We want McDowell's No 1 Yaari to be intrinsically embedded in culture: Amrit Thomas, Diageo India

Thomas, Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo India, gives us a peek into the marketing strategy for McDowell’s No 1 Soda, its creation of ‘No 1 Yaari Jam,’ their own set of 4Ps and importance of content

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 13, 2017 8:50 AM

With the ‘No 1 Yaari Jam’ launched last week by McDowell’s No 1 Soda, it’s clear that the brand wants culture and music to be intrinsic elements of its core philosophy. This sonic asset is a musical rendition of the brand’s iconic tagline ‘Yeh No 1 Yaari Hai’ which was also converted into an extremely popular song that released in 2014. Consisting of five tracks featuring artists like Swarathma and Ishq Bector from Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharashtra among others, orchestrated by music composers Salim Sulaiman, they have been produced by Qyuki Media and creatively supported by DDB Mudra. Amrit Thomas, Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo India, gives us a peek into the marketing strategy for McDowell’s No 1 Soda, its creation of ‘No 1 Yaari Jam,’ their own set of 4Ps and importance of content.


What do you look for when you get into partnership with different agencies?
Each of these activities, campaigns and growth drivers are directed at specific objectives and specific territories. We see them as 4Ps of marketing; purpose, partnership, personalisation and performance. It’s our next generation model of marketing based on behavioural science. In a highly digital mobile world where humans are extremely time challenged, what separates us as a marketing team will be a different set of 4Ps. It’s our brand purpose. Some of these partnerships are actually to deliver a certain value to the consumer and bring its purpose to life. This is in the case of McDowell's No 1 Soda initiating the bond of No 1 Yaari.

How important is the personalisation element in your marketing strategy?

We want to do it in a highly personal manner. Ideally, we want to customise it to a unit of one. I don’t know when we will get there. All communication is of relevance. I move from buying spots or thinking of our campaign in terms of GRPs to buying audiences in a context. I personalise my communication to that audience. There are many ways to define context. The digitally enabled world allows you personalisation. But we can’t do it ourselves. We have to rethink how we work with our agency partners and ensure a win-win value for both of us through partnership. We do all this to build our brand equity and trademark.

Content happens to play an important role for you. How do you want to take it ahead?

We would like to work with content creators and give a brand a role in the content. Consumers consume content. They want to be entertained. They want to have certain information value out of that content. Brand does not have to be bearer and endorser of that content. But you need to find ways to intrinsically brand this content. This is about the consumer and culture, in the centre of everything that we do.

Where do you want to take McDowell’s No 1 Yaari in 2018?

We want it to be intrinsically embedded in the culture. This is a brand for consumers who ride and relate to the idea of initiating and strengthening the bonds of 'yaari' (brotherhood). ‘No 1 Yaari Jam’ platform gives you access to music that celebrates it.

You are providing access to engagement with consumers and you are doing it around the passion point of music. We will take this large passion point and provide some form of access and engagement around those. It depends on the idea and marketing objective. We show up in a manner that’s relevant and that, consumers see every piece of content adding value to their lives.

What’s the aim of McDowell’s 'No 1 Yaari Jam'?

We launched in 2014 with a song that is also a 30-second audio-visual content. We got 86 million views. We then put the second step as to how you now take the essence of the song. Another advantage of sonic identity is, it does three things for you: it gives you consistency, flexibility and freshness. It will evoke the same memories but integrated into different types of music and culture. So, we decided to build this into one. We spoke to Rajiv Raja and his company, brand music and we took this No 1 Yaari tagline and created a music rendition which became our asset. There is the website link. There are specific language versions of it. You can see how it’s integrated into the music of that culture.

Sonic asset got integrated from the first asset. We are going beyond that to saying we are integrating it into culture with six songs through the No 1 Yaari platform where we collaborated with artist of different languages and cultures. We hope that through this No 1 Yaari Jam platform, we will be able to do three things: we will inspire collaborations with artists across the country to celebrate Yaari, we will integrate our sonic asset into culture through music and provide access to consumers.

How have you created an edge?

This is being created by artists. Brand has created a framework and allowed artists to play within that. It’s significantly built. I don’t think any other brand has gone to this extent to push it. Some brands have used sonic assets but most have used them as jingles which remain same throughout a brand’s life. We have created what we call musical-logo-scape, which is like an auditory brand world called mobo that we created along with Raja.

An idea into the budget of 'No 1 Yaari Jam' platform in marketing?

It’s a significant part of the brand. Hopefully, we are creating content that’s culturally relevant, that consumers want to hear and enjoy. It is being created from music outwards on music that people enjoy and culture outward and sounds that are relevant to culture outwards. That’s what we are creating.

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