Shreyas Kulkarni
Advertising

Britannia CMO explains rationale behind making Ravi Shastri face of 50-50

The former cricketer has been appearing in the brand’s ads for the past two years, the last being during the T20 World Cup.

Britannia’s association with cricket goes a long way back; does anybody remember ‘Britannia Khao World Cup Jao’? And even today, the biscuit company is still cheering for cricket like it was a few decades ago.

Only this time, it has been doling out ads for its 50-50 brand with Ravi Shastri. Be it his supposed penchant for a good old beverage – remember Rishabh Pant proudly handing him a champagne bottle after India defeated England? – or his classic quips during commentary, “That’s gone off the bat like a tracer bullet”, he is one of the most hatke personalities in Indian cricket.

Most of today’s young viewers unfortunately won’t remember his playing days, and will recognise him as a commentator or as the former coach of the Indian men’s cricket team.

What is striking about these ads is how Shastri does not play any character, but himself, and the ads, as a result, stand out.

So, we (afaqs!), decided to speak to Britannia chief marketing officer Amit Doshi about the former cricketer and the ad campaigns.

Amit Doshi
Amit Doshi

Edited Excerpts

What made you choose Ravi Shastri as the face of 50-50?

Ravi Shastri's association with cricket resonates deeply with the Indian audience, passionately devoted to the sport. His ability to engage and entertain fans makes him the ideal choice, perfectly encapsulating the essence of Britannia 50-50 and its celebration of cricket.

"The key to a successful campaign lies in selecting a celebrity who not only has mass appeal but also aligns seamlessly with the brand's values and messaging."
Amit Doshi on choosing a celebrity.

The ads went live during the cricket season. How did you position this brand during that period?

We launched two fun campaigns with Ravi Shastri: Britannia 50-50 T20 Golmaal with Ravi Shastri and a new TV commercial for Britannia 50-50 Sweet and Salty.

The Britannia 50-50 Sweet and Salty campaign, conceptualised by Lowe Lintas, featured a playful TV commercial where Ravi Shastri took on a dual persona and conversed with doves.

Meanwhile, Britannia 50-50 T20 Golmaal with Ravi Shastri, curated by Mindshare, offered fans a unique way to interact with Shastri during the cricket season. This included the upgraded Chatbot 2.0, which now has a new AR feature. Fans could enjoy an animated Shastri avatar giving humorous "Golmaal" advice, adding fun regardless of the game's outcome.

Britannia CMO explains rationale behind making Ravi Shastri face of 50-50

What were the brand's expectations for the campaign's reach and impact on sales?

We anticipated the campaigns would have a significant reach and create a strong impact due to their launch during the cricket season. This offered us an opportunity to engage a wide array of audiences, including cricket enthusiasts. 

"Currently, our primary focus is on strengthening and expanding the Britannia 50-50 brand through our partnership with Ravi Shastri and aligned campaigns."
Amit Doshi

What are your plans for this brand partnership beyond cricket?

Last year, Britannia 50-50 successfully executed an on-pack activation with GPay for the 4th Umpire campaign. This gaming experience enhanced how cricket enthusiasts connect with the sport and each other, allowing participants to step into the role of the 4th Umpire and win match passes and cricket merchandise. This year, we strengthened our consumer engagement during the cricket season by building on last year’s AI chatbot with Ravi Shastri. 

Looking beyond cricket, we aim to continue creating innovative and engaging experiences for our consumers. We will continue to focus on leveraging transformative technologies such as Gen AI, AR and creative partnerships to ensure that Britannia 50-50 remains synonymous with fun, flavour, and memorable moments for our audience.

Are there any plans to extend this partnership beyond the current campaign?

Currently, our primary focus is on strengthening and expanding the Britannia 50-50 brand through our partnership with Ravi Shastri and aligned campaigns. Our strategy centres on building upon our past successes and continuing to deliver quality, meaningful experiences that resonate with our customers.

Are you tempted to rope in other cricketers with Shastri?

While we continuously explore opportunities to enhance our brand, our current focus remains on maintaining and building upon our successful partnership with Ravi Shastri.

Previously, we also partnered with R. Ashwin for Britannia Milk Bikis highlighting the importance of progressive parenting aimed to bring about a mindset shift on collaborative parenting.

What are the challenges of casting a celebrity these days when every second ad has a movie star or a cricketer?

The key to a successful campaign lies in selecting a celebrity who not only has mass appeal but also aligns seamlessly with the brand's values and messaging. For Britannia 50-50, Ravi Shastri was the ideal choice. His playful persona and strong connection with cricket align perfectly with our brand values. He also ensures that our messaging reaches customers in a genuine and impactful way.

What was your brief to the ad agency for this campaign?

Our brief was to highlight the sweet and salty sides of Ravi Shastri's personality, which perfectly reflects the dual flavours of our product. We aimed to create a fun and quirky film that captures the essence of Britannia 50-50, building on the playful tone set by the Maska Chaska fanboy film. The objective was to develop a campaign that not only showcased our product's unique flavour profile but also engages and entertains our audience through Ravi Shastri's charismatic and playful nature.

Are there any new upcoming product extensions being considered that’ll star Shastri?

We have an exciting new proposition coming soon where he will help drive consumer participation and creativity. 

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