BTL Baatein: Sagar Boke, Bunge India. Powered by VISCOMM

21 May,2015

As Head of Marketing at Bunge India Pvt Ltd Sagar Boke brings to the table a vast experience of over a decade in the field of brands and marketing. He was Category Head for Skin and Fragrance at Cavin Kare. Prior to this he was the Deputy General Manager, Marketing, Hair Colours, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. He was instrumental in building brands such as Godrej No 1 soap, Godrej Nupur annd Fairever Fairness Cream. Mr Boke speaks with Dyanne Coelho on how BTL is a key part of his overall marketing activity.


We’ve heard about your activation in Lucknow and Varanasi. For a product like Dalda, how important is BTL activity to your overall marketing plan?

I would say very important, because whenever you are competing in the commodity category, it is important for a brand to create an emotional connect. One of the ways to really do that is through BTL activation, which amplifies the brand idea. Now the brand Dalda is focused on a mother’s trust. The tagline of the brand was ‘Trusted by Mothers who Care’ and the current tagline that we have is‘Dabba Khali, Pet Full’ to imply that every time the kid comes home, the dabba is khali and the stomach is full. The idea was to look at areas that create an emotional connect with the mother. This activity was one where we achieved that objective.
And for other products like Gagan?

For all our brands I would say that BTL activation plays an important role. In ATL, we talk about the brand value and brand proposition, whereas in BTL we bring the brand proposition alive to the consumer. The amount of consumer connect we receive through BTL is unparalleled.
Dalda has always been very active on the mass media… how are those spends doing?

I’m not in a position to share exact numbers, but I can definitely say that we are one of the most active brands on the media and possibly one of the highest spending brands on media in the edible oil category. With respect to our spends, I can say that it is 70 percent on television and print, 20 percent on activation and 10 percent on digital. Also, when talking about digital, I think mobile as a platform holds a very high potential. We launched an initiative called Dial D, wherein a consumer could give a missed call on a number and they would instantly get a call back. Once they got the call back, they could submit a recipe to enter the contest. We also shared recipes with the callers. They could stand to win prizes if their recipe won.

Can you give us a broad idea of your spends pie of ATL v/s BTL?

It would be 70 percent ATL and 30 percent BTL.
What is the range of activities that you undertake as part of the below-the-line advertising and promotion?

Our aim of BTL is to bring the brand proposition alive. So for these, we look for high conglomeration points and various occasions. Last year, we had an activity at the Rath Yatra, where about 10 lakh pilgrims had gathered. The campaign took place at Puri, Odisha, during the Jagannath Rath Yatra.  We collaborated with renowned sand sculptor Sudarsan Pattnaik who created a life-sized sand art sculpture of Lord Jagannath on the beach in Puri.Similarly, during Durga Puja last year, we had a Dhunuch iinstallation, an offering made to the goddess. This was created using 5000 Dalda bottles at Singhi Park in Kolkata. Like these, many of our activities have caught the attention of the consumers. Last year, during Mother’s Day, we had created a special mobile application wherein the consumer could record a message for their mother and the message would be delivered to their mother through us. So in this way we look at occasions and ideas which are clutter breaking to really create awareness about the brand.


Do you prefer to retain BTL agencies directly or initiate them via your existing creative/media agency?

We have a number of BTL agencies who work for us, so mostly we do it through a BTL agency, since their expertise is in that.

In terms of generating results especially from consumers and in B2B, do you find BTL a more sure shot avenue than ATL?

I would say so, because in BTL you are pretty much focused in terms of the target audience one is looking at. And also it is a very measureable method. Far more measureable in terms of the results one would get.

While sales and salience are good indicators of its success, what are the attributes you look at to measure the success of a BTL campaign?

One of the other parameters we look at is brand health. Another is spontaneous awareness of the brand. We also look at the consideration of the consumer to buy the brand. Because if both brand health and brand awareness are high, then the inclination of the consumer to buy the product is also stronger.Consideration is important. Would they consider buying my brand? In terms of creating brand awareness, ATL is more effective, but what BTL strongly does is it creates an emotional connect. It is not only sufficient to have an awareness of the brand, it is also important that consumers consider consuming the brand. BTL really works to create an engagement and a connect for the brand.

There are many organisations that often do new launches almost entirely on BTL aided with an outdoor and/or digital blitz? Your view on this. Given rising media costs, do you see BTL managing on its own, without ATL?

I wouldn’t say that. In very niche categories it is possible for BTL to manage without ATL. For example, if it is for a premium product, or a customised offering where you only want to target a small audience, then it would work. At the end, the objective of ATL is to reach a larger consumer base. In BTL, your consumer target base is smaller and it should do the job. However, if you are targeting a large mass audience, then it is difficult with BTL alone. In order to create awareness for a larger number of people, BTL is more expensive; however the quality of engagement via BTL is also far superior.


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