The Public Relations Consultants Association of India (PRCAI) brought together an interesting mix of industry people to discuss on ‘Young India: The 600 million magnum opus in search of the right communication formula’. The discussion ranged from the story behind the successful Tata Tea Jaago Re campaign to iconic youth brands and the rise of social media, among others.
At the very outset, Sangeeta Talwar, Executive Director - Marketing, Tata Tea, clarified that Jaago Re was not just about a social cause, but a brand marketing campaign that had helped in both sales figures and brand recall. She said, “When in 2007 Tata Tea became the largest tea brand in the country in terms of volume, we took up the challenge to demonstrate that thought leadership and embedded Tata Tea into the DNA of Indian tea drinkers. We looked at creating a uniform message across the platform of our various products and move beyond the transactional and physicality of the product to create emotional connect. We looked at taking the tea, which many people consume to wake themselves up, to intellectual awakening and also providing enablement mechanism to facilitate that cause.”
Tata Tea moved from the physical to mental rejuvenation and a 360 degree campaign helped in this Herculean task of making this idea into a movement of creating awareness and facilitating in the voting process. The Jaagore.com website has been a huge hit. In its second phase, Tata Tea has taken on a malaise that ails our nation and is a stumbling block in its development – corruption. Once again, a 360 degree campaign has been rolled out, including revamping the Jaagore website and bringing out a ‘Vrath Yatra’, a bus that toured many cities and collected pledges of people to fight corruption.
Talwar added, “We are ready with the second phase of the anti-corruption campaign and the intention of this is to shake the individual. It is almost like turning the knife in their stomach. It is a powerful campaign and might bring us some criticism too.”
Harish Bijoor, brand strategy specialist and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, in his presentation talked about the Iconic Youth Brands. He observed, “India has morphed in many ways, be it in demographic terms, prosperity indices, language empowerment, moving from India Happens to ‘India Happening’, among others. Statistics show that 67.8 per cent of the total buying happens from the age group below 35 years. But the reality is that India is being governed by the old, which includes marketing, which, too, is done by the geriatric, though a large number of their consumers comprise the young. Hence, they fail to understand the language of the youth.”
He continued, “Study of the iconic youth brands is the study of the consumers.” Bijoor described a brand as a thought, which meant that it existed both in terms of physicality of a product and meta-physicality as a thought in one’s head. Some of the iconic youth brands thus would be the physical experience of a brand (many café outlets), virtual networking brand (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), physical networking brand (Bluetooth-enabled, Radius), digital entertainment brands and people brands (celebrities). “The truth also is that today loyalty is out and brand lifecycle has become much shorter,” Bijoor noted.
Speaking in the session on ‘Social Media: Hype or Reality?’, Amit Saran, Founder & CEO, Buzzintown, said, “Social media is no longer an option, but should be a strategy for everyone. It is a much hyped reality, but is here to stay.” He pointed out that when on social media, brands needed to keep in mind that content was still the king.
Aditya Jha, Global Marketing Head, Infosys, said, “Social media has provided a bridge to my consumers, where earlier there was no interface with them. Social media is a great platform to engage and get insights from the consumers. It also means that there is an end to the command and control of a brand, thus making companies much more conscious of how they behave now.”
He further said, “Companies are subjected to intense scrutiny courtesy social media. Earlier, there was no company equipped to listen to their consumers. The fact that the medium can be measured is relevant. Besides, it has changed the rules of the game, where earlier marketers chased the customers, now consumers search the seller and the bottom line is that the seller should be found in that search.”