Though Thums Up was the category leader, the challenge for the brand was how to push its brand message further in times that were labelled tough. In came Lodestar with the brief to refresh the brand story and augment the core communication, "I will do anything for my Thums Up".
It zeroed in on television as the main medium, with ample support from digital - a medium that was frequented by the target audience. Thus 'Hunt for Thums Up Thunder star' was formulated - a first of its kind brand integration campaign in a reality space for a brand. The brand got into a tie up with production house Endemol and GEC Colors to come up with an action show that was a different take on Khatron ke Khiladi. The brand ambassador became the anchor of the show and the 13 contestants were shortlisted from the priority markets of the brand. The winner of the show would be given a chance to be a part of the next action-filled TVC of the brand.
The tasks were designed around the thought of how far a contestant will go to lay his/her hand on Thums Up, propagating the brand promise of 'I will do anything for my Thums Up'. All the tasks had action ingrained in them, giving the contestant a real feel of what the brand stands for. The brand was promoted in the show by integrating the Thums Up logo in all elements of the show. Coinciding with the show, a special edition of Thums Up was also launched, which featured the 13 contestants.
The television reality show was supported by larger than life out of home innovations, aimed at grabbing eyeballs. Radio was also tapped, with spot partnerships and station branding. Driving the digital experience to the masses, 4.5 million people logged in for a voice chat with the brand ambassador Akshay Kumar and 16.2 million people were targeted through SMS blasts. The promos of the show featuring Kumar were showcased on major websites frequented by youth, such as YouTube. A special Gelato flavour was also created, which had spicy mint in it.
According to the agency, the results of this extensive campaign were overwhelming. The campaign saw participation of 120 million people. The 45-second TVC was transformed into an 8-hour element, which featured multiple mentions of the brand, thereby strengthening brand message and recall. The brand preference went up by 5 per cent, the brand love grew by 8 per cent and sales went up by 11 per cent, further establishing the brand's leadership position in its respective category. The campaign garnered over 1,800 media mentions across print, online and news channels. The brand achieved mileage worth Rs 40 crore against investments that were just about one-third of this amount.