AdStrat: Happy beginnings with Shubh Aarambh

12 Dec,2011

Abhijit Avasthi, NCD, Ogilvy & Mather


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Name of the Campaign/Ad:

Cadbury Dairy Milk – Shubh Aarambh


The Brief:

Get consumers to eat more chocolate by creating new occasions for consumption.


Research insights

Our strategy was to grow chocolate consumption by making it part of Indian meetha (sweet) consumption behaviour. By positioning ourselves as meetha and an accompaniment to celebrations, the most obvious meetha consumption moment in India the brand saw tremendous growths. The challenge for the brand was how could we go beyond this?
How do we integrate with the Indian meetha behaviour even more strongly beyond celebratory occasions?


Analysis of culture codes of chocolate and meetha helped to uncover a new opportunity and a new occasion for chocolate consumption.


The western culture code for chocolate is: Sin. Chocolate came to India from the west but the culture code for chocolate in India is different. In India chocolate had become ‘meetha‘ and to Indians, the significance of sweet or meetha runs beyond its physical and functional attributes.


In India sweet (meetha) performs a spiritual role. Meetha is offered to the gods, it allows us to connect with optimism. Meetha is associated with festivity, purity, and all things good and happy. The Indian culture code for sweet (meetha) hence chocolate is: Auspicious.


This led us to the cultural insight: “Having something sweet before starting or doing anything new is considered auspicious and suggests that the outcome would be good”. More like “Things that are begun on a sweet note have sweet endings”.


The thought process behind the creative:

Having something sweet before starting something new is an old Indian tradition and is deeply entrenched in our behaviour. Changing such behaviour is the most difficult task, but Cadbury Dairy Milk was determined to achieve it. So how did we do it? How did we make chocolate a part of auspicious occasions? We realized that the way to get into the traditional auspicious occasion zone was by transforming it.


So we redefined the auspicious occasions – made it more contemporary, gave it a fresh perspective. These were not the conventional auspicious moments that India was generally used to. These were more modern and reflected the progressive young India. These real but non-obvious ‘Shubh aarambh‘ moments would expand the footprint beyond traditional occasions like beginning a journey, buying something new during Diwali or Navratri, house warming (moving into a new home), before exams etc…


And the idea of starting anything new on an auspicious note with CDM was conceived –
‘Make a Shubh Aarambh with Cadbury Dairy Milk’.


While most of the past CDM campaigns like “Pappu pass ho gaya” focussed on meetha after something good had happened – celebrations (post event), this uncovered a new meetha occasion, meetha before a new start (pre event). Shubh aarambh was an even bigger opportunity as inevitably the number of number of people anticipating success tends to be much higher than those who actually succeed.


Media vehicles chosen:

TV was the main medium to launch the ‘big brand idea’ but the campaign was also supported with a robust 360 programme (Radio, OOH Print, Mobile and Internet) creating a multiplier effect for the campaign.


Key issues kept in mind while executing the ad:

Creating contemporary ‘Shubh aarambh‘ moments.
Real but non-obvious ‘Shubh aarambh‘ moments like a boy asking a girl out for the first time or a middle-aged sari-wearing lady stepping out in jeans for the first time, or a girl eloping with her boyfriend; all situations that one is likely to encounter these days anywhere in India. These allowed us to squeeze our way into tradition by transforming – making it contemporary.


Does the treatment do justice to the brief?

The executions turned contemporary new beginnings into memorable ‘Shubh aarambh‘ moments on television. Deliberately shorn of glam and celebrity endorsements, the executions helped the idea shine brightly. The results speak for themselves. It got over 7,50,000 views on YouTube and its popularity even crossed Indian shores. It was easily the most recalled and liked campaign in 2010.


What according to you is the differentiating factor about the ad/campaign?

It came from a real insight into India and Indians and the creative helped it shine through in a way that connected with consumers from all walks of life and across age groups.


Market and client feedback:

Forty-two per cent value growth and a 33 per cent volume over the previous year for a brand of its size is nothing short of spectacular. To put it in perspective, just the additional volumes from the campaign accounted for enough CDM bars to cover more than 2.5 times the Great Wall of China!


The campaign was awarded the ‘Global Marketing Excellence award’ for best IMC within Kraft Foods and has also won accolades at all leading creative and effectiveness awards including Grand Prix at ABBYs, Gold at AME and APPIES.


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