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Zed Black gears up to fortify position in incense stick market

The brand plans to go beyond spiritual channels for its television campaign featuring brand ambassadors Alok Nath and MS Dhoni

(L-R) Anshul Agrawal, Brand Ambasador Alok Nath and Anand Oberoi at Manthan Dhoop launch

As Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved gets set to enter the largely unorganised Rs 30,000-crore home worship segment with brand Aastha, one of the oldest players, Mysore Deep Perfumery House (MDPH), has rolled up its sleeves by launching a marketing campaign for its flagship brand Zed Black.

Since 1992, Zed Black is among the top three players in the Rs 2,500-crore organised agarbatti sector along with ITC’s Mangaldeep and Cycle. Under Zed Black, MDPH has come up with Manthan, a dhoop brand that comes in seven variants – Chandan, Gulab, Mogra, Loban, Gold and Silver.

Commenting on the new entrant Patanjali Aastha, Anshul Agarwal, Director, MDPH, said, “There always have been competitors who keep on entering the business. It is not just Patanjali. Even ITC came around 13-14 years back but we have grown. India is such a big market and there is scope for everyone to grow.”

“MDPH wants to fortify its position as one of the top incense stick manufacturers in the country. We have recently signed former Indian captain MS Dhoni as our national brand ambassador for ZedBlack; for regional markets, we have Bhagyashree for the West and Odhia Superstar Barsha Priyadarshini for the East Indian market. In the North Indian market, our brand Manthan Dhoop is very popular. To further strengthen the brand’s proposition, we have the most Sanskari man of the country Alok Nath as its face,” said Agarwal.

Lesser brand awareness along with the entry of various local players in the market is the biggest challenge the brand is facing these days.

It is not easy to advertise in this particular segment because there is ‘less awareness’ among the customers and most of them are dependent on the retailers for the product.

“There are a lot of local players who really are our competitions because they have the potential to grow. We need to keep a check on our local competitors and not just bigger players,” added Agarwal.

Speaking about the marketing spends, Agarwal explained, “In our category, we are the highest spender on print medium and recently we have started digital promotions along with Hotstar, Facebook and Google. Earlier, we have been present on Aastha and Sanskaar channels but from now onwards we will be seen on mainstream channels as well.”

The brand has roped in Alok Nath as its brand ambassador and rolled out a series of three TVCs conceptualised by Mumbai-based advertising agency Oberoi IBC. The campaign will run across both mainline and digital media.

Speaking about the campaign, Anand Oberoi, Managing Director, Oberoi IBC, said, "As life moves in a fast-forward mode, we are slowly forgetting the roots of happiness – the drawing room family talk or the ever supporting parents or the family meet-ups. And to raise awareness in this regard, Manthan Dhoop urges people to look inward and introspect their way of living with the latest 'Manthan Zaroori Hai' campaign.”

The TVCs:

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