We’ve increased our digital spends from 5% to 15%: Ali Harris Shere, Britannia

With the ‘Britannia Khao World Cup Jao’ campaign, Britannia is betting hard on reinvigorating nostalgic feelings in consumer's mind

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Published: May 10, 2019 8:36 AM  | 6 min read
Ali Harris Britannia

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is round the corner and brands have already began leveraging the upcoming cricketing season. The fact that it comes once every four years is surely going to entice more and more brands as the kind of attention they receive from audience is ever lasting. 

Britannia India has tried to do something different on the marketing lines for the World Cup. The brand has not launched anything new but has experimented with a campaign they launched 20 years back, ‘Britannia Khao World Cup Jao’ to resonate with the target audience.
exchange4media spoke to Ali Harris Shere, VP - Marketing, Britannia Industries Ltd to understand their revival strategy, why cricket is their utmost priority in sports, marketing spends medium wise and more.

Reasons for reviving the iconic campaign

According to Shere, “‘Britannia Khao World Cup Jao’ is such a strong idea in consumers mind that people still remember it. We thought why we don’t just re-launch this campaign in today’s context. The background actually started last year, when we repositioned the brand, it completed 100 years and a new identity was created.” 

“The new proposition on which we wanted to build Britannia’s future is the exciting goodness. To build the exciting quotient for the brand, it’s really important to do something big and that’s why we chose a platform like cricket with which we have been associated for a long time. We had lot of cricketers endorsing the brand from Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virendra Sehwag, to Sourav Ganguly, and VVS Laxman, all of these guys had endorsed the brand at some point of time. Our association with cricket is very strong and nothing is bigger than the World Cup. We thought to create the excitement with this campaign which we did 20 years ago. This campaign is a big property that exists with consumers; we had to just to revive it. It helps us to get excitement at Britannia, helps us to connect better with cricket again”. 

Speaking further why cricket is more relevant to them as compare to other games, he said, “Britannia needs platform like cricket or world cup which can build the scale and reach. However, in the last 3-4 years we have started partnering with other sporting leagues as well at small pace. We have done with Pro Kabaddi League and Indian Super League but currently not spending money in big terms.” 

Power of iconic campaigns

Brands are betting on nostalgic feelings and reviving their old campaigns in new ways. Is there a dearth of new ideas in the industry, we asked him and he explained, “It’s been 100 years of Britannia and since then we have done multiple campaigns for our products. There is no dearth of new ideas. There is a merit in consistency, and holding on to certain things because it takes consumer longer to register a particular idea than what we marketer’s thinks. If there is a strong idea that exists and we can build on that, then it’s great to do. However, we need to adapt the idea in a timely manner. We have done a lot of consumer research on this campaign and the feedback is, consumers are happy that it has made a comeback; lot of nostalgia has been revoked around it.”

Marketing strategy

Shedding light on how the brand’s marketing mix has changed over the time and how digital is replacing other mediums, he described, “Digital is emerging very strong in fact it’s the no.2 contender to Television. The reason is that the new generation isn’t there on TV. We catch them through digital medium and it helps you to target precisely. With TV you spray and pray, in digital the advantage is that you reach the specific consumer that you want to reach and customise the consumer cluster basis on the brand’s requirement. It’s the sharpness that specifically digital offers and also gives an opportunity to re-target. The second thing, it is changing people mindsets for digital, as they have started to think differently that is leading the marketers to change the content strategy.”

“At Britannia we have a clear strategy that we’ve built for digital, and that comes from understanding where we stand today. Audience on digital medium are slightly more evolved, possibly their purchasing power is higher and can afford premier brands and driving the premier brands is one way. At Britannia we are not strong with youth, because biscuit category isn’t seen as an exciting category. We have a very large portfolio of products, and we can’t support all that through TV because then it will become quite expensive”. 

He further added illustrating an example, “Little Hearts doesn’t advertise on TV at all, relies on digital and ever since we’ve started on advertising it on digital, the business has started doing well. We can support those brands that are already on digital.”

“We’ve increased spends on digital, earlier it was only 5% but now it’s almost 15%. TV spend has always remain the same for us, it’s very critical to reach the mass audience. Though, we still do the outdoor and print when there is a multi-campaign but they’re not on the higher priority,” he shared.

He agreed, there is a challenge of measurability on digital medium as you can’t be sure about the reach, “You have to be consistent, whether on digital or television. You have to be there every month to build the brand and create the awareness with right set of audience you want to target. You can’t do burst on digital, like doing things once in a while and expect digital to deliver. It won’t, being consistent can get the results.”

New products are oxygen for the brand

When asked that the FMCG brand has become quite intense, with new products getting rolled out often, how Britannia makes sure to stay ahead, “New product is a way of life and for any player in the market to get freshness and nuances is really important because today consumers are very experimental, they like trying new things in every category. Newness is absolutely critical, if you want to be relevant to today’s consumers. Therefore, we have a very important and a consistent parallel track of new product development that runs in our country. At every point in time, we work at least on 50 products, few come into the market and some of them not. We have to be adhere of others when it comes to new products; we have to get them faster rather than other gets them and how we do better that’s the game,” he concluded.

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