Count­ing on the ‘Power of Two’

Deepika War­rier talks about the lat­est multi-me­dia ad cam­paign for Quaker Oats+Milk.

The Brand Reporter - - EDITORIAL / CONTENTS - By Sankalp Dik­shit sankalp.dik­shit@afaqs.com

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.

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