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Cadbury Delite: Milking the 'fun' element

By , agencyfaqs! | In | July 21, 2003
The launch commercial for Cadbury Delite steers clear of any references to nutrition in its bid to usurp the plank of a 'taste enhancer' for milk


A boy, some seven or eight years of age, is seated at a dining table. Before him is set this big glass of milk. The boy looks at the contents of the glass for a moment, then pushes the glass away gently. 'Doodh toh chhote bachhe peete hain. I'm a big boy,' he announces flamboyantly, making his intentions clear.

Cut to the same boy seated at the same dining table. Another glass of milk waits patiently for the boy's attention. The boy, however, isn't impressed. In fact, this time, he is more forceful in his dissent, arguing that milk is for cats, letting out a big 'meow' to make his point.

Same boy, same table, another glass of milk. This time though, the boy comes out with foolproof logic against drinking milk. He informs that there was this boy in his school who used to have milk everyday… 'Bechaara fail ho gaya,' he commiserates.

Just then, the boy's mother puts a spoonful of brown powder into the milk, stirs it and goes away. The boy stares at this new concoction, slowly reaches for the glass and sniffs at it suspiciously. Next, he hazards a small sip. Liking what he's just tasted, he starts gulping down the contents of the glass. The voiceover talks about new Cadbury Delite, which has 'Cadbury chocolate ka yummy taste'. The voiceover signs off with the line: 'Ab doodh se dosti kar lo.'

Thus goes the launch commercial for Cadbury Delite, Cadbury India's latest offering in the Rs 1,100-crore MFD (malted beverages) market. Delite - which was soft launched in Tamil Nadu in April, and was rolled out nationally in June - has clearly been pitched in the area of 'taste' and 'fun', and is thus differentiated from Bournvita, the flagship MFD brand from the Cadbury stable. To understand the dynamics behind the launch of Delite and the brand's place in Cadbury's portfolio, a brief overview of the malted beverages category is in order.

The local MFD market broadly comprises brown MFDs (Bournvita, Boost, Milo, Maltova and now Delite) and white MFDs (Horlicks, Complan and Viva). While white MFDs evolved as milk, browns have evolved as milk modifiers. Category penetration is high in the milk deficient markets of south and east India, while penetration is much lower in the northern and western parts of the country, where penetration is skewed towards the higher SECs.

While Horlicks (from GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare) is the overall leader in malted beverages, Bournvita leads the brown MFDs segment, and is also the number two brand therein. Interestingly, while Horlicks leads in the southern and eastern markets, Bournvita leads in the north and the west. Bournvita, Cadbury India informs, had a market share of 16 per cent in 2002.

Of particular interest is the fact that the domestic MFD market has been stagnating for the past couple of years. This, in some ways, explains Cadbury India's decision to launch a brand such as Delite. For Delite is not being pitched on nutrition (the traditional category promise) but on taste. In fact, the communication for Delite does not make any references to nutrition, and the brand has clearly been positioned as a 'taste enhancer' for milk.

Explaining this, a Cadbury spokesperson says, "While milk consumption among children is a common phenomenon across most households in India, much of this is without any milk modifiers. This is especially true in the milk surplus markets of north and west India. However, milk is disliked by children - largely due to its taste, plain white colour and smell. Getting the child to drink two glasses of milk is therefore the biggest headache and priority for the mother. Delite seeks to make the daily consumption of milk an enjoyable experience for the child." By identifying a new need-gap in milk-consuming households, Cadbury India is evidently exploring new areas of growth. And without doubt, non-MFD households present a potentially big market.

If Delite's communication skirts all mention of nutrition and focuses purely on taste, it is because Cadbury India is pursuing a two-pronged strategy of driving growth. "The key drivers (and barriers) of milk consumption are 'nutrition' and 'taste'," the Cadbury spokesperson explains. "Cadbury is attempting to occupy these two platforms through its two beverage brands Bournvita and Delite. Bournvita offers the promise of enhanced stamina and concentration (for kids) to mothers, riding on its RDA Balanced Formula. The key here is that the mother will get all the benefit from the ingredients in Bournvita, and milk is largely the medium. Thus, the role of milk consumption in this mother's mindspace is rather minimal - she would have the Bournvita in water if it were possible."

"Delite, however, offers the promise of making milk consumption a fun experience (for kids) to mothers, riding on its great Cadbury chocolate taste," he continues. "The brand offers basic nutrition - Vitamin D and Calcium - in order to assuage any guilt pangs that the mother may have due to the high chocolate values. The chocolate-ness of Delite is definitely higher than Bournvita, and hence, is its key defining characteristic."

Despite a potential overlap of the two brands, Cadbury India is confident that Delite will not cannibalize Bournvita. "The two brands are positioned to address the needs of distinct sets of consumers - one seeking nutrition as the primary benefit, the other who believes in the nutritiveness of milk and only seeks to make milk consumption easier," says the spokesperson. Cadbury also believes that Bournvita's heritage ("the core consumers of the brand prefer its taste to any other offering"), which has enabled it to withstand competition from newer brown MFDs such as Boost and Milo, will stand it in good stead.

The communication for Delite, of course, makes it amply clear that the brand is about fun. "Despite the brand having value-added propositions, the entire communication for Delite approaches the market from the angle of making milk drinking more fun," says Ravi Deshpande, head of Lemon, the agency handling the account. "The key benefit is to get kids to drink milk, encapsulated in the line 'Doodh se dosti kar lo.'"

Speaking about the communication idea, Deshpande says that the core thought stemmed from the continuing tussle between mother and child over drinking milk. "The mother wants the kid to drink milk while the kid feels this thing is being thrust down his throat. So there are excuses and escape routes constantly being planned. We dramatized this tussle into an interesting conversation between the mother and child. We created a script that had a series of excuses kids rattle off for not drinking milk. The excuses had to be naughty but cute, and the balance had to be just right. The kid and the excuses should not put off mothers, so we had to ensure the kid came across as smart, not bratty. The idea was to highlight the tussle but bring about a reconciliation in a manner that made the kid happy, and yet gave mothers a sense of control." © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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