Why Sunny Oil tweaked its communication recipe
Creative agency The Womb and the brand share insights on how Sunny Oil aims to capture a bigger share of the edible oil pie and avail multi-category opportunities with its latest campaign
Sumptuous food garnished with spices, a mother approaching the dinner table, children smiling in anticipation and a shot epitomising the ideal happy family – these images have dominated the marketing arena in the edible oil category since the early 1990s.
Veering away from such a cookie-cutter approach and focusing on real, relatable situations, Sunny Oil has rolled out a three-spot campaign. The brand has activated marketing mediums like TV, cinema and digital for the ongoing campaign. We spoke to the agency and brand teams for the secret sauce behind the tweaked recipe, what went into putting together the ad campaign and why it is a part of Sunny Oil's marketing plan.
‘Cooking up’ stories
According to Prashant Sarwade, Head of Marketing, Frigorifico Allana Pvt Ltd, the campaign’s objective was around unlocking the brand from pure product play that should allow it to take multi-category opportunities in the future. “This campaign will help us build preference for the brand and grow our market share,” he asserted.
Sarwade said geographically isolatable regional TV channels continue to play the pivotal and conventional role for building a reach. “YouTube and OTTs help us augment the reach with the non-Marathi Metro audience. We are extensively using social media platforms to build conversation and talkability around the theme and the stories,” he said. Cinema advertising has also been used in certain pockets of Mumbai.
The campaign spends are in line with the brand’s objective to have a significant share of voice within the category, he added. “Conventionally, the campaign impact will depend on the media weights but in campaigns like Life Aapki, Recipe Aapki the impact also resides in its differentiated emotional pitch,” he said. The edible cooking oil being a largely undifferentiated category, there isn’t much one can do to the product to build differentiation, particularly in sub-categories like Sunflower and Soybean, which together contributes to more than 75 per cent of the overall category, Sarwade said.
Cracking the client brief
The client’s brief to creative agency The Womb was to produce a brand platform that could help Sunny become a multi-product/multi-category player.
According to Kawal Shoor, Founding Partner, The Womb, the tricky part of the thinking was to make a transition from its previous, sunflower oil-based proposition (oil that helps build immunity) into a platform that can accommodate multiple messages across multiple categories. “Given that oils are a low-margin business, and investments on communications were going to be moderate at best, the new brand platform had to have some sort of inherent virality built in,” he said.
Since the thought had to be larger than any category, the starting point to the team was clear – come from an insight about modern women or parenting, and the role that the brand can play in their lives. Talreja added that it was tough to build differentiation based on benefits of the modern era, especially in commodity categories, due to a strong product parity that exists across brands.
“A more fertile space for building affinity for brands is by identifying modern conflicts that the target is struggling with, and come to her aid with a point of view. Through a lot of cultural understanding work, and some media ethnography, we saw that the woman of today is surrounded by different points of view like those coming from social media, or her family and friends, especially when she has more than one legit way of solving a conflict,” Shoor shared.
He revealed that in the first round the team had more than 20 such conflicts tabled. “Some about herself, some in the area of parenting and some in the area of other members of the family. But we all felt that the two we finally chose were faced by more women. When we narrated a few stories in research, women had tears in their eyes. I think the time has come for advertising to really become a part of the larger media culture, and engage audiences not just entertain them. We anyway had decided that we will do one product film on the route, and the other two literally decided themselves,” he stated.
Secondly, the task in front of the agency was to get an as natural a way to bring the brand in. “The brand was very clear that these stories would not be able to carry a pack shot. It would be too ‘bechu’ and forced. The two thematic films had to end with the branding only. This is where Suyash and his creative team excelled. With a campaign line like ‘life aapki, recipe aapki’ he got the category connect effortlessly,” Shoor concluded.
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