Innovation and delighting the consumer, says Rohit Kapoor, Director – Marketing Operations, Perfetti Van Melle India, is the mantra that is reflected in the company’s communication. He also speaks on how the company is looking to engage with consumers, the importance of brand architecture, and how the brand’s advertising ensures that the rub off from the variant on the mother brand continues to be high
Perfetti is known for many iconic campaigns. What’s the challenge in ensuring you maintain the same gold standard bar?
We are fortunate that the industry and consumers have loved our advertising over the last 25 years. While that is appreciated, it also puts a positive pressure on us as a client, and our creative partners, McCann Worldgroup India and Ogilvy India, to keep churning out stuff that is loved by our consumers and is better than our previous communication.
What’s the core marketing proposition for PVMI?
The marketing philosophy is to continue to innovate and delight the consumer in the best way we can, whether it’s via our communication and advertising, positioning and products, innovation or pack formats. This has been our mantra since the beginning, and is reflected in the work we have done over the last 25 years.
How has your media mix evolved over the years?
We are a TV heavy client, and a large part of our ad spends still go to TV. However, we have now shifted a portion of our ad spends to digital. Between 85% – 90% of our ad spends are still on TV with 10% – 15% on digital, depending on the brand and the target group. For a brand like Centre fresh, where the TG is young adult, there is a larger role for digital, but for a brand like Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly, where we talk to kids, the ecosystem on digital for kids is still limited. In a nutshell, we look at the brand individually to decide what will be the contribution of TV and digital. We have definitely moved from only TV to TV plus digital as an advertiser. TV is looked largely as a reach medium, while digital is reach, and most importantly, engagement. We also look at other platforms, as we have a licensing association with the kids channel Nickelodeon, and our brand Center fruit is associating with the new movie release, Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Are you looking to up your ad spends this year?
At the moment, our marketing spends are adequate to support the intervention we have planned for the year ahead. Without giving a number, right now, we are funding each of our brands sufficiently, and shall continue to tweak the ad spends based on the brand need, the competitive environment and the pipeline of ideas. We have to activate and decide our advertising and promotional (A&P) spends accordingly. There has to be a threshold level of advertising support which has to be given to each of our brands, and we are giving that support to each brand. We follow the five power brands strategy, where the five power brands are TV plus digital, and two of our brands are only supported on digital.
What we also try and consciously do is that whenever we are bringing in a new pack or a new flavour or a new variant under a brand, if part of the A&P spends are going towards that, the advertising platform is still for the mother brand. For example, the positioning of Center fresh is on fresh breath, and if we bring in a variant, the advertising platform will be around fresh breath, so the rub off from the variant on the mother brand continues to be high. We are trying to build a portfolio like that, that’s why when we advertise Center Fresh Mints, the advertising platform is fresh breath.
What are the other ways that you are connecting with the consumer, particularly on the digital platform?
Influencers play a big part on digital and for our soft candy offerings – Chupa Chups Sour Belt and Sour Bites, we tied up with five teen influencers on Instagram. Recently, we collaborated with leading chefs such as Amrita Raichand, Saransh Goila, Shipra Khanna, Ajay Chopra, Meghna and Kanak, to create innovative recipes using Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly, which is featured on the brand’s social media assets. We also unveiled the brand and product Chupa Chups on social media via the unboxing route, where we had again associated with some influencers. We also tied up with the rapper Baba Sehgal for Chupa Chups for a short video, and pushed the video using his handle and our social media platforms. These have been some things that we have done, and the results have been mixed, but it is a good area to be in as it provides you the opportunity to connect with the teenagers and young adults who are on the platform.
You released a campaign for your first brand in India, Center fresh, celebrating 25 years. Can you tell us more about this?
We actually capture the typical boy-girl first time meet, where you have the confidence to approach the opposite gender because of the fresh breath confidence that comes from Center fresh. It’s a continuation of the strategy and positioning that the brand Centre fresh has been built on, the fresh breath social confidence. We have the 25 years insignia on all our small mono packs, the jar labels, so that the consumers can be made aware about the association.