Purpose of brand Red Label is to make India more inclusive: Shiva Krishnamurthy

The Vice President, Tea & Foods, HUL, talks about Brook Bond’s latest ad film 'Old Friends' that addresses the veg-non-veg divide in India

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: Feb 22, 2019 8:57 AM
Shiva

Red Label, from HUL, has launched a series of social campaigns that aim at spreading the message of inclusivity and breaking age-old stereotypes. Over the years, the brand has touched on social issues that are kept in hushed tones with its Swad Apnepan Ka campaigns.

In 2014, they launched a campaign depicting a Muslim lady inviting a Hindu couple who had lost their house keys for tea. The commercial sent out a message for Hindu-Muslim unity. Their recent campaign, Old Friends, does not digress from this theme. The TVC brings to the forefront the issue of food preferences and the silent divide that still exists between vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

Talking about the thought behind the campaign, Shiva Krishnamurthy, Vice President, Tea & Foods, HUL, said the purpose is to make India more inclusive.

“We believe in confronting and challenging prejudices that come in the way of being more inclusive. Our latest TVC challenges one such prejudice in a light-hearted manner over a tasty cup of tea. We hope that people will love it as much as they have loved all the earlier commercials of our ongoing Swad Apnepan Ka campaign.”

The ad film, created by Ogilvy, features two aged friends having an encounter after a long time. The comrade, who is vegetarian visiting the non-veg friend, refuses to drink tea on the grounds of meat being cooked in his house. As the ad film progresses, it showcases the aroma of a warm cup of tea that diffuses the veg-non-veg difference between the two friends.

exchange4media caught up with Shiva Krishnamurthy, Vice President, Tea and Foods (HUL), to talk about the campaign in detail.

Edited excerpts of the interview:

What was the insight behind the campaign?

The insight that we got was that vegetarians are often reluctant to eat or drink from vessels that may have been used for non-vegetarian food.

How does this ad take forward your Swad Apnepan Ka campaign?

Brooke Bond Red Label’s Swad Apnepan Ka campaign is based on our firm belief that a tasty cup of tea can go a long way in dissipating tensions and can bring people together. Over the last five years, this now iconic campaign has touched upon various social tensions and has helped people question their prejudices that are often the reasons for these tensions. The vegetarian--non-vegetarian divide is a natural part of this series.

Has highlighting social causes in the communication helped the brand?

Brooke Bond Red Label has always touched upon various social issues in their ad campaigns. The brand's purpose is to help people find common ground over tea, thereby making India more inclusive. As part of living this purpose, we have touched upon various social tensions that come in the way of a more inclusive society. In the last five years that we have been on this journey, Brooke Bond Red Label has been showered with more brand love than ever before and has been rewarded with market leadership and now Brooke Bond Red Label is India’s No.1 tea brand.

Tell us about the media mix that you follow. 

Brooke Bond Red Label uses TV as its lead medium, but digital is the fastest growing. We also use outdoor and print.

Finally, what are the future plans for the brand?

Brooke Bond Red Label will continue to walk the talk on its purpose of making India more inclusive.

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