Current agency: Pubicis India
‘Bus do minute’ is all it still takes to put a hot, steaming bowl of Maggi on the table – 25 years after the instant noodle brand from Nestle’s stable made its way into Indian kitchens. Maggi has managed to create a category for itself in the food and snacks market in the country, wonderfully fitting into the breakfast-lunch-dinner-in-between snacking slot.
When Nestle launched its instant noodles brand in the Indian market in the early 1980s, it wanted to explore the potential for such an instant food among the Indian market. As of now it enjoys around 50 per cent market share in this segment, which is valued at around Rs 250 crore. Along the way it has managed to hold off quite a few me-too entrants.
Brand Journey – A Testimony in Itself
For Emmanuel Upputuru, National Creative Director, Publicis India, the transformation of the brand in the last 25 years is a testimony in itself. He explained, “Recently I met someone in Singapore, and when we shared how big a brand Maggie Noodles is in India, the gentleman exclaimed, ‘Noodles in India!’ That, to me, was a testimony to the success of the brand Maggie Noodles in India.”
Initially, Nestle tried to position the noodles brand on the platform of convenience, targeting working women. But it found that sales were not picking up despite heavy promotion. Research then showed that kids were the largest consumers of the brand. Realising this, Nestle repositioned the brand towards kids using sales promotions and smart advertising.
However, the fact lies that even if the TG is kids, a survey would reveal that a considerable slice of Maggi noodles’ consumers are single men and women. The pricing and the variety in tastes are the added advantages.
In 2005, Nestle made a smart move. It knew that although kids love noodles, the parents were bothered about the health aspect of the noodles, which was made of maida (refined flour). Hence, Maggi launched Maggi Atta Noodles with the baseline ‘Taste bhi, health bhi’.
Celebrating Silver Jubilee – Nostalgia
The two minutes snack has come a long way now and is celebrating 25 years in India. It has definitely been a long journey, and thus making it a part of its brand yatra, Maggi along with its creative agency Publicis India has created a special and interesting communication called ‘Me & Meri Maggi’. Giving it a nostalgia flavour, Maggi lovers are invited to pen down their memories and thereby get a chance to feature on the Maggi packs or ads.
Speaking on the thought process, Upputuru said, “The consumers of Maggie Noodles in 1983 are now grown up and the girls are now mothers with their own children. So, we wanted to start a conversation with, ‘What’s your Maggie story’? So far, more than 10,000 stories have been received in just a month. The second phase is going to be interesting too. The response has been really encouraging.”
In line with this campaign, an interactive website for consumers, www.meandmeri.in, has also been launched inviting viewer participation. This campaign is supported by 360 degree activation across television, print and the Internet, beside on-ground activities.
On important role that its advertisements/ campaigns have play for brand Maggi, Upputuru explained, “Maggie Noodles has moved beyond functional benefits. You don’t have to talk about two-minutes anymore. So, what you are seeing and will see more of is an emotional connect with the consumers. The numbers would be astounding. But the real success is to have a belief in yourself that one day you’ll succeed. And that is 25 years of success for you. And that to me is personally motivating.”
An Onlooker’s Perspective: Agnello Dias, Chief Creative Officer, Taproot India, commented, “Maggi is a textbook advertising/ marketing case. It started with a pinpoint accurate consumer need, a product that was specifically targeted towards that need, precise branding and packing, and eventually mass media communication that drove home all those points. It is one of the best examples of a truly effective marketing-advertising effort.”
Dias agrees that the brand has used its admittedly strong start to spread itself out into credible portfolio diversification. He asserted, “Today, it has enough equity to carry even related categories on its shoulders.”
Bus Do Minute: There have been at different points of time, different competitors who attempted to replace Maggi from the breakfast/ lunch/ dinner bowl, but have, in the long run, failed to do so. Competitors like Top Ramen and others are good for the occasional change in taste, but it is Maggi that still remains a staple on the dinner table.