Taking pop culture route to win India’s millennial hearts: Ankush Manchanda, Bacardi

Manchanda, Director - Digital Marketing (Asia, Middle East and Africa), Bacardi explains how it is becoming imperative for brands to strategize at multiple levels to elevate engagement levels

e4m by Anjali Thakur
Updated: Jan 31, 2019 8:38 AM

Bacardi India is at the forefront of the digital marketing wave in India, and is among the very few players in the industry who envisaged the unprecedented opportunity with the evolution of more dynamic mediums such as digital, on-ground experiences and creative campaigns driven through pop-culture influences and content co-creation. Bacardi has explored almost every unique and trending format that exists - web series, music platforms, reality shows, festival culture to name a few. 

“Our main focus is to get ingrained into the culture of the consumers, give them multi-faceted experience, both on the side of content as well as an on-ground experience,” said Ankush Manchanda, Director - Digital Marketing (Asia, Middle East and Africa), Bacardi.   

The brand entered the Indian market in 1998, riding on its premium-yet-fun image and its wildly popular jingle. In recent years, the brand has signed up comedians and hip-hop dancers, curated food events, and hosted cocktail evenings in collaboration with new-age cafes to tap into India’s new demographics. 

“Bacardi has been known for coming up with properties which are actually regarded cool and upbeat by the consumers. We keep a track of the latest trend with which millennial connect to. So, about seven years ago, we created a trend of Indie musicians, in which two music artistes collaborated and created a unique music which was non-existent, which only existed on YouTube at that point in time. We basically look at what our consumers are doing, what trend they are showcasing and accordingly we take steps,” said Manchanda.

As brands rise to the opportunity to elevate the engagement levels in India’s metro and non-metro markets through ‘glocalisation’ of content and feed the growing hunger for pop-culture conversations, it is becoming imperative for them to strategize at multiple levels while optimising digital and experiential tools in the best manner. 

Manchanda says typically their consumers fall into the bracket of 25 to 40 years of age. "We have a plethora of brands including Bacardi, Breezer, Greygoose, Eristoff, Bombay Sapphire to name a few. So for different age brackets and different occasions, we have different brands for our consumers. However, how we engage with our consumers across most of our activation is that we believe in everything and anything which is through the line, driving our point of view on the content side and giving our customers a very unique experience on-ground in the form of drinking experience or musical experience like our festivals NH 7 Weekender or food or drink experience which we call as Dewar’s Doer’s Club.” 

The brand is going beyond just musical events such as its flagship NH 7 Weekender. The company has tied up with event management company Only Much Louder to launch a hip-hop dance festival in 2017, promoting its Breezer brand. Actor Varun Dhawan was part of Breezer's commitment to support popular music culture and foster India’s hip-hop dance scene for their Breezer Vivid Shuffle property. Not just that, “We also collaborated with stand-up comedian Abish Matthew and Kenny Sebastian for Breezer Vivid A+K Tour. Also, we have a YouTube series with comedian Kanan Gill for Dewar’s,” Manchanda added. 

Commenting on the big properties and collaboration to look forward to 2019, he shared, “2019 will witness big properties like NH 7 Weekender, Breezer Vivid Shuffle, The Doer’s Club, Bacardi House Party to name a few. And we recently collaborated with dancer Melvin Louis for a dance cover which got us around 5.5 million views, there are more collaborations in the pipeline.”

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