Last year, Nestle India celebrated the brand's 25 years of association with the Indian consumer with the launch of its campaign, 'Me & Meri', wherein consumers were invited to share their Maggi moments. The campaign provided a glimpse of the presence of the brand in the life of the Indian consumer in the past 25 years.
This year, the company has taken its association a step further by positioning Maggi as a source of happiness. The new campaign, 'Meri Maggi - 2 minute mein Khushiyan' - takes the old story forward and invites people to share the impulsive moment of joy that the noodle brand has brought in their life.
Conceptualised by Publicis Capital, the television commercial (TVC) features cine star Amitabh Bachchan, who acts as the sutradhar (storyteller). The TVC shows various examples where Maggi has played an essential role in bringing happiness to the lives of many.
Shivani Hegde, general manager, foods, Nestle India, says, "Our philosophy is that trusted brands do not just offer products and services, but build emotional relationships with consumers. In the 25 plus years since Maggi has been launched in India, it has moved into the lives of millions of consumers with unique associations and fond memories. Everyone has his/her own story associated with it, fondly referring to it as 'Meri Maggi'. The 'Me & Meri' campaign that celebrated 25 years of consumers' associations with the brand, reflected the emotional 'connect' that Maggi has built, wherein instead of the brand talking to the consumer, it allowed consumers to own the brand and talk about their unique experiences."
"Taking this connect forward, the new 'Meri Maggi - 2 minute mein Khushiyan' campaign celebrates the everyday spontaneous happy moments that Maggi is creating for consumers - wherever, whenever, whoever ! The idea is to give consumers a platform to share these moments of happiness made with Maggi," adds Hegde.
Hegde adds that after being popular amongst Indian consumers for more than two decades, Maggi, through the new communication, aims to build further on the trust, empathy and love that consumers have for the brand.
Ritu Sharda, executive creative director, Publicis Capital, explains, "The idea really came from the simple insight of how Maggi noodles delivers joy to consumers across India and the love that they have for the brand. Whenever you think '2 minutes', you think of Maggi. And Maggi is all about 'khushiyan'. Put the two together and you have a simple, relevant-to-the- brand idea of '2 minutes mein khushiyan'. With this idea, we re-emphasised the brand's evolution from a functional '2 minute' proposition to an emotional '2 minute' proposition."
Interestingly, with the commercial, the agency has brought the old jingle in a new avatar. Ashutosh Sawhney, executive vice-president and branch head, Publicis Capital, says, "The Maggi jingle is an evergreen 'smashable' identity of the brand that is hugely relevant and popular. It's not just nostalgic, it's current too! We use the jingle appropriately in all Maggi audio visual communication."
Apart from television, Nestle India has used other media such as radio and Maggi Noodle packs. The company, going forward, will launch a few more commercials featuring Bachchan, along with consumers who will share their experiences.
Real stories, real impact
Arun Iyer, national creative director, Lowe Lintas & Partners, calls the commercial sweet but feels it would have been better had the stories been a bit more authentic.
"Meri Maggi and people's personal experiences with the brand is a nice platform. And this TVC takes the idea forward well. Maggi is very popular, but with Amitabh Bachchan coming on board, it gives huge stature to the brand. When the brand has decided to take the nostalgia route, it has to take into consideration all the things people are nostalgic about and 2 minutes plays a huge part in that. So yes, the brand is trying to dig into its past."
Talking about how the brand's target consumer has expanded from only children to the all-age group now, Iyer explains, "Maggi was positioned initially for children but then was consumed by all age groups. The campaign hints that in the 25 years that it has been around, all sorts of age groups have experienced and have stories about the brand."
Narayan Devanathan, senior vice-president and national planning head, Dentsu Marcom opines that Nestle India has been successful in taking its 'Meri Maggi' concept forward with the new campaign. "From the days of telling people what Maggi was about, to co-creating the story and creating storytellers out of everyday people, the brand is moving forward," he says.
According to him, the Maggi jingle never lost its relevance. "Why fix what's not broken? Instead, build on it, and make it better. I'd imagine that's the mantra at work here. Why has the Coke logo almost never changed in more than a 100 years? Of course people want fresh and new. But we cling to old ways because they comfort us. We walk down memory lane because there are good things lined up on either side of Nostalgia Street. The familiar anchors us in an ever-changing world. And, as long as they evoke a positive emotion, we don't see them as stuck-in-the-mud fossils," remarks Devanathan.
He also believes that the challenge for an already-popular brand is to stay popular, and find different ways to stay popular. In that sense, using Amitabh Bachchan is as good a strategy as any other to find a new way to stay popular.