‘IPL on TV helps seed new thoughts & drive perception changes much faster’

Mondelez India leverages Dairy Milk and IPL's celebratory nature for its TV campaign to boost reach and synergies in terms of bringing people together

e4m by Ashee Sharma
Updated: Mar 18, 2021 9:34 AM
Cadbury - Thank you Bar

Iconic chocolate brand, Cadbury Dairy Milk which was introduced to Indians in 1948, has since then come a long way. It is today the undisputed market leader in the chocolate category in the country; Mondelez India owns over 65 percent of the market share (as per Nielsen), with Cadbury Dairy Milk alone commanding over 40 per cent of it. Despite being India’s most trusted brand and having a stronghold on the market, the business challenge Mondelez India was facing to scale up CDM’s penetration which is still lower than other snacking categories such as salty snacks and biscuits, shares Sameer Yadav, Associate Director – Marketing (Chocolates), Mondelez India.    

“While we are doing well on all brand parameters, our quest has been about ‘how to get the chocolate into more and more households’, ‘how to get it within the repertoire of meetha’ for Indian consumers who are still slightly low on ‘sweet snacking’ as compared to their global counterparts. Yet, I would like to look at it as an opportunity, and not a challenge,” he says. 

To achieve this objective, Cadbury Dairy Milk has been focussing on the purpose of building ‘generosity’ using its ‘kuch accha ho jaaye, kuch meetha ho jaaye’ proposition over the past three years. While this has been an ongoing effort by Mondelez India, irrespective of the media investment, IPL has been a part of CDM’s journey for several years now with the expected ROIs evolving from being about reach and awareness to (meaningful) impact. So when the brand was taking the leap from ‘mithai exchange’ to ‘thank you’, IPL on TV became imperative for two broad reasons – the reach and synergies in terms of ‘bringing people/families together.

“IPL is the almost Super Bowl of India. With a cumulative reach of close to 400 million on TV, on an average, the reach per match would be 30-40 million, which is huge. Another important consideration for us was the celebratory nature of IPL as well as CDM, both of which stand for bringing people and families together and creating moments. In these times when the audience is segregating due to the availability of multiple mediums and screens, IPL is a platform that allows audience aggregation. It’s festivity beyond festivals,” remarks Yadav.

Talking about the different elements of the TV campaign he states, “In addition to running the ad, we were also launching a pack for which we had redone the logo to say ‘Thank You’. At the same time, we were leveraging our partnership with Mumbai Indians and Star Network to inculcate the idea of ‘generosity’ in people’s lives. So there were a lot of things being done simultaneously”. Remarkable among Mondelez India’s IPL initiatives in 2020 were the ‘Thank You Day’ content integration with Star Network where Star celebrated the contribution of those who worked behind-the-scenes to make the event possible, and the activation with Mumbai Indians which further helped in landing the idea of generosity for all. 

Sukesh Nayak Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy India (CDM’s creative partner) shares that while ‘generosity’ is a global platform idea for Cadbury Dairy Milk, the agency worked on creating a campaign that was relevant in the Indian context. “As this was a pan-India campaign for Cadbury Dairy Milk, we put forward the idea of a packaging makeover to come up with the ‘Thank You Bar’ which had ‘Thank You’ written in different Indian languages.” Commenting on how differently he approached IPL TV campaigns, he adds, “There’s no doubt that IPL gets a huge number of eyeballs, and so the only way to stand out with your work is to deliver genuine, meaningful and interesting solutions to the brief.”

In terms of regional targeting, while the Thank You Bar itself was designed to target different markets, the campaign was also tailored to suit the purpose. For Cadbury Dairy Milk, a large part of Diwali sales come from the North and West markets, where it had the ‘Celebrations’ feed going, even as Dairy Milk was being advertised in the South. 

Quizzed about the impact of the TV campaign, Yadav shares that while the outcomes from the 2020 campaign will be known later, it had a significant contribution to the company coming back stronger in Q3 and Q4 after the COVID setback.  “We were also able to scale up on all measures of brand saliency as well,” he notes while adding that, “IPL on TV is a great platform for landing new thoughts and creating proposition or perception changes because it keeps the consumers engaged over a fairly large period of time which is essential for communicating a message at scale. This would otherwise take around three to four months to happen.”

2019 worked quite well for the brand in terms of driving effectiveness that was measured through the impact on sales. There was a clear positive impact on sales, with that for Cadbury Dairy Milk being higher than the rest.

Yadav signs off by advising brands to not get ‘carried away’ when it comes to IPL advertising. “One must evaluate whether IPL fits into the overall game plan for them and make prudent choices accordingly. It is extremely important to be clear about the brand objective.”

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