BTL Baatein: Chaitanya Rele, Vice President, Marketing, Havmor Ice Cream… Powered by VISCOMM

15 Jul,2016

An economics graduate, Chaitanya Rele, Vice President, Marketing  of Havmor Ice Cream Ltd  is no stranger to businesses and their dynamics. After a short stint with the banking industry, Rele began a career in marketing and brand consulting. Over the last 16 years he has worked for clients across the board from telecommunication to FMCG and manufacturing to fashion. We present to you the ‘BTL Baatein’ of the week which is powered by VISCOMM with Anuka Roy speaking to him Below The Line (BTL) advertising, the focus of the company and the balance between ATL (Above The Line) and BTL



It is interesting to note that a company like Havmor which we assumed would only look at the ATL route of promotions is looking at BTL in such a big way. How important is BTL to your overall marketing plan?

While ATL is important to create brand recognition, BTL play a significant role in ensuring our brand stays top of mind through the year. Ice-creams fall under the food category and without trying it – consumers are not easily convinced. The summer months are where our ATL communication is at its peak, but BTL is something that is on and in clear focus 12 of 12 months.


Can you also specify the range of activities that you undertake as part of the below-the-line advertising and promotion?

Taste and trials become critical – especially when entering new markets. We’ve been expanding over the last few years and the best way to convince people about our brand is our product. It’s our hero and we know it. That’s the very reason we don’t actually have a brand ambassador. Alongside taste & trial activities, we’re focused on partnering with events on ground – creating availability on-ground. India is a hot place and ice-cream helps you cool down – no pun intended! Ice-cream is also a great energiser and consumers have the opportunity to try a variety of products through BTL activities. We also have a very strong parlour, push kart and dealer network across India – and these too become BTL tools for our brand promotions. ATL is often used to amplify these efforts – but BTL is the focus for all year round.


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

While I can’t provide specific numbers – our ATL: BTL spends are about 2:5.


Do you prefer to do this through BTL agencies directly or via your existing creative/media agency?

We have begun working with some of the best in the business, and we over 70 years of experience in the industry. It is not a rule for us yet – great ideas come from everywhere and we encourage this. But we are looking to engage specific shopper practice agencies in the near future.


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

Sureshot is really based on the effectiveness of the activity or idea. ATL has proved to be useful, but let’s take into context that ATL is something we have invested in just twice so far. BTL activities have also been unsuccessful in the past. But if we were to objectively break it down – BTL is the more effective engagement tool and when combined with targeted ATL communication – the BTL activity becomes even more effective.


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?

Consumer engagement and brand recall. These are the two most important things for us. There is always a debate between biggest or best – and I can firmly say that we want to be the best. We’re a vibrant and authentic brand, and it comes to life through our product, our communication and really through everything we do. There is certain positivity about us and BTL is the more effective tool to help us with consumer engagement and through this – recall.


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?

India is an enormous country, in more ways than one. Even a small BTL activity if done strategically, can yield positive results – in their catchment areas. But ATL does help amplify; now ATL can be radio, OOH, TV or even digital. I feel the dependency on traditional ATL media will dwindle for us in the next 5 years and our focus will be on BTL and amplification through digital.



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