Suraj Ramnath

"We have spent Rs. 60 crore on Fonzo's launch campaign": Anjana Ghosh, Bisleri

We spoke to Anjana Ghosh, director marketing, Bisleri International, about the name Fonzo, and the challenges of launching a new drink from within a huge water-dominated company.

Last week, Bisleri released a TVC for its newly launched mango-based carbonated soft drink - Fonzo. The ad has been conceptualised by FCB India. Wavemaker is handling the media duties for the brand.

Fonzo, which is priced at Rs. 18 for a 250 ml bottle, is targeted at the age group from 15-35, male and female.

"We have spent Rs. 60 crore on Fonzo's launch campaign": Anjana Ghosh, Bisleri

Bisleri Fonzo's TVC - MMM bhi AAh bhi

We spoke to Anjana Ghosh, marketing director, Bisleri International, about the reason behind naming the product Fonzo, the challenges, competitors, and the marketing strategy for their newly launched drink.

"We have spent Rs. 60 crore on Fonzo's launch campaign": Anjana Ghosh, Bisleri

Anjana Ghosh

With regard to how the brand team decided to name the new drink Fonzo, Ghosh says, "We did not hire an expert or consultant, but Fonzo happened two years ago. We thought of the name while we were looking at developing a flavour because we found that consumers are looking out for different variety and bored of colas and lemon. So, we wanted to introduce a new flavour and when we did the research, we found out that mango is a flavour which everyone loves; but we did not want to go with mango back then."

She adds, "We had an earlier combination of orange, mango and peach. So we did not know how to name it. Someone from the team came up with 'Funzone' someone said 'Alphonso' and mixing all of it we decided to keep it 'Fonzo'. Fonzo started because it is supposed to be fun. The marketing team and chairman together decided to cut names from different words and came up with Fonzo."

"We have spent Rs. 60 crore on Fonzo's launch campaign": Anjana Ghosh, Bisleri
"We have spent Rs. 60 crore on Fonzo's launch campaign": Anjana Ghosh, Bisleri

Packshots of Bisleri Fonzo
Click on the images to enlarge

Ghosh states that Bisleri's distribution has always been its strength. "We have always been extremely confident in our distribution network. Currently, in our distribution with Bisleri, we are reaching out to five lakh outlets. We have around 5,000 trucks across India and that is the biggest asset that we think we have on which we can ride our distribution."

What's the challenge? Ghosh responds, "The immediate challenge that I see is my capacity because we have to expand the production. We have four plants across India and we have earmarked eight plants to start immediately as we are looking at the demand-supply chain. As our distribution penetrates into deeper markets, we will need capacity."

Currently, Fonzo's distribution is focused on metros and close to 25 tier-two towns. The TVC is visible on GECs, sports, English movies and news, Hindi movie and news channels and kid's channels. The brand is also promoting Fonzo through OOH, print, radio, digital campaigns, and on-ground events. "We have spent Rs. 60 crore on Fonzo's launch campaign", Ghosh adds.

The brand will launch its second phase of the campaign in September.

We asked Ghosh what lessons they learnt from Urzza's failure that Bisleri didn't want to repeat with Fonzo's launch. Ghosh says, "I would not call Urzza a failure. Yes, failure in the sense that we were trying to get into a segment of energy drinks which is a niche segment. Bisleri, as an organisation, deals in large volumes. In a month we are selling one and a half crore cases of Bisleri all over India. In this kind of a volume-based organisation, if you are talking about a niche product which has sales of over 20 lakh cases entering a zone where Red Bull is sitting with 20-25 lakh cases every month and we want to take a bite of it, we thought that this product, in our kind of a distribution, will get lost. So we purposefully moved out of the niche segment."

Since Fonzo is a mango-based carbonated soft drink (CSD), it competes directly with Parle's Frooti Fizz which was launched last year. But Ghosh says, "We are not only looking at just the Frooti or Maaza segment but the entire CSD segment. The volume is huge. This is a Rs. 16,000 crore category. We are just talking about 25 lakh cases of what Red Bull sells. This is a big market and there is a pleasure to fight."

From a brand value point of view, we asked Ghosh if Fonzo is leaning on brand Bisleri for its success. She says, "Yes it is. Anyway, I am riding on Bisleri's vans and salesmen so definitely, Bisleri is what we are riding on and that is giving us an edge."

Very soon Fonzo will be out in 600 ml and one ltr bottle options.

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