From the bush to the cup: that is the thrust of the new communication for Tata Tea, the group's flagship brand that was relaunched recently with new packaging and advertising.
The company has always emphasised the fact that its tea is sourced from its own gardens; now, it is saying that improvement of the plantation operations, and the blending and packaging operations have ensured that the great taste is maintained.
Tata Tea, which is positioned in the mid-price segment, is available in leaf and dust variants, and commands a market share of about 7 per cent; the Tata Tea brands together have a share of about 17 per cent of the packet tea market, according to ORG estimates. Hindustan Lever Ltd. (HLL) had a share of a little over 29 per cent in 2001.
The Tata tea portfolio also comprises Agni and Agni Sholay (economy), Kanan Devan, Gemini dust tea, Chakra Gold and Tetley; Kanan Devan and Chakra Gold were also recently relaunched. According to company sources, the Tata Tea brand is especially strong in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Kolkata, Orissa and Maharashtra.
The new ad campaign, created by Vaishnavi Communications, seeks to make an emotional connect with the consumer. Its positioning, "Desh ka No. 1 taste," (the country's No. 1 taste) is based on the fact that Tata Tea is the largest selling packet tea brand. There are two TV spots: the 30-second ad is a montage of situations and people across segments and geographic locations. The creative plank is: Yeh rishta hai taste ka. The 15-second ad looks at the plantations, and the advanced R&D and blending and packaging operations.
The campaign, launched a couple of weeks ago, is a departure from the earlier focus on freshness and is intended to make the brand more aspirational.
Vaishnavi Communications, which took over the advertising for the brand from Enterprise Nexus early this year. According to company sources the task was to make the brand more contemporary, and make the consumer feel pride in the brand.
The ads were made by Bharat Bala Productions; the 30-second ad has a "pan-India" feel to it as it sweeps across mountains, beaches, backwaters and villages from Alleppey to Nimrana to Jaipur. This is reflective of the brand's popularity across rural and urban and SEC markets. The shooting alone lasted about a month.
Tata Tea has hopes to increase its overall market share in the packet tea segment by one percentage point in 2002-03. Given the hip image that coffee has acquired, and the undisputed strength of local players in tea, the company has its task cut out. Still, it is upbeat about the new advertising and the enduring popularity of its flagship brand.