"Demand for green tea is rising in smaller towns": Sushant Dash, Tata Global Beverages

By Anirban Roy Choudhury , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | February 14, 2017
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Can green tea ever be sold on the back of taste in India? Probably not. That's why brands like Tetley see merit in going to market with upgraded products and health-related promises. A look at the brand's new ad for its 'Super Green Tea'.

Tata Beverages' Tetley has recently added two new variants to its portfolio of green tea. "We are targeting the passive health seekers," says Sushant Dash, regional president India, Tata Global Beverages. "Passive health seekers are those who want to be healthy but are not doing enough about it and hence want that extra energy and immunity."

Green tea is a category, which at its nascent stage has surprised Dash with the growing awareness, "Green tea is a very niche category, and when you compare green tea with black tea, black tea is a far larger category and deeply penetrated, but what has been a surprise for us is that even in smaller towns and areas, the awareness for green tea is rapidly growing. There is awareness that green tea is good for health and the product helps one to stay fit," he asserts

To promote the new launches Tetley has roped in former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly as the brand ambassador and already released an ad featuring him. The creative communication has garnered close to 6 million views on YouTube in the first week. The commercial does not talk about the taste of the product and instead focuses on how it helps one to fulfill superhuman expectations in daily life. Wherever Sourav goes, he is expected to do something extraordinary throughout the film and he does it.

Why is the taste not talked about? "Green tea is always about health, taste is a personal thing, some people like green tea some people don't. The same is the case with black tea, everyone has their own personal preference. In India, we are not used to having green tea, it will take time and effort on our part to develop that palate. And that is one of the reasons why we have flavours, to make it more interesting," informs Dash.

Sushant Dash

Digital and print are to be the key focus of the media mix in the first phase. "It will be a 360-degree campaign. In the first phase, it would primarily ride on digital and print and in the subsequent week we will be on television. I believe now-a-days people are screen agnostic, so we will be on each and every screen," says Dash.

He further adds, "We will do more on ground events as I think the task now is to penetrate the category deeper and it will only be possible by sampling, meeting more people, giving them a taste of the product, because we believe if more people use the product, hopefully, they will embrace the product. Now, will Sourav be involved in those on ground activations? At this stage we have not thought of any future plans involving Sourav Ganguly."

Expert comments

Nimesh Shah

Nimesh Shah, director, co-founder, Windchimes, feels that green tea can never be sold on the back of taste. "Green tea is for those in the tea drinker category who want to be healthy. If you try to sell it on the back of taste it will fail badly. Green tea entered the market with a message that, 'Okay, you are addicted to tea, here is a healthy alternative."

Shah praises the way Ganguly has been used in the film. He says, "He is a national star and wherever he goes people expects him to do all that he did in the film. It is a very well-crafted film where the message is communicated nicely without losing the brand."

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