Diageo India's market approach is occasion-led not demography-led

Abhishek Shahabadi, Portfolio Head, on what triggered their first-ever mass-media, India-specific advertising, launching it on the largest platform available during IPL and more

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: May 4, 2018 8:52 AM

Black & White Gettogethers, from Diageo India, recently launched their first-ever India-specific TVC conceptualised by J Walter Thompson Bangalore and inspired by the brand message “Made of Sharing” the TVC has been directed by Jamie Muir, acclaimed London-based filmmaker and photographer known for “Drawing and Dreams”, a part of the 2014 Cupidity Series which won the Silver Lion at Cannes Film Festival.

Abhishek Shahabadi, Portfolio Head, Diageo India chatted with exchange4media on what triggered their first-ever mass-media, India-specific advertising, launching it on the largest platform available during IPL and more.

Shahabadi shared that in India, Black & White is not something that the brand has explored in a big way in terms of communication, because it is at its initial stage of development. “We’ve taken the leap to spread purpose across a larger cross-section of consumers. This is the first mass-media advertising because we thought that our purpose is something that needed this storytelling format,” he said.

“I think all our brands have been on television. And from time to time, depending on what we want to communicate to consumers, we choose the right media to make that communication. For Black & White, the purpose of the brand which is sharing yourself with strangers to enrich yourself, we thought this could be best communicated through television. Therefore, we went about creating it,” he continued.

When quizzed about any demographic skews the campaign aims to target, Shahabadi said, “It is slightly the more upper market consumer, the affluent India as such. But the real target is that the brand should appear in every occasion where people are getting together. Our market approach is more occasion-led than demography-led.”

He revealed that the brand’s focus is mostly digital. “For this kind of audience which is slightly more connected-up, we tend to use a lot of digital platforms. And when we want to broaden our reach and have more story-telling, we add TV to it,” said Shahabadi.

About the brand’s core communication strategy, Shahabadi explained, is to reach all the consumers and engage with them within their interest-space. “So be it on digital or television, we do inter-space-targeting and showcase our communication accordingly", he said

On their amplification plans, he said, “We’ve launched Black & White on the largest reach platform available which is the IPL. Our campaign is activated across media to deliver the message. So if you look at the whole campaign, it is not just TV-centric. It is about taking the core message and passing it on wherever the consumer is present.”

Shahabadi said that going further, the brand plans to tap into influencers and celebrities to amplify further. “We will continue building on this proposition of sharing and get-togethers, which is going to be core to building the brand and experience in the market, by creating mass-media story-telling and then taking it to the on-ground level,’’ he contended.

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