepwise or phased launch process. They first like to study the placing of the product in the new market before taking the distribution far and wide," explains Jauhari.

This 'non-alcoholic adult drink' is positioned as a lifestyle product for the young adult. The brand stands for modernity and snugly fits in the gap between soft drinks and hard drinks. While it targets youngsters, it's not a teenybopper kind of drink; rather it's a first-jobber sort of beverage. The tagline for Nestea is 'Lighten Up with Refreshingly Light Lemon Iced Tea!' and addresses the multi-tasking, impatient 20-something consumer who presses the lift button 10 times and honks the second the traffic light turns green. The message is to take it easy with this chilled drink. The TG is the optimistic, energetic and ambitious young adult.

Nestea was launched with large-scale consumer activation programmes, road shows and product sampling at youth-centric spots such as malls, colleges, high-end traditional trade outlets and multiplexes. Besides BTL activities, innovative POS (point of sale) branding was also done. This communication soared during the first few days after the launch was announced. Currently, the media mix comprises print, OOH, POS branding and radio. TV is not on the agenda as if now. The drink is available in a 400 ml PET bottle, priced at Rs 25, through select channels and outlets. The bottle has deliberately been designed to resemble an ice-rock sculpture.

Product distribution covers outlets including education clusters, multiplexes, malls and convenience stores. The product is also available in high-end groceries and the focus will remain on all high and medium income localities. Soon after its launch, the brand was retailed across 8,000 outlets in Mumbai, and a total of 50,000 product samples were distributed within a matter of few months.

When Nestle went to town

Another important happening was that in 2010, Nestle, known for being a very quiet brand, suddenly went mad. It revamped its communication (JWT is the creative agency) and moved into top gear. For starters, it re-launched chocolate brand Bar One after a long gap of six years. During this period, the product had been available in the market, but was not advertised at all. The ingredients, packaging and communication were all changed completely. The logo underwent a metamorphosis as well to look more fresh, youthful and premium. The re-launch campaign, which bore the tagline, 'Kaafi Hai', targeted college-goers and encouraged them to be themselves.

Another eyeball grabbing advertisement was the 'dancing squirrels' innovation on television for Kit Kat. This was the first time Kit Kat used animation in an Indian ad such that the animated characters were central to the storyline. The ad was shot in Los Angeles while the post-production work was done in Dallas. This itself speaks volumes about the scale of the communication. The catch phrase in this ad was - 'Maana ki life bahut busy hai, par kabhi kabhi break lo, Kit Kat khao - Zindagi shayad aapko kuch haseen dikhade.' This served to take the brand's previous 'Have a break, Have a Kit Kat' take forward by urging youngsters to not just pause but pause and smell the flowers. This particularly aimed to stir today's ultra-busy multi-tasker swamped with gadgets at all times.

Next was the turn of its coffee brands. Nescafé rolled out a full-fledged ad campaign, complete with a teaser phase, main phase, episodic storyline and association with a Bollywood film featuring the brand ambassador, actor Deepika Padukone. This seemed to be an effort on part of Nestle to position coffee as a trendy drink.

Industry observers attribute Nestle's recent flurry of activity to several reasons. Firstly, it could be a reactionary move to the Cadbury-Kraft and Wrigley-Mars tie-ups or the Britannia-Danone break-up. Secondly, Maggi might be facing growing competition in the form of Knorr, Tasty Treat and Foodles. Thirdly, the increase in communication could be purely proactive. Perhaps Nestlé is now getting noticed as it is merely running parallel campaigns, instead of successive ones. Lastly, this burst in advertising could be a function of the overall growth of the chocolates and confectionery category and evolving market trends including the acceptance of readymade foods, need for constant munching and decline in home-cooked food. The last point has specific implications for the growing scope for Maggi noodles.

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