Ashwini Gangal

Yakult Danone India meets agencies

A decision regarding the next step in the brand's creative communication will be taken by the end of this calendar year.

Probiotic health drink Yakult is currently in the process of meeting creative agencies.

Yakult Danone India meets agencies
The brand belongs to Yakult Danone India, the 50:50 joint venture between Japan's Yakult Honsha and France's Groupe Danone, both of which are global probiotic companies. The JV was formed in 2005 for the manufacture and sale of probiotic products in the Indian market.

Highly placed industry sources have confirmed the news to afaqs!.

The incumbent creative agency is Hakuhodo Percept. No formal announcement regarding the pitch has been made. The brand team is already in conversation with a few creative agencies, including (but not restricted to) those with Japanese affiliations.

Sources close to the development tell afaqs! that while the existing agency continues to handle the account for now, the pitch process will help crack some insights into what the brand's upcoming communication plan, especially on television, ought to be. A decision regarding this will be taken by the end of this calendar year.

Speaking of television communication, it may be recalled that the brand's TVCs that have been on air of late have utilised a fair bit of animation (for example, the Dad and Daughter commercial). Bollywood actor Kajol has been seen endorsing Yakult in some ads; she was brought on board as brand ambassador in August, 2009.

Yakult was launched in India in 2007. In the same year, the brand had appointed M&C Saatchi as its creative agency. At the initial stage of the product roll out, the brand leveraged media channels such as print, radio, out of home and on-ground. A large part of the initial on-ground promotion campaign was an aggressive home delivery system wherein 'Yakult Ladies' reached out to people at their doorstep and advocated the benefits of consuming probiotic drinks on a daily basis. This below-the-line campaign is something Yakult has adopted in other markets as well. In fact, this system of educative door-to-door distribution was created in Japan in 1963.

By the end of 2008, Yakult changed its creative partner and roped in Hakuhudo Percept. Subsequently, TV was explored as a medium of communication.

In the days ahead, focus will be on both, driving category awareness as well as brand building.

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