Bru Gold: Adding fragrance to news

By Shibani Gharat , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing
Last updated : February 21, 2012
On Sunday, February 19, the readers of the Sunday Times in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru woke up and smelled coffee while reading their morning paper. Each copy of the newspaper was sprayed with coffee smell, thereby spreading the aroma of Hindustan Unilever's Bru Gold.

On a lazy Sunday morning, the readers of the Sunday Times were stimulated by the aroma of coffee, delivered at their doorsteps. The innovation for Hindustan Unilever's Bru Gold not only enticed the newsmakers on the bottom half of the newspaper, but also attempted to allure the readers, prospective consumers and coffee lovers.

Earlier, the Times of India (TOI) was given voice, courtesy Volkswagen's Talking Newspaper innovation. This time, the newspaper gave its readers aroma with their morning news.

Bharat Kapadia's executed the print innovation, while the creative for the innovation was undertaken by Ogilvy India. Mindshare Fulcrum is the media buying agency for the brand.

The official spokesperson of HUL says, "Bharat Kapadia approached us with his technology and we found it interesting for Bru Gold, in order to bring alive the proposition of aroma. At the end of the day, it was a joint team effort between the brand, the creative agency, the media partners and Bharat Kapadia."

Anup Chitnis, executive creative director, Ogilvy India tells afaqs!, "The product is new to the North market. Bru Gold is 100 per cent coffee and has a strong aroma. We wanted to highlight this aspect of the coffee as it stands for the aroma."

Initially, the print ad was supposed to go in the newspaper without the smell and only the images of the politician, the sports star and the activist, respectively, along with the copy in the news format. "But the smell took the innovation to the next level," says Chitnis.

Anup Chitnis

Bharat Kapadia

The agency has been planning this innovation for more than two months. It got in touch with the TOI to know whether such an innovation was feasible.

Speaking about the execution, Bharat Kapadia, founder,, says, "I had been working on this idea for a while and I am glad it has been effectively implemented by HUL with TOI, in multiple states. I demonstrated the unique idea with a sample when I learnt that HUL was planning to launch Bru Gold in the premium range. Senior executives at Hindustan Unilever were thrilled that they could drive home the richness of fine coffee by getting consumers to experience the aroma."

In the past, 'scratch-n-sniff' had been the only way the sense of smell was addressed by the advertisers. A patch containing tiny bubbles encapsulating the aroma chemical was stuck as an additional operation. "This method had certain limitations. The smell would last only for a few seconds after it was scratched," says Kapadia.

For the Bru Gold innovation, created a special perfume that was sprayed on the newspaper. It did not contain any alcohol, and hence did not stain the paper. Also, its smell lasts longer.

"I always look for innovations which are relevant to the brand," Kapadia continues, "and what can be a better reminder to readers of a morning newspaper than the aroma of coffee? Aroma of food products can create a sense of craving and can be a very effective way to lead the reader to consume it."

He says that there were three things that needed to be kept in mind for the innovation - the paper could not be stained, the smell would have to last longer and the whole process could not disturb or delay the printing process of the innovation. The smell experienced was the actual smell of Bru Gold.

First Published : February 21, 2012
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