Rasna: Breaking the mould

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | April 07, 2014
In its latest campaign, the brand leaps ahead of its 'I love you, Rasna' proposition and asks consumers from varied age groups to 'Milaofy' Rasna in their lives and relish its goodness.

From 'I love you, Rasna' to 'Life mein Rasna milaofy', the three-decade old brand that has practically defined 'summer quencher' for children in the '80s and '90s has come a long way. With increasing competition from global players, Rasna as a brand is apparently rethinking its positioning in the market. In the last few years, Rasna has ventured into high margin ready-to-drink product segments like energy drinks, fortified water and premium fruit juices in collaboration with global firms.

Priti Nair

The brand's latest campaign, 'Milaofy', shows how Rasna is breaking away from its 'kids only' image and catering to a wider group of consumers by launching new offerings. Executed by Curry Nation, the slice of life film captures how people across age groups can brighten moments in their lives by savouring Rasna. The minute-long film starts with children having fun in a boarding school's dormitory with the drink, and goes on to show a family taking Rasna to a patient in a hospital, a teenage boy proposing to a girl in a bus, and a husband who tries to please his wife by offering Rasna.

The idea is 'Rasna energises you and makes your life lively' says Priti Nair, director, Curry Nation. The TVC has been created with a core brief 'Those who love life love Rasna'. The brand wants to revamp its image and communicate to consumers that Rasna is more than just an orange drink.

"Rasna has been an iconic Indian brand and keeping pace with the present times it has rolled out an array of new products. The campaign shows ready to carry products which can be taken anywhere and a tasty drink that can be made on the go," she adds.

Nair mentions that the look and feel of the film is upmarket and aspirational. However, she negates that the campaign targets 'urban' consumers, asserting that the line between urban and semi-urban populace is increasingly blurring. "We cannot really typecast the consumer today. With a spike in disposable incomes and increasing access to products, the consumers from smaller towns are equally aware about the choices available in the market," she quips.

The campaign does relatable talking cutting across age groups and includes teenage couples and young married couples, clearly hinting at the brand's conscious efforts to target the 15-30 age group.

The TVC is being aired on prime time slots on both GEC and kids' channels. There will also be OOH activation. Depending on the response, the brand will consider taking the campaign to the digital medium.

Rasna is a big player in the soft drink concentrate and instant drink powder segment, with market share of around 93 per cent. To stay relevant and attract young consumers, the brand has been launching new flavours, variants (Fruit Plus), interesting packaging under affordable pricing. In 2013, it forayed into the ready-to-drink beverage segment with Rasna Ju-C with a target of achieving a turnover of Rs 400 crore and a market share of 4-4.5 per cent by the end of three years. Although Rasna dominates the powdered soft drink concentrates market, the company's market share is much lower when compared with the squash and soft drink segments. It faces stiff competition from multinational players like Coca-Cola (Minute Maid juices), PepsiCo's Tropicana juice, and Cadbury India's (part of US-based Kraft Foods) Tang.

Universal Appeal

Cajetan Vaz

Does the 'Milaofy' campaign do justice to an institutional brand like Rasna? Cajetan Vaz, branding consultant, believes that the campaign is a wonderful expression of 'togetherness' and it continues to capture all the values that Rasna has stood for all these years, like the joys of sharing and bringing out the child in you with harmless pranks. He says that the film has the potential to make the campaign line integrate with the vocabulary, and that is a very strong advertising property that Rasna can create with this campaign.

"Although it does not have the potential of a 'Yeh dil maange more' in terms of becoming a part of the national lingo," he adds.

Vaz disagrees that the campaign is an attempt to break away from the brand's 'kids only' product image, adding that it has reinforced its image as a universal offering with its 'share-it-with-everyone-on any occasion' proposition.

However, he draws the line on the creative license on showing a serious hospital patient being fed Rasna via a drip. "As a responsible communicator, I would refrain from encouraging children to do such a thing," he cautions.

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