Filmy Tadka to Desi Chinese

22 Aug,2016


The poster of ‘RanveerChing Returns’ must have caught your eyes, since it is all over social media. If not, we are here to update you. When the first poster was released many confused it for a new film of Ranveer Singh, directed by Rohit Shetty. No, it is not a Bollywood film but a filmy new campaign for the Capital Foods brand Ching’s.


The film has unique content innovations and promises to be a game changer in terms of how brand integrations are done in the category. It had a premiere in Mumbai’s Chandan Cinema where in several fans watched the first screening along with the entire cast and crew including Singh, Tamannaah Bhatia and Shetty. And within a week, it will premiere exclusively on Sony Entertainment Television.


The content and treatment of this film goes on to show how Ching’s has evolved as a brand. We spoke to Ajay Gupta, Managing Director, Capital Foods to know more about the brand’s journey and the new campaign.


How has the marketing strategy evolved over the years?

Since 1996, we have been focusing on a cuisine block called Desi Chinese. As the consumer kept evolving with experimenting with food outside in restaurants, we have been evolving the categories within the cuisine. Started with the most basic of sauces and hakka noodles and at some point we said the woman is ready to now experiment by cooking manchurian and paneer chilly at home. That is when the masalas came in. Then we saw an opportunity in soups. While there was soup in the market, it was at the premium end of the market. We ended up creating a single serve pack and going to the large mass consumers, creating a completely new consumer base for soups. And, somewhere down the line we also bought in noodles. Noodles came very late in fact. That is how we evolved our entire portfolio.


Talk us through how the tagline – I love Desi Chinese – come about and how has it done for you?

We all love Desi Chinese. The cuisine that connects this country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, is Desi Chinese. You go to districts in Tamil Nadu and they may not have heard of tandoori but ask them about fried rice and chowmein, they know. Go up to Kashmir, you do an idli-vada, probably the idli will break your head, it is so tough but the chowmein is fabulous. And, that is a cuisine that has linked the country. People have called it with different names- Indo Chinese, Indie Chinese, we sat back and said we need to give it respectability now. That is where the line ‘Desi Chinese’ came up. ‘I love Desi Chinese’- it has connected with the consumers.


What was the idea behind this new campaign?

We went to Ranveer (Singh) and he agreed with us is because Ranveer and the brand marry each other perfectly. ‘I love Desi Chinese’ is what we want to own. This country loves Desi Chinese, not only in urban cities but in Tier I and II cities. How do you reach the masses? Through Bollywood. Go out and create a blockbuster. Who will make a blockbuster? Rohit Shetty.


You came in at a time when there were other big players in the market. How easy or difficult was it for you?

There were people who were doing sauces, there were people who were doing noodles but nobody was doing Desi Chinese. So, we have struck to a strategy, single-mindedly focused on everything that we do is around the cuisine Desi Chinese. We are a specialist when it comes to sauce and soup. I do not do all kinds of soups like others in the market do, we are doing Desi Chinese soups, sauces are Desi Chinese sauces, masalas are Desi Chinese masala and noodles are also Desi Chinese. So, I do not compete. I compliment them in the market.


Ching’s has now moved on to sponsoring events and shows in a big way. So, what other plans do you have in store?

You just saw a blockbuster (referring to the release of the Ranveer Ching Returns film). Give us a little time to sleep over this and enjoy what we have done and yes we will come back to you with something bigger and better. We are a hat ke brand. We do things differently and that is what you saw.


When it comes to advertising, you have always been quirky and minimalistic in nature in terms of the scale and spend. Has it changed or still the same?

The stereotype Ma-baccha is done to death. We keep saying we are a young country, so we need to talk to the young and the language they speak is the language we speak. We are a young brand, our core consumers are between 18 and 36 years, and we stick to the language they speak. We are quirky, fun and we are tadka. It is not about how much you spend. Good ideas and bad ideas is not about money. We create ideas; we spend the money and then bag those ideas. So, it is not really about how much money, you may get all the money and do stupid things, so, we spend enough.


You were one of the firsts to explore the digital platform. How did you come up with the idea of experimenting in the digital space when others were still loyal to more traditional ways?

As I said earlier, we are talking to the youth and if you are talking to the youth, where is the youth? Social media, all kinds of social media. We were the first who created one million fans on Facebook. We are very active on social media and we will continue doing that. If you look at this film, everybody has been talking in the last two years about these two or three minute films, then they celebrate when 50 thousand people watch it, they celebrate it on 100 thousand views. The trailer of our film has reached four million. Our strategy is very clear, we are there across. Where you spend money is not important, it is important what you are telling the consumer and how you are connecting it. We think we are connecting it right.


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