CMO, Parle Agro
Summer has just begun and Parle Agro is already busy. For both Appy Fizz and Frooti, Parle Agro has announced its summer campaigns. With Appy Fizz, Sagmeister & Walsh conceptualised a 360 campaign starring Salman Khan and Jr. NTR. The communications are everywhere, in their signature bold style.
In a press release, Nadia Chauhan, joint MD and CMO, Parle Agro, said, "Appy Fizz, a 740 crore brand, has grown by 70 per cent in the last year. Witnessing this phenomenal acceptance from consumers has fuelled our desire to chalk out an aggressive marketing strategy and build this category to Rs. 4,000 crore. Both Salman Khan and Jr. NTR have a huge fan base that will help us connect with our consumers." Jr. NTR joins Allu Arjun as the second celebrity from South India to be a brand ambassador for Parle Agro brands in the region.
Appy Fizz holds nearly 99 per cent of the market share in the Sparkling Fruit Drink category. In tandem, the total spends on media are about 200 crore this year across both Appy Fizz and Frooti, with the company claiming a 100 per cent increase in digital spends. This year onward, Parle Agro's digital mandate has been moved entirely to Sagmeister & Walsh, from Digitas.
We had the chance to catch up with Chauhan at her office.
How have you been driving growth in this sector?
When you're a category driven by impulse, nothing is more important than top of mind recall. If you create communication that is fleeting and blends in with everything else that's going on, then you'll never really be able to have that kind of recognition.
In the last ten years, what this has really done in this journey is to create a very powerful top of mind recall for our brands and has led to a market share gain from 22 to 27 per cent. We're at the No. 2 position a year after we started our journey. We've occupied the No. 1 position as well in Delhi, UP, Haryana, Kerala and we aspire to grow to that position nationally.
What does the ten rupee price point mean to a marketer in the FMCG sector?
Today, the ten rupee price point in the FMCG segment is one of the most powerful that exists. It's almost branded like the one Dhiram price point in the Middle East - nobody will break it. Whether it's five rupees or ten rupees, it's to do with a lot of factors such as circulation of currency and ease of transactions for consumers.
Ten rupees is a branded price segment that allows for distribution and penetration. Frooti has almost a 75 per cent market share in that category, in the ten rupee space.
It's a price point that we have not vacated for the last ten years. We've built on a tremendous level of efficiency, distribution and manufacturing just to ensure that every year, we can stick to that price point in spite of inflation and other factors. Most FMCG brands would love to have products at that price point because the ease of transaction is the highest.
Can you tell us about the latest Frooti campaign and how you've executed it?
Stop motion happens in India, but the kind of craft that Sagmeister & Walsh invested in is something that you can't see anywhere in India. For so long we've tried to see if we could do something like this in India, it's unimaginable. I went there and I saw it - the entire film is shot on a table. The whole process and everything is fascinating. It comes together beautifully in creating a unique visual world for the brand.
We invested in the power of design, not just in motion, but in static. This is why we're one of the companies in the category that invests heavily even in outdoor. We use outdoor to support the TVCs and really amplify the visual world that we're building.
Why use miniatures to tell this story? Why not regular-sized characters?
There are four characters in the film - two life-sized ones and two miniature ones. The entire idea of the miniatures goes back to when we introduced the new Frooti packaging. That's when we first created the entire miniature world. The reason for that is when we wanted to introduce the new Frooti packaging in 2015, most companies that presented to us about how we could go about it did it in a manner where the packaging was in your face and the camera was totally focussed on it. What these guys did was make the packaging stand out; they made everything else small. Such a simple idea ended up creating a whole world for us. That's unique to us.
Frooti is a light-hearted drink and we want to deliver moments of joy. That's what we want to do with our ad films too - deliver moments of joy - and the whole miniature big version is to create the entire energy of a relationship.
Can you tell us about the faces on your brand?
We've been with Alia for the last year and recently brought Varun on board. The playful rivalry that they have off-screen is something that we were able to extend into our brand campaign seamlessly. They enjoyed it so much that at one point, Varun was posting something on Instagram to Alia and she was responding too. That wasn't even part of our plan.
Having characters beyond celebrities gives us the leeway to do more on digital or anywhere else. More and more, it's becoming important for TVCs to have multi-platform adaptability to create a great amount of engagement. If you have a 30-second spot, you make an edit to run it on digital; it doesn't really work.
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As far as Appy Fizz is concerned, it's brand values have always focussed on being macho and bold and having a great attitude. The stars are independent for each brand. For Allu Arjun, it was quite well known. For the kind of look we're creating with our stars, it's quite important that the brands complement each other. He's really taken very naturally to the entire world of Frooti. That's very critical because we're using strong colours, a bold look and feel. That's one aspect and the other is that he's known popularly for his dance.
Can you tell us what it's been like working with these actors?
For us, these are relationships that we really value and these are big investments; both need to drive the brand in a certain direction. That's been something important to us, from every one of our stars starting with Shahrukh and Salman to Alia and Varun. We've had people tell us that we'll have a tough time managing etc., but they've always been in the front of leading our agenda. We don't just want to sign a cheque; we want to get into a partnership.