Coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) has chosen Madison Media Omega, an arm of Madison Media, as its media agency of record (AoR). The agency will handle CCD's media planning and buying duties. The account size is estimated at Rs 40 crore and will be handled by Madison Media Omega's Bengaluru office.
According to an internal research carried out in the top six cities, CCD found that only 50 per cent of its target group visited cafes due to perceptions such as high pricing. "We being the leader in this category, the onus was on us to correct this perception. So, we decided to use television as its reach is widespread. Besides, we have also changed the food menu, a fact we wanted to publicise," he says.
Currently, CCD has more than 1,450 cafes spread across 185 cities. It is part of Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company, a coffee conglomerate. The first cafe was opened in Bengaluru in 1996.
Interestingly, the brand had never taken up aggressive advertising since its inception and has promoted itself only through public relations, social media and category building activities. While it has used radio promotions occasionally in the past, it is turning to TV for the first time only now with a major campaign. Ramakrishnan adds that over two years, the chain plans to increase exposure through various media such as TV, print and digital, and also monitor the effect of this exercise on walk-ins.
The company believed until now that it was better to focus on improving the user experience and depend on word of mouth to get new consumers rather than advertise in mass media. Besides, the innumerable stores, located strategically, served as great reminders to people wanting to take a hot break.
Whatever the official CCD logic for taking to mass advertising, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that this media burst has to do with Starbucks making its entry into India earlier this year, in a tie-up with Tata Global Beverages at the start of 2012. The two partners had decided to invest US$80 million (Rs 400 crore) to begin with and open 50 stores. Starbucks still has only three stores, all limited to Mumbai, but considering that it has nearly 18,000 outlets in 60 countries, it has the experience and the money to scale up rapidly. CCD has a huge lead but it needs to create excitement around its brand so that brand Starbucks doesn't overshadow it.