Rooh Afza stirs up rosy nostalgia

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Rooh-AfzaRemember the old Rooh Afza, the rosy syrup that can be added to sherbets, cold milk drinks, ices and cold desserts, such as the popular falooda? A concoction that has come a long way since the early 1900s, now has a new campaign that involves its loyal consumers. This brand from Hamdard has launched the ‘My Rooh Afza Story’ campaign, which is aimed at sparking nostalgia amongst its audience.

According to the brand, the campaign seeks to re-ignite these pleasant memories and get people to talk about their Rooh Afza moments. The end gratification for the participants being a chance to be part of the next Rooh Afza ad.

Tarundeep Singh Rana, Senior General Manager and Head Marketing, Hamdard says that the brand has repositioned itself in the last four to five years from a summer refresher to a natural refresher. “Now, the syrup is used as an additive, moving away from the imagery of the mundane drink. Millions of consumers over the last 10 decades in India have grown up with Rooh Afza. It’s a brand that is very dear to Indians and everyone has their own fond memory of Rooh Afza. Through this campaign, we seek to capture these stories and make them a part of the brand history,” he adds.

Rana claims that the brand is growing at a CAGR of 22 per cent year on year, where the peak sales and consumption is during April to July. For this campaign, Rs 5 crore has been allocated for activation, including a TVC, radio, print as well as collaboration on Facebook.

Harish Bijoor, Brand Strategist and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults

Harish Bijoor, Brand Strategist and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults

Can this be called a form of crowd-sourcing, similar to the ‘Me and Meri Maggi’ campaign launched last year? Harish Bijoor, Brand Strategist and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults says that this is a time tested mechanism that heritage brands use. “Maggi used the same and Amitabh Bachchan did justice to it. The idea is simple, brands instil the loyalists with memories, the longer the brands stay, the longer and richer is the memory.” Bijoor further adds that it is the right time for Rooh Afza to launch a campaign since it has been facing a lot of heat with the latest movie starring Ranbir Kapoor, ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’. “There is a lot of negative talk about the brand that is being played up, I think this will hopefully bring out the positive memories of the brand,” he adds.

“Our core positioning will always remain the same, but if you see our last commercial, we have taken kids as well as family into consideration. Kids today are huge influencers of the category, even though there is the 30-plus age group that has grown up with the brand. Over the years, there has been an onslaught of international and home grown brands that have come up as competition, hence we are targeting the 4-14 year olds so that we catch them young,” says Rana.

Over the years, Rooh Afza has brought out several commercials; in 2012, it had come out with a TVC where it shows a family playing carom and the commercial highlights the nutritional values such as ‘No fat, no cholesterol and no artificial flavours’; another campaign in 2010 brought Juhi Chawla on board with the punch-line: ‘All natural refresher’; and the ones we have grown up with are ‘Roohafza Peejiye, Roohafza Pilayiye’ and ‘Jashna Manao’.

The campaign has been planned in two stages, the first phase being the call for entry phase, inviting people to share their stories. In the second phase, the brand will use print, OOH and digital as the communication medium to announce the winners and their winning stories across nation. The first phase of the campaign was launched last week with simultaneous launch of the TVC along with OOH, print and radio pan-India.

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