Who wins Mango Wars? Frooti, Maaza or Slice?

Three popular mango drinks Frooti, Maaza & Tropicana Slice have engaged in a creative tussle to lure mango lovers to their brands this summer. We speak to experts who review

e4m by Sarmistha Neogy
Updated: Apr 21, 2015 8:40 AM
Who wins Mango Wars?  Frooti, Maaza or Slice?

Three of the popular mango drinks brand, ‘Frooti’ from the flagship mango drink brand of Parle Agro, ‘Maaza’ from Coca Cola and PepsiCo’s ‘Tropicana Slice’ have engaged in a creative tussle to lure the mango lovers to their brand this summer.

Frooti has undergone a brand makeover after 30 years with a new logo and visual avatar. To communicate this change, a campaign titled ‘Frooti Life’ has been conceptualised by the New York based agency Sagmeister & Walsh. It is an animated video with miniature characters as they try to get a giant mango inside the new Frooti bottle. ‘Aaam suckita...lickita...enjoyita’ play alongside and actor Sharukh Khan appears only in the last scene to say ‘The Frooti Life’. The incumbent agency, Creativeland Asia headed by Sajan Raj Kurup parted ways with Parle Agro after seven years this January. The new campaign is being promoted extensively across print, television, digital and social media.

View the Frooti ad here:

Maaza, keeping their strategy ‘Har Mausam Aam’ unchanged, is back with a new campaign starring Varun Dhawan and Gulshan Grover, with a typical hero and villain story. It has also changed its visual identity, so along with the logo change; the images of the mangoes on the bottle have been accentuated to convey the true essence of the brand. The new campaign has been done by Leo Burnett.

View the Maaza ad here:

Tropicana Slice on the other hand, along with Katrina Kaif continues to ride on the sensuous wave to introduce their new flavour Alphonso. The new campaign done by J Walter Thompson also features Aditya Roy Kapoor. The film is set in a mango orchard where Katrina is seen playfully distracting the man with her charm. The look and feel of the campaign is fresh and also quite contemporary.

View the Slice ad here:

Who scores in the Mango War?

Harish Bijoor, Brand-expert & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults feels that Frooti has the best brand recall out of the three brands. It is the creative which stands out, the fact that they do not use real people, except in the end when Shah Rukh Khan makes a fleeting appearance is different. “The creative is brand-centric. Not even product-centric as much as brand-centric. The background scores are nearly haunting even with the 'Suckita lickita" tone, tenor and decibel that makes the film and brand memorable. To me, Frooti stands out, not because of Shah Rukh Khan, but because of the creative device used right throughout the film The Gulliver Mango is the real hero here! The Frooti film is the "Tasty Mango film", Maaza is the "Timeless Mango" version, and the Tropicana effort is the "Sensuous Mango" film. From them all, I will go for the lowest-common denominator of them all: The Tasty Mango!” he said. However, from the pure brand ambassador perspective, Bijoor likes Katrina and her serialized sensuality for the brand over the years.

Priti Nair, Co-Founder, Curry-Nation liked the Tropicana Slice ad more because of its look and feel. “For any mango drink, the appeal is very important; it should be such that, it drives your appetite and makes you want to have the drink right then. Slice does the job well and I am glad that they have stuck to the brand’s idea of ‘seduction’ for so long. Frooti on the other hand, leaves a very cold taste; the ad is not about the drink. The creative execution could have been much better. The last scene which shows a mango falling into the bottle, instead the mango drink would have created a better visual impact. The production and the creative value could have been upped for sure. Regarding Maaza, I don’t know why they have actually done the ad, the entire formula of a hero and a villain, looks lifted from an old Hindi movie which doesn’t work. They have tried to make it hilarious, but the connection between the villain Jango and Mango makes no sense,” she cited.

Nair, who appreciated Tropicana Slice for using Katrina’s sensuality to push the brand, feels that, in terms of creating an appeal it is the strongest. But when it comes to brand recall, it is Frooti, considering the size and the weightage of the brand.

According to KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, SapientNitro, Frooti has done massive rebranding with good animation, but in this bargain it has lost its universal appeal. “The brand needs to come out of its kids’ image and include the universal audience, who have literally grown up on the brand. Frooti in an attempt to please one section of the audience; it is losing out on the majority pie of its consumer base. Also talking of Slice, they really need to come out of the image of sensuality and mango. I don’t know how sustainable it is a strategy for the brand, but no mango drink can get away by saying that it is the best. It can always be the second best to real mangoes. Their strategy of localising a popular flavour like Alphonso is really smart, but it can never be like the real Ratnagiri Alphonso Mangoes,” he pointed.

On the other hand, he likes Maaza’s ‘Har Mausam Aam’ because it doesn’t state that it is the best, but goes on to say that it is available also during the offseason. This is a much stronger talking point, in comparison to brands which are competing with the taste of real mangoes.  Speaking about the recent Maaza campaign, Pops didn’t like it because of the over-the-top humour used in the TVC and he feels that it is high time agencies need to stop thinking youngsters as unintelligent and dish out anything to them. “In spite of this disappointing campaign, I feel that Maaza can still get away with it, because it has the market share of 40% and with a potential to grow even further. Even though, the campaign doesn’t look real, but when it comes to taste, this is the next best which resembles like the taste of real mangoes,” he explained.

In terms of brand recall, it is Maaza for him, because it is one of the most popular in-house consumed brands. But when it comes to outdoor consumption, it is Frooti, owing to its ‘on-the-go’ tetra pack packaging and its wide reach.

Manish Bhatt, Founder, Director, Scarecrow Communications observed a new trend this year that all the three brands are spending heavily in this category. He felt that in the Frooti campaign, Shah Rukh Khan was under-utilised, but craft wise what the brand has done is new.

Commenting on where, these brands are going wrong in their communication strategy, he opined, “All of them are under delivering, what they are promising to the audience. It is like, if you are showing too much of something in a product, I will expect that from it. Similarly, when you are showing too many ripe and juicy mangoes, you are only increasing my expectation and I will expect the same from the mango drinks.”

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