Master marketer AK is Godrej’s new mascot

26 Mar,2013

 

By Johnson Napier

 

If you thought actor Hrithik Roshan was the only superstar or that current favourite Virat Kohli was the sportsperson of choice to drive growth for the products that they endorse under the Godrej portfolio, you may be mistaken. While their immense contribution in driving sales and popularity cannot be doubted, Godrej has turned to master-marketer Aamir Khan to clinch the deal for them.

 

‘A perfect opportunity to get width and scale for brand Godrej’
 

The next few days will be aspirational for Shireesh Mukund Joshi, Head – Strategic Marketing, Godrej Group, as his organisation engages in an eight-part brand promotion exercise in the Indian marketplace. With Aamir Khan as its celeb-of-choice, the integrated campaign of ‘Ideas that makes life brighter‘ will focus on enhancing brand Godrej’s emotive appeal by showcasing the breadth of fresh ideas from within the group to its consumers.

 

Excerpts from an interview with Mr Joshi on the occasion of the launch…

 

In challenging times such as these, brands would usually go in for an all-out promotional exercise if they are engaging in repositioning or if they want to give falling numbers a fillip. What made you opt for an overall brand-Godrej promotional exercise at this juncture?

It’s been some time since we last came out with a communication around all of our brands. If you observe, during this period we’ve achieved and done quite a lot in terms of new product launches, promotional campaigns etc. Also if you see each of the brands talk to a specific set of audiences but no one has managed to see all of them in a single piece of communication. This will be a perfect opportunity for us to get width and scale for brand Godrej. Since we have managed to accumulate a lot of products under our portfolio to showcase to the consumers, we felt the time was right to come up with a communication campaign of this scale.

 

The emphasis for most brands in recent times has been around marketing and reaching out to the youth in a big way. How is the story same or different for brand Godrej?

Where Godrej is concerned, it is a youth-also brand rather than just youth-only. We have products that are built for homes and diverse set of audiences. The products of today have to be designed keeping the various needs of the overall audiences in mind whether it is the youth or other audience categories. As the needs of consumers keep evolving so do our products that need to undergo a shift in terms of adjusting to the needs of the audiences.

 

Why didn’t you stick with current favourite Virat Kohli or the dependable Hrithik Roshan to espouse the larger cause for brand Godrej? Why rope in a new celebrity?

Both Virat Kohli and Hrithik Roshan have been used for pushing further the cause of Cinthol in the Indian marketplace. Where Aamir Khan is concerned, he will be seen endorsing brand Godrej in its entirety. So wherever there is a connect with brand Godrej we’ve set up a communication that will feature Aamir Khan as the ambassador. It is not about a particular product but is rather about endorsing common set of values across our entire product portfolio. Aamir, we thought, was the perfect fit to drive our objective in the current brand communication context.

 

You’ve stuck with JWT to drive the creative thought process for this large exercise too…

The entire communication has been handled effectively by JWT and we are happy with the way the range of commercials have been drafted for presentation in the coming few days.

 

Were you looking at IPL as the platform to share the core brand objective exclusively with? Will you be pledging maximum revenues on IPL 6?

I cannot reveal what the estimated spend is for the IPL this year but it will suffice to say that it is well balanced.

 

What is the spike you’re expecting in volume sales or the bottomline revenue for the group from this activity?

This is not a product or specific campaign launch. It’s a campaign that celebrates brand Godrej in India. Over a period of time as more people become aware of more products from Godrej then we will rise in consideration set. It’s a much more longer term infusion of values of the brand rather than concentrating in immediate spike in sales or revenue. We will be able to gauge the impact on sales and revenue only later.

 

And it’s not just a division or two – the ace actor has been roped in by Godrej to endorse the overall group in India. The move follows the company’s strategy over the last five years, where the group has built on its promise towards a brighter living by creating a slew of innovative ideas. Continuing with its next phase of journey, the new integrated campaign - Ideas that make life brighter – will be focused on enhancing the brand’s emotive appeal by showcasing the breadth of fresh ideas from within the group to its consumers.

 

While company spokespersons preferred to withhold information on the cost of getting Aamir to endorse for the group, the overall cost for the eight-part television promotional activity is being pegged in upwards of Rs 50 crore. Creative hotshop JWT has been the force behind the new commercials featuring Aamir Khan.

 

The categories to be featured as part of the promotional activities include Appliances, Interiors, GCPL, GPL & Security Solutions.

 

Tanya Dubash, Executive Director and Chief Brand Officer, Godrej Group, explained the AK rationale: “Over the last five years we have walked on the exciting journey of managing the Godrej brand as an invaluable strategic asset. This journey has been marked by the creation of a more contemporary entity that has created an even stronger connect with the 500 million Indians who use a Godrej product or service every day.”

 

The new integrated campaign, ‘Ideas that make life brighter’, aims to communicate the ethos of brand Godrej to the consumers, she added. “It is our belief that this campaign will harness the strength of the masterbrand through leveraging the diverse innovations across the group and presenting them in a very engaging manner.”

 

While such activities are a result of some repositioning exercise that brands use to boost falling sales numbers, for Godrej it is about showcasing all its products under the Godrej umbrella to enable it to attain width and scale. Shireesh Mukund Joshi, Head – Strategic Marketing, Godrej Group said, “It’s been some time since we last came out with a communication around all of our brands. If you observe, during the recent past we’ve achieved and done quite a lot in terms of new product launches, promotional campaigns etc. Also, each of the brands talk to a specific set of audiences but no one has managed to see all of them in a single piece of communication. This will be a perfect opportunity for us to get width and scale for brand Godrej.”

 

Since the group has a lot of products under its portfolio to showcase to consumers, the time was right to come up with a communication campaign of this scale, Mr Joshi said. On the decision to get Aamir Khan over the other bunch of superstars including current ambassadors Hrithik Roshan or Virat Kohli, he said, “It is not about a particular product but is rather about endorsing a common set of values across our entire product portfolio. Aamir, we thought, was the perfect fit to drive our objective in the current brand communication context.”

 

On the impact that such an activity will have on the overall revenue growth for the group, Mr Joshi said, “We have to realise that this is a campaign that celebrates brand Godrej in India. Over a period of time as more people become aware of more products from Godrej then we will rise in consideration set. It’s a longer-term infusion of values of the brand rather than focusing on immediate spike in sales or revenue. We will be able to gauge the impact on sales and revenue only later.”

 

Given the timing of its launch, it is obvious that the group will look at the IPL as the platform to go big with their promotional activities. Without getting into specifics, Joshi said that it would suffice to state that the spend for the IPL has been “well-balanced”.

 

For now, it is time for the action to move to the small screen as consumers will take a call on whether Aamir Khan does justice to the brand.

 

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