Rishad Tobaccowala: Why Nestle’s “Share Your Goodness” is more than Good

28 Apr,2014

Rishad Tobaccowala

By Rishad Tobaccowala


Nestle has hit a nerve with its latest “Share Your Goodness” campaign. This series of heartwarming ads has emotionally resonated with millions of people in India, as well as a larger set of the global population via social/online media.


If you haven’t seen the campaign yet, I’d encourage you to check it out. The first commercial is Adoption and the second Dabbawala.


I share this campaign because it’s a great example of next generation storytelling and its message has resonated with many, largely because the campaign leveraged a number of new media tricks – from online video with extended versions to smart search optimization and seeding its own hash tag #ShareYourGoodness to enable sharing and discovery.


But the campaign is a success for more reasons than just great storytelling and new media tricks. So why did this campaign succeed and what can we learn from it as global marketers? The lessons are surprisingly less about digital technology and more about analog humanity.


1. Storytelling is critical: Both executions, particularly Adoption, is a well-honed story – a story with humanity that leaves enough unsaid that the viewer brings their own experiences into the experience and therefore it becomes more engaging.


2. Human insights are key: The core insight is really about how food is central to human bonding and social experience. In both commercials, food serves as a bridge, a connection, an expression of love and understanding between siblings, husband and wife and just people.


3. Smart marketers own the category benefit: Food is an effective way to share our goodness. This is the underlying emotional benefit of food, besides its ability to sustain us physically. By linking Nestle to this underlying category benefit, Nestle looks bigger, more purposeful and more relevant to life than just being a food manufacturer.


4. Break The Mould: Somewhere a client or a series of clients made some bold calls. First, they decided to launch the campaign online. Second, they approved story lines where the brand is the hero without the product being the hero or appearing all over the story. Third, they approved scripts that took on out of the ordinary topics. And finally, they understood that we live in a connected world and had their agencies seed, enable and leverage sharing.


5. Recognize  and leverage the power of new media: Many marketers see digital and new media – even today in India and often around the world – as an after thought, an add-on or something one does to claim it is in the plan. The reality is that in places like India, which is the second largest market for Facebook with 100 million users (also Twitter’s and Linked In’s second largest market) and a highly mobile (soon in India 250 million smart phones), new media is as much media as old media and can allow for far more flexibility to create and distribute an idea. Why not start with the idea first and then determine the media rather than starting with the :30 or the print ad?


International appeal

The underlying insight of human goodness linked to sharing food, combined with the realization that the digital world allows one the room to tell a story which can then be shared and edited for other media, is so big that I believe this campaign has an appeal for international audiences, making it possible to leverage this effort across the globe.


In a connected world, the best ideas can come from everywhere and the Internet is global!


Marketers and agencies need to realize that some of the old arts (storytelling, insights, understanding category benefits) and pure client and agency guts are very critical. So is the ability to seamlessly leverage old and new media in ways that get people not only to be viewers, but be part of the media distribution plan.


Rishad Tobaccowala is a senior thoughleader in digital media and advertising. He works with the Publicis Groupe and is chair for Digitas, LBi, Razorfish for Publicis Groupe.


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