BTL Baatein: Ramesh Chauhan, Bisleri International… Powered by VISCOMM

02 Dec,2016

With a career spanning of around 52 years, Ramesh Chauhan, the man behind cola giant Thums Up and popular mineral water brand “Bisleri” holds a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Business Management. At the age of 27, he took the bold step of introducing bottled mineral water to the Indian market, at a time when buying it was unheard of. In this edition of ‘BTL Baatein’ which which is powered by VISCOMM, Santosh Jangid gets the views of Ramesh Chauhan, Chairman and Managing Director at Bisleri International Private Limited on Below The Line (BTL) advertising, the focus of the company and the balance between ATL (Above The Line) and BTL… it is indeed an honour to have one of India’s most celebrated entrepreneur as part of the BTL Baatein series..

 

 

How important is BTL to your overall marketing plan?

BTL advertising is more of one-to-one interaction with the consumers and gives them hands-on experience with a product or a service. BTL is precisely targeted for active engagement; once a consumer experiences a brand it helps develop a relationship with the brand thereby indirectly generating leads. It is of key significance to all our brands; and presently we are focusing more on BTL for our soft drinks range – Bisleri POP. It is important that the consumers try our products and become a repeat buyer. So far the response has been very encouraging for all the four variants – Spyci, Pina Colada, Limonata and Fonzo.

 

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

Bisleri is presently involved more in BTL activities in terms of mall activations, canter activities, sampling at select locations where we can touch base with our consumers. We also associate with events which go in sync with our products’ positioning so that we reach our target audience. We also talk to our consumers regularly via social media and digital activities and engage them through contests and rewards.

 

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

FMCG remains the most dominant sector in terms of ATL expenditures. Bisleri has had several successful ATL campaigns in the past such as Veri Veri Extraordinari, Play Safe, Stay Protected, Kiss to Drink; these campaigns were very effective and are still remembered by the consumers. However, since a couple of years, we are taking a different approach and concentrating more on BTL activities which help us to get valuable insights by consumer interactions. Nevertheless ATL is not completely ruled out.

 

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

BTL activities are usually conducted via agencies who have the right expertise to execute such activities, with inputs from our existing creative media agencies. Some activities are also conceptualised and executed independently by us.

 

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

BTL activities give you an opportunity to connect with your target audience and convert them into potential customers if you are able to create the right brand experience. It can certainly give you potential leads thereby enhancing sales; in our experience generally sales promotions give immediate results.

 

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?

BTL activities are primarily conducted to drive brand awareness among the target audience and create strong relationship between brand and consumer. BTL campaigns are also a very effective source of feedback and research.

 

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

ATL and BTL has their own pros and cons. While ATL activities create imagery around the brand, BTL gives relevant feedback and interaction opportunities with the consumers. Hence there needs to be the right balance between the two; we believe both ATL and BTL go hand in hand.

 

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