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Cadbury Diary Milk, 5 Star get a taste push

Monday, November 7, 2016, 13:15 Hrs  [IST]
By HBI Staff | Mumbai

As per a report in Business Standard, a bunch of aliens view with suspicion a bar of chocolate that has been left on their planet by a retreating spaceship. One of the aliens musters the courage to taste it and is pleasantly surprised with the flavour. It is more ‘chocolatey’ (a term that several brands have coined in their endeavour to drive home their taste advantage to target consumers). The alien loves the taste and dances in delight, prompting his pals to join what the crooner describes as an “interstellar party”. What the ad, which has been made in India by Ogilvy Mumbai, attempts to convey is that the new taste is not just one up on competitors but ‘out of this world’. For Mondelez, this communication is important, especially as it wants to send across the message that the Cadbury brand is not jaded. There is a reason for the effort that the Indian unit of the US snacks major is putting behind its flagship brand in the country.

The company is keen to convince customers that it is not just its communication that is new, products are also changing to stay in step with evolving tastes and consumer profiles. After 68 years of its existence here, the formulation of Cadbury Dairy Milk has been tweaked for the first time. While the actual recipe change is confidential, the only giveaway is the richer and creamier taste. The ads were conceptualised and executed by the Ogilvy team with an international audience in mind and are being used to reach out to consumers in Canada and South Africa apart from India. The two global markets are part of a long list of countries where the commercial will be released in the coming months, Mondelez India’s director, chocolates, Prashant Peres, says. “Here is an example of a piece of communication that is making its way from India to other parts of the world,” he says.

While multinationals have been known to introduce their global concepts and products into India, the reverse journey has not been as popular. Companies such as Mondelez as well as other consumer goods companies are attempting to change that, taking Indian ideas and concepts overseas. The aliens ad for Cadbury Dairy Milk is an example of this, Peres explains. The “renovation” that the flagship brand, which has a 40% market share, has undergone, is intended, say brand experts, to help it stay at the top of its game in a competitive market. “In a market like chocolates, which is quite large and yet evolving at the same time in terms of taste, it helps if you come up with something disruptive,” says N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA, which comes out with the annual Brand Trust Report. While Mondelez remains the leader in chocolates with a 65% share of a roughly INR 7,500-8,000 cr market in India, competition has been heating up in recent years. Nestle has been launching new products and smaller players such as Ferrero and Mars (owner of the Snickers brand) are all fighting for shelf space.

Deciding to reformulate an age-old brand then, say experts, is intended to both surprise and delight consumers to ensure stickiness and is also a bold step in some ways. Incidentally, Cadbury Dairy Milk is not the only one to see a recipe change recently. A month ago, Mondelez launched a more “caramely” Cadbury 5 Star, with the brand’s popular mascots Ramesh-Suresh announcing it in their own inimitable style. The ad, shot in Romania, shows Ramesh-Suresh lost in the flavour of the new Cadbury 5 Star, oblivious that they’ve averted a robbery. “This is the first time that a Ramesh-Suresh commercial has been shot in a foreign location,” declares Peres. The disruption, he explains, has been at the brand and communication levels, required to ensure all loose ends are tied. The reason chocolate makers, such as Cadbury, have sharpened their focus on India is also because this is one of the markets where the potential for growth is enormous.

According to several market research reports released in the course of 2015-16, the craving for chocolates is not just among affluent Indians. Rural India is opening up to the taste too. According to a report by Technopak, smaller pack sizes have helped lure consumers outside the metros and improved brand penetration. Dana Anderson, SVP and CEO, Mondelez International, speaking earlier this year to a Kantar Worldpanel team for its brand footprint report, said, “At Mondelez, we have a mantra attached to each brand; it’s nicknamed the luggage tag. It has four little pictures and a sentence, summarising how each product gets to its purpose. So knowing your purpose, knowing why are you here. That’s what I think will drive success."

For Mondelez India, this is the understanding that is probably driving their attempt to innovate with its product and its communication in the country. In the coming weeks, the company has planned a big communication burst around Cadbury Dairy Milk and 5 Star. “The aliens are cute characters which can be used in point of sale to attract the attention of the consumer. We are working on those lines,” Peres says. He adds that the company intends to use every lever that is available and the commercial that is already on air after first being launched on YouTube. Outdoor, digital will be part of the mix.

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