How memes on fake bottles helped Bisleri connect with customers

As twitterati posted memes around fake Bisleri bottles, the brand re-launched its ‘Har paani ki bottle Bisleri nahi hoti’ campaign in a stronger way

by Dolly Mahayan
Published - Sep 6, 2019 8:59 AM Updated: Sep 6, 2019 2:17 PM

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Bisleri

Duplicate products of brands, though a very serious issue, generally do not grab the attention of social media users. But recently, mineral water brand Bisleri took the spotlight on social media when people posted images of fake Bisleri bottles along with the original ones using hashtags #BeOrignial #BeBisleri.

Twitterati got creative posting interesting memes using the image and tagged the official Bisleri page. The brand was quick to pick up the opportunity, using it in an interesting way by re-launching their popular campaign ‘Har paani ki bottle Bisleri nahi hoti’ in a stronger way.

Talking about the insight behind the campaign, Anjana Ghosh, Director, Marketing at Bisleri International Pvt Ltd, said, “In a category as universal and homogeneous as bottled water, differentiating between local companies and brands becomes difficult for consumers. Although consumers ask for Bisleri, they eventually settle for any bottle of water handed to them by the retailer. Additionally, the paradigm of being identified with the category, though is an advantage, has posed a big challenge for us. Hence, to address these issues, we launched the brand campaign.”

The packaged water category is pegged at around Rs 14,000 crore, with a 20 per cent CAGR. “We are sure that this campaign will not only address the issue of counterfeit product, but also translate into annual sales growth of the business,” Ghosh said.

To tackle the issue, the brand had earlier introduced dual language labels across the country on all sizes. “Labels in local languages are not only emotionally appealing to consumers because they help them read and understand the language, but also help them spot the difference between fakes and look-alikes from original Bisleri,” she added.

Speaking about the marketing mediums used for the campaign, Ghosh explained, “While being heavy on ATL and digital mediums, it is backed by supporting BTL point of sale materials planted at the retailers and modern trade outlets to remind the consumers that every bottle of water is not Bisleri.”

When asked how the whole exercise began, Bhavya Sadrani, Sr. Executive, Digital Marketing, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd, shared, “To register the message in the mind of our consumers, we knew we had to catch on the trends and the moments. We needed to connect with them and make them receptive to our message. We uploaded posts on quick steps to identify the original Bisleri from the fakes. We did not use any paid/influencer promotion for this campaign.”

While it’s interesting to see how Bisleri worked to spread awareness about counterfeit drinking water bottles, we asked experts, how brands should strategise their marketing to deal with such kind of situations and to what extent it can be prevented?

According to N Chandramouli, CEO TRA Research, fake brands ride on the consumer trust in the original to hoodwink them into buying and eat into the revenues of the original ones.

“When it comes to luxury brands, fakes create one more problem of personal nature: The consumer who purchases the original feels cheated when a cheaper fake is adorned by someone else,” he added.

“When purchases are done without checking the product, we are all potential victims of fakes. Consumers must be made a partner in the fight against fakes since it affects them the most. A consumer movement against fakes is an idea waiting to happen,” said Chandramouli.

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