The Wall of Blue and The Oreo Togetherness Bus

Cadbury India’s debut in the Rs. 12,000-crore biscuits market with Oreo has been beset with challenges from the start. In March, as the company readied for the launch of its global best-selling Oreo from the Kraft stable, rival Britannia Industries came up with an me-too product called Treat-O, another chocolate-flavoured sandwich cookie. Cadbury India retaliated and sued Britannia for trademark and copyright infringement of intellectual property rights. While the court battle will take its own course, Cadbury India will have to ensure that it makes the right marketing moves in terms of putting together an apt positioning for Oreo to win the final war. The Indian biscuit industry is dominated by major brands such as Parle, Britannia, and Sunfeast. Also, the category has strong regional brands such as PriyaGold in the north, Cremica in the north and west, Dukes in the south and Anmol in the east and north. Currently, Britannia and Parle each command one third of the biscuit market.

Though it has lost its first-mover advantage, Oreo hasn’t refrained from launching a high-decibel marketing campaign. The sandwich biscuit brand, launched with its global ‘Twist, Lick, Dunk’ communication, broke across media, including television, print, outdoor, radio, below-the-line, and digital.

“Oreo’s global positioning is based on moments of togetherness,” says Chandramouli Venkatesan, director – snacking, India and strategy – South Asia Indo China, Cadbury India. Ideated by Interface Communications, the brand’s TV ad features an interplay between a father and son. The son explains the ‘twist, lick, dunk’ ritual of consuming the biscuit. “It’s an interesting way of bonding and so far, this simple insight seem to have worked in favour of our brand,” he adds.

But other biscuit brands have been experimenting with the positioning around the theme of family in the past. Will this approach work for Oreo in the future? According to Venkatesan, there are not many black biscuits in the world and consistency in communication on a global level is important for the brand.

Robby Mathew, national creative director, Interface Communications shares that in the film, the brand is talking to the Indian mother who is on the marketer’s radar. “In future, we will be exploring other relationships seen in the Indian families. We will build the campaign with digital and on-ground activities,” he says. There is a special focus on in-store visibility through a ‘wall of blue’ (racks full of Oreo packs) in kiranas and modern retail. In fact, this helped in initiating more trials for the brand.

Today, every brand toys with the idea of creating a movement and Oreo is no exception. Recently, Cadbury commissioned a survey titled ‘Oreo Togetherness Quotient’, that mapped Indian families’ views on the evolving parent-child relationship in the dynamic Indian society. Conducted by research firm Nielsen across six cities (Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata) in India and comprising of 1819 respondents, the survey reveals that the role of the father in a family cannot be underplayed. The brand is sharing these findings with parents who later are signing up for ‘Oreo togetherness pledge’ by promising to spend more quality time with their children.

Also, as part of an on-ground initiative, ‘Oreo Togetherness Bus’ is currently running across the country, providing a platform for parents and children to catch fun family moments. Stationed at entertainment hubs of the city, the bus is loaded with fun games, photo opportunities, a cookie corner, and more. Anyone can hop into the bus with their kids to have fun, and try their hand at games. The bus is to travel across nine cities. The progress of the activity is being reported on the brand’s Facebook page.

With a competitive price strategy, one wonders if the brand plans to penetrate smaller cities and rural markets in the near future. “Oreo is a universal offering. Success in rural markets will not come easy. First, we will build our brand in urban markets and head there later,” says Venkatesan. Globally, Oreo generates revenues of over US$ one billion annually.

Without getting into numbers, Venkatesan says, “Oreo has big targets to achieve in India. Most importantly, we want to earn respect and stature in the biscuits category.”

Source: Financial Express


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