Some meetha ho jaye for Rekha with Snickers

10 Dec,2012

By Ratna Bhushan  and Chaitali Chakravarty

 

Rekha

Mars Inc has roped in veteran Bollywood diva Rekha to endorse its Snickers brand in India as the world’s top chocolate maker looks to challenge Kraft Cadbury’s hold on the country’s Rs 3,000-crore chocolate market.

 

This is the first time the $30 billion-plus American chocolate and pet food giant hires a celebrity to endorse its brands in India, and it marks the debut of Rekha, 58, in the world of advertisements. “Rekha came as the first choice when we thought of making a TV commercial portraying a diva-type behaviour,” a Mars India spokesperson said.

 

RK Swamy/ BBDO will create the advertisement campaign for Snickers, the world’s largest-selling chocolate brand.

 

Rekha, who ruled the silver screen in the 1980s with hits like Umrao Jaan and Silsila, is an unusual choice for endorsing a chocolate brand, but some experts say the move will get the brand noticed. “It’s interesting and should be clutter-breaking at least in the short term,” Anirban Das Blah, MD of celebrity management firm Kwan CAA, said. “How the ads help the brand would of course depend on the script,” he added.

 

Interestingly, in her new role, Rekha will be taking on one of her closest contemporaries, Amitabh Bachchan, who has been endorsing rival chocolate brand Cadbury for several years. Though Snickers was advertised in 2008 and earlier this year, the new campaign will be its biggest so far in the country.

 

“We need certain scale and distribution for a brand to optimise our media spends. We feel now is the opportune time to invest behind Snickers consistently,” the company spokesperson said.

 

All Mars chocolate brands in India, including Mars, Snickers, Galaxy and Bounty, are currently imported. Being sold at two price points of Rs 15 and 30, Snickers competes with other global names such as Kraft’s Cadbury Dairy Milk, 5-Star and Toblerone, and Nestle’s KitKat.

 

Mars is making this attempt at a time when US chocolate major Hershey has announced plans to launch its global brands in India through its own arm. In September, Hershey exited its five-year alliance with industrialist Adi Godrej-led Godrej Group.

 

Hershey’s intends to launch some of its global brands such as Kisses and Reese’s over the next few months. India’s chocolate market, meanwhile, has started slowing as consumers are checking discretionary spends due to slowing economy and rising prices. According to data from Nielsen, chocolate consumption growth halved in the first six months of the year to 18% from 37% a year earlier in value terms. The largest player Cadbury Kraft’s sales grew 20% in January-June 2012, down from over 40% in same period last year.

 

Mars Chocolate’s global brands include M&Ms, Galaxy, Milky Way and Twix besides Snickers.

 

Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2012, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

 

Photograph: Fotocorp

 

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