Aditi Srivastava

"Tata Tea Fusion targets the modern housewife": Rishi Chadha

"Tata Tea Fusion is a premium disruptive innovation in the black tea segment," he says. At the risk at adding a layer in the process of brewing chai at home (read: Kenyan enhancer), the brand promotes its new 'customisable tea' through a mass media campaign. A look at the effort.

Tata Tea, the popular household beverage from the stable of Tata Global Beverages, has launched a new 'customisable' variant called Fusion tea, which offers the best of both worlds -- the goodness of Assam Tea and the delightful flavour of the Kenyan tea and green tea enhancer. Known for its clutter-breaking ad campaigns like 'Jaago Re', 'Soch Badlo

' and 'Choti Shuruaat' that targetted the social conscience, the latest 'Jaise Chaho Waise Banao' campaign is hinged on the idea of the freedom to mix. The campaign is a four-week launch burst, having been on air since November 17, and will be sustained for four weeks through December and January.

Since new-age India is excited by all things customised, Tata Tea has therefore, come up with a unique offering that allows the brand to aggregate two different types of tea leaves (Assam tea and the Kenyan tea enhancer), into a single package that allows people to customise their tea and create their own signature brew to enjoy it the way they like it.

"Tata Tea Fusion targets the modern housewife": Rishi Chadha
The 35-second TVC, created and conceptualised by Mullen Lowe Lintas Group, opens with a couple having an argument, while an aspirant suitor of the woman looks on. Hoping to date her, since she appears to be on the verge of severing ties with her current beau, he starts to brew a fresh cup of tea. To celebrate the moment and enhance the flavour of the superior Assam tea, the excited suitor adds the Kenyan tea enhancer to the blend, to make it more special. He swings between hope and despair only to be disappointed in the end to find that all is well in their paradise.

The setting of the ad is quite youth-centric and funky, woven around the girlfriend-boyfriend theme. Interestingly enough, while most tea brand advertisements depict tea as a preferred beverage for the middle-aged or elderly population, Tata Tea Fusion tries to establish a connect with youngsters, especially the modern housewife within SEC A and B, in the 25-40 age group. The ad attempts to target early adopters who are not averse to trying new things, are free-spirited, as well as discerning and knowledgeable.

Tata Tea Fusion carries two different flavours namely Assam Tea and the enhancer (Kenyan/green tea) in the ratio of 75:25. At the risk of adding a layer in the process of brewing tea at home (the Kenyan enhancer), the brand promotes its new 'customisable tea' through a mass media campaign across TV and digital, as well as through some ground-level activations which started last month. Digitally, the ad campaign is being advertised across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google Display Network (GDN). For the record, GDN is used to target consumers who search on Google for tea besides innovative media like the silverpush audio beacon which is an innovative app which targets people who have seen the TVC on digital platform.

"Tata Tea Fusion targets the modern housewife": Rishi Chadha
"Tata Tea Fusion is a premium disruptive innovation in the black tea segment. Hence, the advertising is also different in terms of breaking the advertising codes of the tea category. It is youthful, quirky and premium," says Rishi Chadha, head, marketing, Tata Tea.

Talking about how the brand zeroed in on the latest variant, Chadha says, "Consumer centricity is at the heart of all our endeavors at Tata Tea. We conduct consumer surveys and tests to understand our consumers. All new products undergo several tests and consumer trials to ensure that we bring forth only the best. Tata Tea Fusion has been extensively tested in our northern markets of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, which are our biggest focus markets, and validated among 6,000 consumers. Sixty-five per cent consumers rated the product better than what they expected."

The ad conveys the importance of the Kenyan enhancer when the aspirant suitor says, "Kadak Assam banao. Kuch special ho toh Kenyan enhancer milao. Jaise chaho, waise banao." From a consumer's perspective, it may seem like an additional step in the tea making process. But, the brand adds it as a special touch to the whole tea-drinking experience for its target group.

The brand has tried to provide a time-agnostic consumption window to its target audience. Corroborating the same, Chadha says, "Tata Tea Fusion is a regular cup of tea which can be made as usual with milk and sugar, just as any housewife makes her cup of tea. Our aim is to replace her current brand of regular black tea and upgrade it to the finest tea experience."

He further adds, "We gave our consumers the 'freedom' to mix and create blends and brews that can enhance their tea drinking experience. The campaign talks to the young-at-heart consumer who is more than willing to play with his cup of tea. Another important aspect of Fusion is that it does not make the customisation mandatory. It is not a pre-mixed tea, but two kinds of tea in one pack, each superior in its own way."

According to Chadha, the tea can be made in three ways. The finest Assam tea in the country is known for its strength which the housewife can have by itself, or add the Kenyan enhancer for a golden glow for that extra special occasion, or green tea for a touch of wellness. The innovation here is that she can customise her tea the way she wants.

"Tata Tea Fusion targets the modern housewife": Rishi Chadha
Chadha is of the view that the campaign will leverage the brand through a four-pronged approach. It will create awareness about Tata Tea's innovative introduction to the premium black tea category. Secondly, it will help announce the arrival of India's first 'customisable tea'. Third, it will create excitement around a new product format and first-of-its-kind packaging innovation. And, lastly, Chadha feels that the campaign will introduce Kenyan tea, a new entrant in the Indian market.

Commenting on the campaign, Amer Jaleel, chairman and CCO, Mullen Lintas, adds, "Tata Tea Fusion is a true innovation in the category as an offering. It's a new format in terms of packaging. In terms of its communication and tonality and as a brand it's an effort to appeal to a younger set of audience and make tea which has been a heritage category into a refreshing aspirational category. But, for us, it is much more. Fusion is very apt because it symbolises the depth of our relationship with brand Tata Tea."

Report card

"Tata Tea Fusion targets the modern housewife": Rishi Chadha
Saurabh Uboweja, CEO and chief brand strategist, Brands of Desire finds the campaign to be a rushed job. "I haven't seen a more complex execution in a long time. There is no clear context or reference point, deplorable characterisation and a weak script to back it up. There is nothing in it that holds viewer attention. While Uboweja thinks the product is a great innovation and can be a fantastic extension to Tata Tea's existing portfolio, he gets the feeling it isn't high on the company's priority list.

Talking about the youth-centric setting of the advert, Uboweja says, "The brand's insight that tea is increasingly becoming a youth-centric drink is bang on. I just wish it made use of it in a more impactful way."

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