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How Mars Wrigley India plans to market its new locally made dark chocolate

In a conversation with afaqs!, Varun Kandhari, director marketing, Mars Wrigley India, talks about the latest launch, marketing strategy and the shift in the brand’s philosophy, post-COVID.

Leading confectionery brand Mars Wrigley India recently launched a premium dark chocolate offering through ‘Galaxy Fusions’. The locally made product marks the brand’s foray into the country’s dark chocolate segment.

Previously, on Valentine’s Day, the brand had introduced a new variant of its Snickers range – a strawberry flavoured chocolate bar called ‘Berry Whip’. The launch was accompanied by a dedicated Valentine’s Day campaign titled ‘Blunders Happen when you are Berry Hungry’.

The campaign, conceptualised by DDB Mudra North, sought to place Snickers within the mix of chocolate brands that have consistently leveraged the festive vibes of Valentine’s week. 

In a conversation with afaqs!, Varun Kandhari, director marketing, Mars Wrigley India, shared the insights behind the two launches, and the marketing strategies that the brand aims to employ for a better reach.

Edited excerpts:

What does the launch of Galaxy Fusions Dark chocolate mean for the brand?

The Galaxy Fusions dark chocolate range is an amalgamation of two important aspects. Driving brand relevance by unlocking new consumer needs, like emerging preference for dark chocolates, while staying true to the core product benefit of Galaxy. 

These two aspects are what led to the creation of the Galaxy Fusions range. It’s a premium offering. Innovative Galaxy variants will be launched in future. 

Recently, we saw Snicker’s launch Berry Whip on Valentine’s Day. How does it stack up against Mars Wrigley’s existing Snickers portfolio?

Berry Whip is an exciting addition to the Snickers range. It adds to local variants like Snickers Almond (launched in 2019), Cashew, Butterscotch (both launched in 2020), Fruit & Nut (launched in 2021), and Kesar Pista (launched in 2022). 

The launch was accompanied by a Valentine's Day special campaign. What was the insight behind the ‘Blunders Happen’ campaign?

Snickers Berry Whip furthers our global proposition ‘You Are Not You When You Are Hungry’ with a quirky campaign ‘Blunders Happen when you are Berry Hungry’ and tagline ‘Berry Hungry? Grab a Snickers!’. It celebrates the innocent blunders that one commits in love. 

Keeping in line with the quirky personality of Snickers, the humorous campaign provides a fresh perspective on love and the innocent blunders made out of affection. Leveraging the topicality of Valentine’s Day, the Berry Whip campaign embraced the mood of the season with a twist, and engaged with the consumers through a fun approach.

How does the brand plan to market this variant? What is the media mix going to be like? 

The campaign is digitally-led on social media platforms of the brand, supported by collaborations with leading content creators from across the country, especially in the south. These include Pearle Maaney and Srinish Aravind, Deepu Niduvaloor and Rithusha Meeth, Viren Barman and Kriti Vij Barman, Arjun Manohar, Shravan Kshirsagar, among others. 

In terms of digital and television, Mars Wrigley is increasing its investment year on year. Our spends are mostly on digital campaigns to maximise our reach and drive awareness.

What is the target group that the brand is aiming to reach out to? 

At Mars Wrigley, we innovate to unlock inclusions and flavours that are relevant within broader treats and snacks. With this new variant, we aim to recruit new consumers and satiate their varied cravings. We are confident that Snickers Berry Whip will attract a new fan base, especially the youngsters. 

A lot of your launches have come post-COVID. Has there been a shift in Mars Wrigley’s marketing strategy?

Since the pandemic, there has been a significant change, in terms of trends, consumption patterns, acceleration of digital channels, among others. In this post-pandemic era, consumers appreciate engagement with brands through personalised strategies. Taking a cue from the evolving needs of our audience, we have successfully introduced multiple engaging campaigns that are relevant to our customers. 

The primary focal points of our marketing strategies have shifted, and need to be aligned with the evolving values and interests of the consumers. There is no longer a distinction between linear television and digital video – they both are a part of the same mix. 

It is essential to commercialise the right platforms to create affinity with the consumer base by driving reach efficiently and effectively. Personalised marketing is one of the leading trends in the industry.

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