Counting on the ‘Power of Two’
Deepika Warrier talks about the latest multi-media ad campaign for Quaker Oats+Milk.
Competing with an ‘aaloo ka paratha plus dahi’ or ‘gheesoaked upma and poori-sabji’ is no mean feat. The oats market is, however, tirelessly trying to make its place in (if not replace) the lavish Indian breakfast buffet. International brands instantly tasted success in several countries while offering oats as the one-stop solution to all snacking woes, but even after six years in the industry, they are unable to achieve double-digit penetration rates in the great Indian breakfast market. Companies are regularly putting their weight behind interesting advertising pursuits and one such example is the ‘Power of Two’ campaign by PepsiCo India.
While it is common to advertise on rival media platforms, bringing two such broadcasters in collaboration for a breakfast snack is certainly a head turner. PepsiCo India brought together Radio Mirchi and RED FM to run its ‘Power of Two’ campaign for the brand’s recently launched product — Quaker Oats+Milk.
The show which aired on October 27, 2017, ran for nearly four hours in the national capital and had RJ Naved (Radio Mirchi) and RJ Raunac (RED FM) subtly advertise the product amidst humour and music.
However, ‘why was radio assigned such a meaty portion of the advertising mix of the brand’s media plan when other seemingly more profitable options, namely digital films, are gaining popularity like never before?’ Deepika Warrier, vice-president, nutrition category, PepsiCo, tells afaqs! Reporter that she wanted to increase awareness about the twin benefits of milk and oats, which the product offers.
She elaborates, “We have been supporting the launch via television in targeted south geographies, digital and in-store visibility. We’ve also invested in outdoor across youth hangouts and office complexes. We’re doing a lot of experiential sampling too, be it in-flight in Air Vistara or on e-commerce. However, we decided to also leverage radio to help us target specific cities with relevant content since the medium is young, high-energy and contextual and it also accompanies our core TG on their morning commutes. So, the concept of having two of Delhi’s favourite RJ’s together, co-airing a show at their respective stations, was an interesting idea to bring home the power of two of our two hero ingredients. The objective was to own the morning commute.”
While Warrier makes it clear that the brand is targeting the busy morning time as the product’s consumption window, we wonder about the age bracket she is focusing on. “Our primary focus is millennials between the age group of 18-34, who lead rushed lifestyles,” says Warrier. Just like one presumes Olive Oil to be an urban phenomenon, Oats too seems to have a similar fate. Warrier declares, “...currently our focus is only on the key metros.”
However, she is hopeful that her product’s future customer base will also be from tier two and three cities. She says, “Tier two and three towns are seeing the same fitness, health and wellness consciousness as the metros. Our key task is to create the category and grow the habit of a nutritious packaged breakfast, which is as much an opportunity in the metros and in mini-metros.”
The oats market is gradually catching up with the Indian audience’s tastes and preferences. While instant noodles, a packaged meal, found an instant connect with the Indian audience, the same cannot be said for ‘healthy’ oats. As Warrier puts it, “The oats category penetration is in the low single digits across the country, so there is an opportunity to grow geographically as well.”
Hence, when a segment is small, efforts are directed to build it. And while one is occupied in doing so, brand building often takes a back seat. A reason why consumers find it hard to recall brands while shopping for oats despite several companies such as Saffola, Kellogg’s and Bagrry’s are competing for market share in this segment.
Warrier tells afaqs! Reporter that the brand is focused on growing the penetration of the category by driving access, relevance and affordability along with consumer education around the goodness of oats. She adds, “... we are innovating to have a range of offerings that can help provide adequate nutrition through convenient formats. Whether its Quaker Nutri foods, Quaker Oats+Milk or Quaker core, we have ensured that we make breakfasts more exciting, convenient, familiar, and nutritious. We have also activated festivals such as Ramadan and Onam in our core states.”
Warrier gives a glimpse into the research which takes place before a product sees the light of the day. She says, “We do extensive testing before we launch a product, including volumetric testing to assess potential. However, we are increasingly also following a pilot launch and learn approach, since the complex trade structure in India is difficult to simulate in a test environment or via modelling of data.”
Warrier shares with afaqs! Reporter the two things that are working with the new product’s packaging, the first one being brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar. “... second is the Tetra Pak packaging, which goes well for our consumer who is always on-the-go, as well as helps protect the nutrition integrity of the product. We will look at expanding into other pack formats that address additional channels and occasions as the product scales up,” concludes Warrier.
Warrier, an MBA from IIM Bangalore, has been associated with PepsiCo India since 2007 in different roles. Her Pepsi journey commenced with taking charge as marketing vice president for the company’s food business unit in India. A year ago she was entrusted with the task of managing the company’s nutrition category in India and it will be interesting to see how Warrier takes the ‘Oats’ discussion forward in the times to come. ■
PepsiCo India brought together Radio Mirchi and RED FM to run its ‘Power of Two’ campaign for the brand’s recently launched product — Quaker Oats+Milk.