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Brand Yatra: From stirring the cute quotient to being grown up and healthy

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Brand Yatra: From stirring the cute quotient to being grown up and healthy

Brand: Rasna

Current agency: The Company believes in doing things on their own reasoning that no one but the people who are involved with the product would know the marketing needs and hence the communication route to follow to achieve the goal. Work is outsourced to creative houses on need basis. Piruz Khambatta, Chairman and Managing Director of Rasna explained, “The consumers today are completely different as they are spoilt for choices. Hence, there is a need to understand them. The agencies may be good at churning advertisements but which agency today tries to understand consumers? Who goes to family doctors these days? we all go to specialists treating different ailments and parts of bodies. It’s the day and age of specialists.”

Past agencies: Mudra, Dentsu

Brand journey: The popular `I love You’ Rasna commercial of the 80’s still remains fresh in our memory so much so that even though the brand does not use the tagline anymore and probably used it last more than a decade back yet the association is not easy to let go off. The moppet Ankita Jhaveri in these ads with her lisping made way into many hearts. If one looks at the old ad, one would see that it’s a very simple idea of enjoying a soft drink said in an even simpler way. There is no jazz; no pun, no over enthusiastic camera moves yet the ad and the product became a big hit.

Over the years, the ads have used celebrities including Karishma Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal and Kapil Dev among others. It also moved to a more contemporary brand identity of Relish a gain symbolized by a leaf signifying it to be a healthy drink thus a better option from the carbonated drinks. The current TVC emphasizes on the nutrient value of the drink. The focus is to remain relevant to existing customers but also include the new set of consumers and their demands.

Client's perspective: Khambatta said, “There is a need to balance fun and health aspect which we have tried in our current communication piece. The focus now is to move away from theme advertising to product based advertising which addresses specific products from our wide array under our portfolio.”

He also explained that with changing times the `I Love You Rasna’ brand slogan got diluted which prompted them to move out of that communication. A notable change in today’s communication is that it includes appealing to slightly older kids. On his take on using celebrities which Rasna has done in the past, Khambatta said, “Currently, we are not looking at using celebs as there have been a deluge of celeb endorsements and the sad part is one cannot associate a celeb to any particular brand. He or she might be remembered but the brand definitely doesn’t get any recall. We used Karishma Kapoor which I think was well use of celeb because that was the time she was married and one was curious about her home maker image which came out well in the ad.”

Achievement: “The fact that we have kept MNC competition at bay in this category itself is an achievement. Rasna is almost generic to the category as Amul is to butter and Cadbury’s to chocolates,” said Khambatta.

Now for a challenge: Khambatta said, “It is a big marketing challenge to find a single communication that will appeal and address both rural and urban audience. I challenge the agency who claims to achieve this difficult task.”

What’s your take?

Sandeep Goyal, Chairman, Dentsu India:

“Dentsu has worked with Rasna for about three years, till the end of last year. But my personal association with Piruz Khambatta and Rasna goes back to 1991-92. Dentsu revived the CQ (cute quotient) of Rasna with its `Mom-made’ campaign that refocused the brand on the child-mother togetherness and insatiable thirst for Rasna, more so since it is Mom made.”

He continued, “As for Rasna’s brand journey, I think the brand started to meander and squandered some of its equity in the nineties. It was a pioneer and leader in the concentrated soft drink category. I think Rasna needs to reconnect with its consumers. Earlier constituency has either grown older or graduated to higher SEC. Brand needs to reach out to a different child, different mother in a market that is vastly different from the ones targeted 20 years ago.”

So what’s your advice to the brand to reinvent itself? “Get real! Get a new life,” quips Goyal.


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