Complan replaces moms with celebs

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Last updated : February 28, 2014
The brand has roped in three brand ambassadors and has rolled out TVCs to communicate the new positioning.

Complan, the milk-based beverage brand from Heinz India, has for the first time in its 50 years of existence roped in three iconic brand ambassadors.

Abhishek Prasad

Complan with new packaging

Old packaging of Complan

While its first brand ambassador, Vishwanathan Anand, has come on board to promote the Memory Chargers variant, Amitabh Bachchan and Tamil superstar Suriya have been signed to communicate the new positioning of brand Complan.

For years, Complan has talked about height as children's growth. The new, strategic unique selling point focuses on strength to help children have stronger bones and muscles.

Talking about the reason for the change in positioning, Abhishek Prasad, general manager, marketing, Heinz India, says, "Essentially, consumers have always given us a feedback that Complan is a very rich product. While we talk only of height, we consistently know from consumers that they see an overall development happening in the children's physique. We thought we already have that equity in our core consumers' mind so we might as well blow it up and get more people on board with Complan."

Complan has a share of around 13 per cent in a category that is valued at Rs 5000 crore. While Horlicks is the leader with around 40-45 per cent, Bournvita , the second in the ranking, constitutes around 15 per cent, just ahead of Complan.

Occupying the platform of health and essential nutrients for children and adults, brand Complan has been given a complete makeover to highlight its numerous health benefits.

In one of the three TVCs, Suriya is pictured encouraging a child who aims to defeat the record of another child, who is the swimming champion. The central idea of the advertisement is built around the concept of 'Complan Gives Strength to your Determination to Succeed', 'Manthil Uruthy Vendum!' (You Need Determination) and how Complan Strength helps one to achieve this.

Meanwhile, in the ad that features Amitabh Bachchan, the actor is seen as the 'Taakat Ka Bhoot' ('spirit of strength') placing importance on "strength". He is seen in a new avatar as a magical wizard figure in a white robe with flowing white locks. The spirit is invisible but omnipresent and supports a child overcome various daily activities, be it riding a bike up-hill or carrying his heavy school bag, or helping his mom in her heavy chores - giving him that extra strength in the form of Complan.

The ad featuring Amitabh Bachchan as 'Taakat Ka Bhoot' has four versions - in Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali and Marathi.

In contrast to its earlier ads that featured a mother and her son/daughter, the new ads feature celebrities. "It was a difficult decision for us but we needed to make a choice. We needed somebody who could break the clutter because we were shifting our positioning. In a 40 seconder TVC, it was getting tough to accommodate many things so as a matter of making a choice, for the introductory part of the new positioning, we decided to stick with celebrities," Prasad explains.

Complan has also shifted to a premium metallic packaging with a single brand colour of gold. The new logo signifies strength, conveying this through the bold use of red in the logo design. The new packaging features icons which represent everyday tasks a child and adult engages in, highlighting how Complan helps to provide the 4As- advantages for the entire family: Appearance - through enhancing physical stature; Activity - as it gives the strength to cope with life; Armour - by providing immunity-building nutrients; and Alertness- through nutrition that helps brain development and cognition.

"The mnemonics on the centre of the pack instantly communicate the benefits of strength in the daily lives of the consumer and the image of a splash on the pack instantly stimulates the taste buds, Complan is available in six delicious flavours," the company adds.

Besides the TVCs created by Leo Burnett, Complan will also promote the new positioning through print and digital media. Come next week, there will be print ads in the key markets of Complan- Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. The brand is expected to spend around 15 - 20 per cent of its sales to market the new positioning. IPG Mediabrands is the media agency of record for Complan.

Adding about trends seen in the category, Prasad avers, "This is one of the categories in India wherein you can segment products - for height, memory or specialised one like Horlicks has for women. There are a lot of other segments emerging and they are sizeable and we can target people. Also, while the penetration level in most parts of the country is relatively low, you see growth coming in from both ends. There is a premium category which is growing at the top end and there are also people who are coming from the bottom end because the disposable income is rising, so we need to have the right size, right pricing, at the right place and time."

For the record, Heinz purchased Complan from Glaxo in 1994 as part of its entry into the Indian market. Since then, Complan has gone on to become one of the most trusted brands for children's nutrition in India. "I'm a Complan Boy, I'm a Complan Girl" remains one of the most well loved and instantly recalled jingles even today. Year 2008 was the next game changer when Complan launched the 2X campaign with a scientific study which helped communicate 2X height.

First Published : February 28, 2014
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