Anandabazar Patrika Group and Cadbury India embarked on an initiative called ‘Cadbury Mishti Shera Srishti’ in Kolkata to build greater brand connect. Bengali’s sweet tooth is well documented and Bengalis are known for their obsession for ‘Mishti’. ‘Cadbury Mishti Shera Shrishti’ is the first platform, which has created a fusion of traditional and western form of sweets. Joining the bandwagon, were the top “Mishti” chains of the city, who have created an innovative “Cadbury Mishti” - using Cadbury Dairy Milk as one of the key ingredients. The top 9 leading ‘sweet making chains of Kolkata ( Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick, Girish Chandra Dey and Nakur Chandra Nandy, Bhim Chandra Nag, K.C. Das , Sen Mahasay, Jadab Chandra Das, Hindusthan Sweets, Ganguram Sweets and Gupta Brothers) competed against each other across the city. Consumers tasted the “Mishti” at each store and voted for their favourites.
Cadbury ‘Mishti Shera Shrishti’ initiative
On what made ABP associate with the Cadbury Mishti Shera Shrishti initiative, Aritra Sarkar, VP – Strategy, ABP Group, explained, “Over the years ABP has not only been the market leader in the East but has also become a warehouse of thought leadership, when it comes to understand the consumers.” Based on the deep understanding of the eastern India market and the consumers of Bengal, ABP group started “conversations with Cadbury a year back regarding the brand's interest to build itself in West Bengal, as the national campaign, Kuchh Meetha Ho Jaaye, gained popularity.” Close on the heels followed ‘Cadbury Mishti Shera Srishti’ that was “conceptualised to connect the local insight - the famous Bengali sweet tooth with the national campaign.”
He added, “This winning proposition created value for the reader and also ensured mileage for Cadbury as a brand.” He was also sure that such an “initiative will help the marketers to look more seriously at regional marketing. Top clients should look at the local culture as a very effective and strong component in their growth strategies.”
Completely in agreement was Chandramouli Venkatesan – Director Snacking & Strategy, Cadbury Kraft Foods, who outlined what made them opt for Kolkata. He said, “Kolkata is a big mithai market and a fusion of chocolate and mithai presents a great opportunity for Cadbury Kraft Foods to further build relevance in this market.” He added that their activities in Kolkata have “always been in alignment to our larger concept of positioning CDM as a universal sweet dish”.
"Cadbury Mishti Shera Shrishti" competition phase started from January 9 and continued till February 8. The campaign is heading into the sustenance phase currently, Sarkar informed. While it is being ensured that the sweet shops continue to stock the sweets, ABP will continue to keep the readers interested for the next two months, before the awards for the best recipes are given away at a gala event on 'Poila Boishak' - the Bengali New Year in April.
ABP ONE, is the strategic marketing arm of ABP Pvt.Ltd providing customized marketing solutions in the East. “We as an unit, implemented some innovative campaigns for different brands which has really created a regional buzz in Bengal."Cadbury Mishti Shera Shrishti" really helped us to outspread our existing expertise which will give us an opportunity to service more brands in future,” observed Sarkar.
The promotional buzz around the contest
The entire campaign was based on an election theme to create excitement around the entire competition, so voting captions like ‘’Rasogolla-E Das Babu Kanchagoll-E Nandy Babu Cadbury Mishti Te Kon Babu Korbe Kolkata Kabu, Vote Elo Natun Swad Cadbury Mishti Vote Zindabad” were conceptualized.
Every ‘Mishti’ chain used a celebrity as its star campaigner throughout the month of the competition. Parno for Balaram Mullick, June Maliah for Bhim Chandra Nag, Sreelekha Mitra for Ganguram, Rupam for Nakur, Abir for K.C. Das, Parambrata for Sen Mahasay, Rudranil for Hindusthan sweets, kanchan for Gupta Brothers, Arunima for Jadab Chandra Das’ – all of them in all possible mediums campaigned for their brands, revealed Sarkar.
The campaign extensively used print, radio, outdoor, on-ground, tram and bus branding and the digital medium - to engage the consumer. An interesting example was the 'Paata Bahar', an advertorial to push the campaign through Anandabazar Patrika and The Telegraph. The content in the advertorial not only carried the campaign but also featured material on Bengali cuisine, sparking off debates and involvement from readers. Sarkar says that Paata Bahar helped the campaign find more favour with the consumers, with about 10,000 extra votes being added each day the advertorial was published
The entire creative was conceptualized and executed by ABP One, strategic marketing wing of ABP group. Media Agency was the Madisson appointed by Cadbury India Limited
Whether they had any activities on the digital platform, Sarkar said, “Yes , we have extensively promoted the campaign in our digital platform -my.anandabazar.com where consumers registered and voted for their favourite sweet chains. We also used our sms service provider Mjoy as a reminder medium, via sms push in Mjoy, when consumers were asked to solve the riddle centered around this campaign.”
The media platforms that were used for the promotional activities were print (in ABP and The Telegraph), OOH, Radio - Big, Red and Friend Fm, Digital - zip dial,my.anandabazar.com, mjoy. .
As far as on ground activities undertaken, there were many. To start with, there was In shop activation: a dedicated team of promoters were present in all participating sweet chains. .A unique Zip-Dial number ( toll free) has been created for all the participating sweet chains. Tablet PC was available in all Mishti chains and their outlets was connected to my.anadabazar.com voting page .In-store promoters at each participating mishti outlet, persuaded the consumers to taste the Cadbury Mishti and cast their vote for their favourite sweet chains. Pocket calendars (customized for each mishti chain with all the details of voting mechanics) were made for consumers who visited the sweet shops.
Each mishti chain (nine in number) along with the mascot (the celebrity) organised a mock procession/ michil/ juloos in and around their primary catchment area. Thus creating the hype and the necessary seriousness around the campaign. Autos plyed in nearby areas, adjacent to the participating mishti outlets - announcing the entire event and campaigned for respective mishti chains.
Pamphlets were distributed, posters, banners, chain flags were put up in local para clubs, paras and all popular hangout joints in Kolkata. There was college activation and activation in Book Fair too.
There has been a tremendous response from the “Mishti” lovers of Kolkata over “Cadbury Mishti Shera Shrishti” . More than 11 lakh votes have been cast already for this competition. The popularity of the initiative can be gauged by the fact that more than 80 different varieties of Cadbury Mishti are now available for the sweet lovers of Kolkata. With a simple marketing plan amplified by the strategic use of media, Sarkar says that both the brand and the local culture stood to gain.
Elaborating on the leverage gained by Cadbury, Chandramouli Venkatesan – Director Snacking & Strategy, Cadbury Kraft Foods said, “Over the past 8 years, CDM has been positioned as a sweet dish/dessert through the “Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye” campaign. Our activities in Kolkata have always been in alignment to our larger concept of positioning CDM as a universal sweet dish.”
For this initiative, we have partnered with 9 leading mithai chains in the city. Through the course of the event, each mithai chain will show case ‘mishtis’ made with CDM. The products will then be up for voting by people and the best winning mithais and mithai chains will be rewarded. The whole activity is being supported by a strong marketing campaign that says, ‘Its time to vote once again in Kolkata’. We have also deployed multiple creative elements to increase further awareness of the campaign. Some of the mithai chains we have partnered with for this campaign are Ganguram Sweets Hindusthan Sweets, KC Das Pvt Ltd. And Gupta Brothers
The Mishti campaign carries ‘strong regional elements and works towards driving chocolate relevance and sits well within our overall “Kuch Meetha ho Jaaye” campaign”. On expanding this concept in other geographies, he concluded,” We will be looking to execute more such initiatives in the future.”
Whether ABP had any other such tie-ups on the anvil, Sarkar was quick to add,” We would be interested in partnering with brands to acheive exponential business growth in the east by creating a strong local flavour to the marketing strategies.”