Home >> Advertising >> Article

How Old Monk became an iconic brand with ‘zero’ ad spends

11-January-2018
Font Size   16
How Old Monk became an iconic brand with ‘zero’ ad spends

For decades together dark spirits have dominated the palates and markets in India. Among many homegrown brands that are available in the market today, one name which has managed to stand out and get a cult following of its own is Old Monk.


Old monk is especially known for its unique product design and superior taste which catapulted it among the most popular dark rums in the world. Kapil Mohan, the former Managing Director of Mohan Meakin—the makers of Old Monk recently passed away at the age of 88. Mohan who took the reigns of the company in 1970 breathed a new lease of life in the company, establishing it into a multi-faceted business house with a turnover exceeding Rs 400 crore.

Interestingly, Old Monk never advertised as Kapil Mohan believed that Old Monk’s taste was its best advertisement. “We do not advertise. I will not, and as long as I am in this chair, we will not (advertise),” Mohan had said in an interview in 2012.

Old Monk was the undisputed single brand leader till 2002, not just among rum labels, but the entire branded spirits market in India. It was also for many years the largest Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). So what made Old Monk such an iconic brand?

According to Rabe Iyer, ‎Managing Director - ‎Motivator (Group M Media India Pvt. Ltd), “A few possible factors that could have played a role-The Consistency of Brand identity, the distinct bottle and elements making up the identity. Moreover, the logo, font, and packaging elements have seen little change over time: a strong positive for easy recognition and subtly passing the perception of standing consistent through time. Also, a strong imagery owing to its perceived popularity amongst the Armed forces for years where off-duty rituals also get passed on a tradition of the seniors made its local and indigenous birth very special besides having a broader appeal. Its physical availability over the years bettered with the so-called ‘Original’ available only in Military Canteens to now available easily, helped carry its legacy far and wide.”

Calling Old Monk as a cult brand, Mohit Joshi Managing Director, havas-media_751.html">Havas Media Group India adds, “The Monk who never sold a Ferrari but without whom no college reunion is complete. Old Monk is a cult brand in its own right. Its unique bottle, smell, sweet taste enlivens memories, sparks nostalgia and warms up the bonds - and that gives it the special place that it holds in our hearts.” 

Kapil Mohan was awarded the Padamshree in 2010 for his immense contribution to Indian business. Ironically the man who made others relish the unique taste of Old Monk was someone who preferred a simple lifestyle and hardly drank. 

For Public Relations, Independent Political Communication Consultant and Digital Business Advisor Anup Sharma, Old Monk is not just another brand; it's a drink which was part of people’s cherished memories as they were 'coming-of-age'. “People have memories of binge hostel drinking to the first job celebration with the good Old Monk. Priced low it is one iconic bottle which rubs shoulder in the bar with some of the most expensive single malts and is the perfect example of India - strong, stable, spiritual and unique.

Raising a toast to the man behind this iconic brand, Rabe Iyer has these parting words to offer as a mark of tribute to the big man of Indian spirits who will be missed for generations to come:

“The soldiers braved the weather’s might,

Keeping the border safe and tight,

Tin, mug or anything that could hold The Old Monk nice,

Blushed the soldiers out of the harsher night.

Topped with a little water or Thumbs Up with or without Ice,

Stole the thunder, rushing their enemies Out of sight.”

Tags e4m

The MD of Sai Estate Consultants, Chembur, on their marketing strategy, adopting a carpet bombing approach, response to the Wajood app and why he now allocates maximum of his marketing spends on digital

Prachi Mohapatra on fbb’s latest campaign, one-year after going omni-channel, and its growing reliance on content marketing

The marketing head of Greenpanel on marketing approach and how the company is working towards educating consumer about MDF

BookMyShow, Uber, Chumbak, Viacom18 and Radio City are some of the clients of the company

right
left
KARAN THAPAR & SHEKHAR GUPTA DISCUSS JOURNALISTIC ETHICS AT THE PRINT’S ‘OFF THE CUFF’ WOMEN ECONOMIC FORUM AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE WOMEN LEADERS OF THE DECADE THE 6TH EDITION OF IAA AWARDS RECOGNIZES THE WORK OF INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS 11 INDUSTRY EXPERTS PRESENT  THEIR FAVOURITE DIGITAL CASE STUDIES @AD CLUB’S ‘D-CODE BUSINESSWORLD LAUNCHES 14TH EDITION OF MARKETING WHITEBOOK IN MUMBAI INDUSTRY VETERANS CHEER AS ADMAN AMBI PARAMESWARAN LAUNCHES NEW BOOK SPONG AAAI HONOURS VETERAN ADMAN RAM SEHGAL WITH THE 2018 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWAR PITCH TOP 50 BRANDS 2018 AWARDS COMPANIES WITH BEST MARKETING PRACTICES TEAM BBDO ORGANIZES AJAI JHALA’S FAREWELL WITH FRIENDS & ASSOCIATES RADIO CITY CELEBRATES ITS 17TH ANNIVERSARY WITH CONCERT, AWARDS AND FUN 5TH EDITION OF TIMES NOW & ICICI BANK’S NRI OF THE YEAR AWARDS GLOBAL INDIANS PITCH CMO SUMMIT BENGALURU SEES TOP INDUSTRY LEADERS AND MARKETERS IN ATTENDANCE DISTINGUISHED JURY COMES TOGETHER TO PICK WINNERS FOR PITCH’S TOP 50 BRANDS PITCH CMO SUMMIT BANGALORE SEES TOP CMOS ACROSS INDUSTRIES IN ATTENDANCE 1ST REPUBLIC TV GULF INDIAN LEADERSHIP SUMMIT & AWARDS HONOUR STALWARTS OF INDIAN GULF BUSINESS COMMUNITY SONY YAY! CELEBRATES ITS FIRST BIRTHDAY WITH PARTY FOR TRADE PARTNERS THOUGHT LEADERS AND TOP DIGITAL MARKETERS SPEAK @ EXCHANGE4MEDIA GROUP’S TECHMANCH 2018 IN MUMBAI EXCHANGE4MEDIA’S IDMA 2018 RECOGNIZES INDUSTRY’S BEST DIGITAL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS REALTY PLUS UNVEILS COFFEE TABLE BOOK AT 10TH CONCLAVE & EXCELLENCE AWARDS @AHMEDABAD EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK WINNERS OF INDIAN DIGITAL MARKETING AWARDS 2018

Experts from the advertising industry revealed their mantra for publishers at a recent event held in Delhi

Competition Vs Collaboration. Experts discuss which will help both digital and traditional media produce best results

He is said to be considering various offers and will take a decision soon