Ananya Pathak
Advertising

“Want to shift needle to regional pride”: Puneet Das, Tata Tea, on UP, Delhi themed spots

A look at the new hyperlocal campaign for Tata Tea Premium, a flagship brand of Tata Tea.

One does not need any proof to support the statement that Uttar Pradesh is known for its 'dadagiri' and the capital, New Delhi, for its 'richness'. The latest hyperlocal campaign for Tata Tea Premium, a flagship brand of Tata Tea from the house of Tata Global Beverages, builds on these two known facts about the two regions, but with a twist. Conceptualised by Mullen Lintas, the two films released as a part of the campaign – 'Dumdaar Uttar Pradesh' and 'Dil Se Rich Dilli' – modify the two aspects into 'UP ki achhai' and 'Dilli ka rich dil'.

While the Delhi focused film talks about hi-fi weddings, the UP one highlights how the 'dabangs' use their power and money in the state. Puneet Das, vice president, marketing – India, at Tata Global Beverages tells us that this campaign is part of the brand's strategy on Tata Tea Premium to go hyperlocal and shift the needle from celebrating ‘India Pride’ to evoking ‘Regional Pride'.

Puneet Das
Puneet Das

Speaking about the ideation of the campaign, he shares, “The communication idea was that most states are associated with certain stereotypes/ perceptions which are generally an outsider’s perspective about that region. This communication showcases the ‘insider’s perspective’ and celebrates the positive truth behind these stereotypes.”

Want to shift the needle from celebrating ‘India Pride’ to evoking ‘Regional Pride'.
Puneet Das

As a part of the campaign, the brand has also launched a new avatar of the packaging, exclusively curated for both these states. The new packaging for Uttar Pradesh - 'Dumdaar spirit of Uttar Pradesh’, captures the essence of the state, highlighting the Varanasi Ghats, the Taj Mahal, and Kathak dance. On the other hand, the packaging for Delhi - 'Delhi ke liye Rich Assam Chai’ - highlights visual imagery of the Red Fort, Qutub Minar and India Gate on the original green base of the pack.

UP based packaging
UP based packaging
Delhi based packaging
Delhi based packaging

Tata Tea initially launched Premium In 1985, with the promise of a cup of tea that would provide 'Baganon ki taazgi' to the consumer. The communication for the brand at that time stressed on the fact that Tata Tea used tea leaves picked from the company's own gardens, and were packed on location to seal in the freshness. Tata Tea Premium, which is known for its iconic Jaago Re campaigns that highlights pressing social issues like elections, voting and corruption, was relaunched with a new brand logo and packaging across all major cities in India in August 2015.

During that time, speaking on the intent behind the re-launch, Sushant Dash, the then vice president, marketing, Tata Global Beverages, told afaqs! that there were two reasons behind the exercise. "First, the last two years have been difficult for the tea category, with tea prices in the auctions going up rapidly by up to 35-40 per cent. This, combined with inflation on sugar and milk, has resulted in a drop in consumption per household for the category as a whole. The category, which used to witness growth of three to four per cent a couple of years ago, grew by only one per cent last year; and Premium too felt the pressure. Also, for some time, the Premium brand has been riding on the message, 'Jaago Re'. Thus, to reinforce the message that Premium is still about quality to the consumer, the brand has been re-launched with a new message."

While the logo of Tata Tea remained the same, the font and size of 'Premium' was altered along with the position of 'Tata Tea Premium' from top to centre of the packet.

Tata Tea packaging before 2015
Tata Tea packaging before 2015
New packaging launched in August 2015
New packaging launched in August 2015

Interestingly, one of the reasons that the latest campaign caught our attention was that it featured 'Bunty' (Jatin Sarna) from the Netflix original web series, Sacred Games, as the protagonist in the Uttar Pradesh film. This reminded us of another ad by the Kolkata headquartered brand under its 'Jaago Re' campaign – 'Tata Tea Jaagore Politician' – that cast another character from the web series – Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi) – as the politician.

Das says this is a complete coincidence. “For our films, we’ve have always chosen personalities who best fit the character in the script.” Speaking of the ideation, he mentions that the brand has introduced a marketing mix curated specifically for the state. “The new communication, based on region specific insight, captures the Dumdaar spirit of the people of Uttar Pradesh, that complements the Dumdaar Chai of Tata Tea Premium.”

Ananda Ray, creative head, Rediffusion, says he loved everything about the 'Dumdaar Uttar Pradesh' ad. “Very well written, crafted and produced. “Casting, sets, props and little touches like the mirror on the dashboard popping up were totally on-point. However, what I was most impressed with was the idea itself. How familiar tropes are maintained, but also totally turned on their head in an unexpected way - the cart puller calming 'Bhaiyya Ji" with a cup of tea is what perhaps would have been more expected. The 'Dil Se Rich Dilli' follow-up continues the magic. It's a great way to show respect for as well as portray affinity and understanding towards different cultures. It's sensitive, thoughtful and respectful - and, thereby, refreshing thing to do since many tend to mock cultural quirks instead.”

Ananda Ray
Ananda Ray

He feels that apart from the usual communication mediums, the brand can use other forms of the communication in many interesting ways, all based on the tonality of the film itself - different for Delhi, different for UP. “For UP, wall paintings, local politician type banners, as well as, of course, posts on digital media. On the other hand, the Dilli one could have glitzy Bollywood type outdoor ads/posts on gossip/film/lifestyle magazines and so on. Almost any medium can be used, really, the 'how' is what matters - what the communication will look like is important and that might determine the media vehicle.

Sartaj Jaffri, chief executive officer, Black Or White Brand Communication, opines that in recent times we have seen some meaningful work in the Tea category and the Tata Tea Premium ads are certainly refreshing. “What I like most about it is the 'tadka' of local flavour along with the absence of clichéd shots of tea making etc. Overall, the execution manages to create the required drama.”

Sartaj Jaffri
Sartaj Jaffri

He goes on to say that tea is a very personal space. “The blanket communication approach probably worked in the past but with the advent of digital, hi-tech cinema houses and regional channels offering a platform to reach out to local sensibilities, it does make more sense to create communication on the premise of cultural relevance and build a stronger consumer connect.”