Taste of India backs Hope of India

05 Jul,2012

 

By Meghna Sharma

 

Think of Olympics, and the one word that comes to mind is ‘glory’. With only a few weeks left for the mega event to begin, all eyes (and hearts) will be on the Indian contingent, which is the biggest by far that is being sent to the Games. While that increases India’s chances of bagging more medals, what it has also done is turn the attention of brands towards the aspirants with the obvious intention of improving awareness and possibly, even sales of products.

 

One brand that is taking the lead in associating with the mega event is Amul. The Anand-based Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation’s (GCMMF) Amul has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for sponsorship of the Indian contingent.

 

With this, Amul has become the official sponsor of the Indian team. For Amul, this association would work in two ways: first, allowing it to push its multiple products that have been positioned for the purpose of building stamina and strength and, second, enabling it to encourage aspirants to go out and deliver their best performance at the event.

 

RS Sodhi

Speaking on the association, RS Sodhi, managing director, Amul, “Amul is committed to strengthening the Olympic movement in India and encourage young generation from all corners of the country to take up sports in a big way.”

 

With milk being Amul’s core ingredient, the brand believes that milk is nature’s original energy drink and plays a pivotal role in building the physical and mental strength of the athletes.

 

“India is the largest producer of milk in the world and Amul is not only India’s, but Asia’s, largest milk brand. This association, and activities around it, will help in engaging the youth so that they can enjoy a healthy life,” he added.

 

In fact, this is not the first time that the milk major has stepped up to push for the cause of promoting sports. In 2011, Amul sponsored the Nether lands cricket team in the ICC Cricket World Cup and Switzerland-headquartered Sauber F1 team at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix. “We use the opportunities available on local and global scale to associate,” explained Mr Sodhi, on the brand’s recent decisions to associate itself with sporting events. “It is a good and positive association to connect with the youth.”

 

Helping the brand in its mission is media agency Lodestar UM, which is the media agency on record for the company and has helped the brand associate with sporting events at a global level in the recent past.

 

[youtube width=”400″ height=”225″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qafz4YDG1A[/youtube]

According to Lodestar UM, such associations will help the brand as India is a young nation with over 60 per cent of the population being below the age of 35 years and sports is a high interest area for them. “Amul has always been involved in raising the bar. The Olympics association has helped place Amul on the global map of international sporting events. We saw a great fit…Amul’s dairy products stand for high energy and complete nourishment and Olympics stand for values like strength, determination, vigour and winning which every person aspires to, and wishes to imbibe and practice in his daily life. We also saw this as an excellent platform for Amul Milk to assert the positioning of ‘World’s original energy drink’,” said Dhruv Jha, business head, Lodestar UM Content & Experiences.

 

Although the brand has come up with a special campaign on the event for the medium of television, it doesn’t plan to come up with any more. “We are continuing our advertising, but no special Olympics focus has been planned during the Games,” said Mr Jha.

 

Another motivator, that has always done its bit in raising the awareness levels of Amul with its consumers, will be at it around Olympics too. The eye-catching hoardings that figure the polka-dotted Amul Girl will continue disseminating messages as they always do.

 

Rahul da Cunha

According to Rahul daCunha, MD and creative head of daCunha Comminucations which created the Amul Girl, one should keep a catch-out for interesting and tongue-in-cheek hoardings during the period. “We have already started the build-up and there is a scope for many more as the Games have so many aspects and characters to it.”

 

Mr DaCunha is proud to be associated with the brand and now its association with the world-class games. He added: “What can be more Indian than to support the Indian contingent in the Olympics. It’s a very ‘cool’ and prestigious moment for the brand. In the last year and a half, the brand has been getting allied with activities and events which will help it globally too.”

 

And the attempt doesn’t end with Olympics. Amul plans to keep associating itself with such major events in the future too. “We will like to associate with any good event/series. Our focus is on the domestic market. But yes, Olympics will help in better brand recognition around the world,” said Mr Sodhi.

 

Mahesh Ranka

Mahesh Ranka, founder & CEO, Indus Sports and Sponsorship, feels that since it’s a home-grown brand, such association will help it create a buzz. “During and after the Olympics, when people will read or see about the games, hopefully, Amul as the brand will be on people’s minds. It’s a very good move by the brand and hopefully other corporates will also learn from it.”

 

Not just the brand recognition, Amul hopes that the Indian contingent will get the country recognized in the world with a good medal tally as well. “Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate. Participation in Olympics is the aspiration of every athlete and with the kind of investments made by our country in this arena to select, nurture and train the best athletes, we are confident that Indian contingent will deliver the best ever performance in the London games and make our country proud.”

 

So, let’s hope the players take India to new heights at the games while the brand would manage to do its bit and bask in the success as well.

 

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