Pico: 'Dressing it up' for digital

By Ashee Sharma , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital
Last updated : September 08, 2015
Nilgai Foods has rolled out a digital-only campaign, #ClearTheFridge, for its gourmet brand Pico, which includes products across categories such as sauces, dips, dressings and jams.

A lot has been said about the 'art of cooking', but Mumbai-based Nilgai Foods brings to fame the tools of the trade - the ingredients. The company has rolled out a digital-only campaign, #ClearTheFridge, for its gourmet brand Pico, which includes products across categories such as sauces, dips, dressings and jams.

The campaign, consisting of nine videos, has been executed by full-service digital agency What's Your Problem, particularly for Pico Bhoot Jolokia, India's spiciest chili sauce from the house of Pico. Bhoot Jolokia or Ghost Pepper holds a Guinness World Record (2007) for being the world's hottest natural chili pepper. It is cultivated in the North Eastern states of the country, and is used by the Indian Army in tear gas grenades, and farmers in Nagaland use it to keep elephants away.

Each of the films shares an interesting hack to #ClearTheFridge of leftover food using Pico products. The idea behind the campaign, informs Arjun Gadkari, president, Nilgai Foods, is to convey that "one doesn't have to compromise on taste or put in too much time and effort for preparing great food. A few dollops of Pico sauce will do the trick." This campaign, he adds, is first in the series of activities planned to reposition Pico sauces from being a recipe sauce to a taste enhancer. The consumer engagement is aimed at generating top-of-mind recall for the brand whenever people think of experimenting with food.

Justifying a content-first strategy, Amit Akali, managing partner and creative head, What's Your Problem, says that Pico's TG is foodie families which, as per the agency's research, spend almost 40 per cent of their income on food. "Every member of the foodie family takes pride in being obsessed with food, and this is an extremely important part of our consumer's psyche. For them, every bite needs to be an experience. These are the people who religiously follow YouTube videos on food or see Master Chef re-runs on their mobiles, which is why we've created a video-first strategy, where we'll constantly be churning out relevant videos for them."

Arjun Gadkari

Amit Akali

Akali, however, cautions on likening the videos to online ads, long or short, because unlike the latter, the films neither hard-sell the brand, nor do they show the logo upfront. "The 'digital foodie' looks for food related content online, and not ads. Generally speaking too, digital as a medium allows control; people do not come to this platform for ads," he states.

Akali believes that it is a better strategy to make the product play an important role in consumers' lives. On the digital platform, brands can ask consumers for their time only in return for some value/interesting content. Also, taking into account the way the medium and content function, he points out, "For such campaigns to be effective, one has to provide a lot of content, that too consistently. This also helps in achieving economies of scale."

The videos, Akali shares, have been created at one-tenth the cost of a TVC and were shot in-house by Huzefa Roowala, director, content and creative - What's Your Problem. The campaign's Twitter launch is being extended to Facebook and Instagram. The brand has also roped in food bloggers for promotions, and engagement is being driven through a contest where foodies are being encouraged to come up with their own leftover food hacks and share them with Pico India.

Appetising move?

Rohit Raj

Sameer Aasht

Rohit Raj, co-founder -The Glitch, thinks the idea is spot on and works on the most appropriate insight. "Today's generation of DINKS (Double income no kids) are looking for easy and simple hacks to cook at home rather than order in all the time. After a long day no one has the patience to whip up a big meal," says Raj.

Impressed with the simple execution, he adds, "The content is digital friendly and stimulates the user to give it a shot. If you are talking to the twitter generation you should be able to communicate in 140 characters or 30 seconds. The videos are a perfect example of that."

Raj also finds '#ClearTheFridge' a smart positioning for Pico, where instead of talking about itself, the brand talks of a problem that most people face, and also offers them a solution to it. "The right content is in place, how they deploy it will define the rest of the campaign," he opines.

Holding a slightly different opinion is Sameer Aasht, founder-director, Alma Mater Biz Solutions, and former strategy head, Taproot India. Although he thinks that going digital is a good decision for the brand, for consumers to appreciate the intent and be able to comprehend the re-positioning, it needs to be a "lot more in sync with cultural and category codes".

"Mass India prefers fresh warm food and is not likely to switch to recycling, which will largely remain an urban phenomenon among youth / DINKs. Even for such niche audience to appreciate the role of a taste enhancer, the brand needs to work harder on infusing significant cues of appetite," says Aasht adding that while the intentions are good, the quality of execution, targeting, storytelling, and entertainment quotient could have been better. "The best cooking shows and the best chefs are not just about good food, but also about good entertainment," he states.

According to Aasht, the films also lack a distinct call-to-action and transformation through the sauces/products.

First Published : September 08, 2015
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