Benita Chacko

IPL 2023: Havmor Ice Cream to use martech for the first time in an ad campaign

The ice cream brand, which has associated with Gujarat Titans, will use the technology to do sharper targeting and break through the clutter.

Havmor Ice Cream, a subsidiary of the South Korean multinational conglomerate LOTTE Confectionery, for the first time, will be geo-targeting its consumers this summer.

The Ahmedabad-based brand recently announced a partnership with Gujarat Titans to become their official ice cream partner. It also roped in its captain Hardik Pandya as the face of the brand. The brand will be advertising during the Indian Premier League (IPL) and has launched two TVCs featuring Pandya. With the tagline ‘It’s that good’, it will be featuring on both Star Sports and Jio Cinema.

In an interview with afaqs!, Komal Anand, managing director, Havmor Ice Cream, said the media plan is to look for a wider reach and at the same time do sharper targeting. Towards this end, it will be using martech as a part of the IPL campaign. This will also help it break through the clutter of ads during the IPL.

With over 150 brands advertising on the IPL, many ads tend to get lost in the clutter. Anand says this is going to be the biggest challenge for Havmor Ice Cream. To address this it will link its advertising with technology.

For example, when a person is driving in Mumbai in April, he may receive a pop-up notification on his mobile phone saying, "It's hot today. Have a Havmor ice-cream. It's that good."

"We will use technology extensively as a part of our media plan to remind the consumer at every possible occasion of consumption. We're trying to geo-target consumers near our ice cream parlours. We have 230 plus parlours across the country. We're trying to ring fence and geo-target dealers, so that when consumers are walking past those we can push the messages to them," he says.

This is the first time that the ice cream brand has associated with the game of cricket. While Havmor Ice Cream is popular in Gujarat and in western India, through this association it aims to drive awareness and bring it to the top of mind of consumers across the country. This is the brand's first attempt to reach a larger universe of consumers beyond its key markets.

Earlier this year, Lotte announced an investment of ₹450 crore over a five-year period in the ice cream brand to ramp up its capacity in the country. A major portion of this would be used for setting up a new greenfield plant at MIDC Talegaon in Pune, Maharashtra, to expand manufacturing capacity. The plant is expected to be operation in 2024.

Currently, the brand has distribution across the country, except Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and the North-eastern states. In the coming year it plans to enter these markets and also strengthen its existing markets. The association with Gujarat Titans will help them in this endeavour. According to Havmor Ice Cream estimates, Gujarat is one of the highest per capita consumption markets for ice cream in India.

"There's so much opportunity in India. We do not see the growth slowing down in the country for the next five to seven years. We are not considering exports currently. Once the Pune factory is live in 2024, we may consider exporting to some countries like the USA and Canada," he says.

The average per capita ice cream consumption in India is about 300-350 millilitre, whereas in China it is 5-7 times more and in countries like Japan or New Zealand it is about 20 times more. Anand says frozen, as a category, whether food or ice cream, is underpenetrated in India due to the supply chain.

"The roadmap for the frozen category in India is going to be very healthy because it will take years for it to saturate. The cold chain will always be constrained and never going to be free," he says.

Retailers in developed countries have massive category aisles dedicated to ice creams. Whereas, in India, there is a deep freezer in the corner of a store. And that space is also shared by other frozen foods.

"The supply chain is also got to do with how the retailers and dealers configure their product mix. 90% of our dealer base is still mom-and-pop stores. They have limited freezer space and all brands are competing for that tiny little space," he says.

Anand says the supply chain of ice creams is very different in developed countries.

"In India, ice creams are moved in crates and there's a backhaul of empty crates. In developed markets ice creams travel in cardboard boxes. But that is not possible in Indian temperatures and the cold chain is not that evolved," he adds.

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