The Kumbh Mela 2001is turning out to be a maha marketing opportunity for FMCG companies. The Mela is offering a 7.5 crore consumer attraction opportunity and is being exploited to the fullest by FMCG majors like Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL), Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd., Coca Cola, Pepsi Co., Marico Industries, Godrej Soaps, Britannia Industries and Dabur.
It is estimated that the promotional expenditure among the FMCG majors to be in the range of Rs 5-7 crore. Be it hoardings, stalls, film sponsorships, or kundali branding, POPs, mass media, and even new product launches, band promotions are visible all over the place to woo the captive audience over the next 40 days. Soft drink major Pepsi Co, has tied up with UP tourism and the various food stalls and restaurants.
But more than just a window for sales, the Kumbh Mela is turning out to be a platform for strategy. HLL is using this opportunity to change hand-washing and bathing habits through its brand Lifebuoy in rural India. Even though Lifebuoy is not using mass media for this promotion, innovative communications tools are being used at the mela to communicate the importance of health and hygiene. The company has put up 14 stalls at various points in the mela grounds.
Colgate-Palmolive is concentrating on promoting its products, mainly through ground activities. The product includes the flagship brand, Colgate Dental Cream, Colgate Cibaca Top, ZigZag toothbrush, Colgate Super Flex, Palmolive Naturals range and Colgate Herbal. Balloon blow-ups are one popular mode, which is being used to advertise the brands.
Dabur India is actively promoting its 400-strong product portfolio at its 40ft by 15ft stall in the commercial area of the venue. To attract consumers, an Ayurvedic physician has been deputed to provide free consultation at the stall. Dabur has also employed about 30 ‘jump boys’ who will mingle along with the crowd. These boys will carry Dabur’s smaller SKUs such as Hajmola sachets or Pudinhara sachets in trays and also have an audio player, which runs jingles of various Dabur products.