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6-Pack Band helped Red Label move both equity and business, says Shiva Krishnamurthy

RoI is the big question when a brand embarks on any marketing initiative and the fact that HUL’s Brooke Bond Red Label has come back for a second edition of 6-Pack Band featuring six differently abled teens is probably proof enough that content marketing does bring value to the brand. Shiva Krishnamurthy, General Manager, Brooke Bond Red Label, Hindustan Unilever, explains what the video did for the brand

Shiva Krishnamurthy

When Brooke Bond Red Label (from the house of HUL) launched a music video featuring six eunuchs singing Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’, everybody, from the brand to the makers of the idea, was sceptical. But not only did the brand go on to make waves and grab a Glass Grand Prix at the 63rd International Festival of Creativity at Cannes, it also played its part in taking the brand to the number one position that it now enjoys.

“The instalment of 6-Pack Band was successful not only in terms of the awards that it won but also in terms of moving brand love. Today, Red Label is India’s number one tea brand and we are the market leaders. While it is difficult to isolate exactly what 6-Pack Band did for it, we are quite certain that it has contributed to this,” said Shiva Krishnamurthy, General Manager, Brooke Bond Red Label, Hindustan Unilever.

According to Krishnamurthy, every brand does two types of communication – interrupt communication and seek-out communication. Interrupt communication is advertising that interrupts people’s lives; it is in your face and demands attention. Seek-out communication is clearly the opposite of interrupt communication. There are things that people seek out like music, and Red Label wanted a place in the seek-out communication space.

“Interrupt communication is important and it is still a lion’s share of what our category or brands do but we did want to get into the seek-out content because it is an emerging trend. Today, consumers don’t just learn about brands by getting interrupted, sometimes they seek out things that are relevant or pertinent to them. With Red Label, we had this very inspiring purpose and we wanted to create content that would help people engage with our purpose. But at the end of the day it is a marketing campaign and we wanted to move the brand’s mind measures and move the brand’s business. 6-Pack Band has managed to do both. The brand is stronger in the minds of the consumer, equity has increased the way we wanted it to and our market share has gone up. So, both the intermediate variable, which is equity, and the ultimate result, which is business, have moved up,” said Krishnamurthy.

HUL’s tea brands, which include names like Red Label, Taaza, Taj Mahal, 3 Roses, Lipton, together hold a market share of about 27%, according to 2017 reports. Red Label currently has a market share of 7% and if Krishnamurthy is to be believed, then the closest competitor is about 40-50 bits behind.

It is no surprise then that the brand has come up with a second instalment of 6-Pack Band. According to Amin Lakhani, President, Client Leadership, Mindshare India, the very fact that the brand has come back for a second instalment is proof itself that the idea has worked and is bringing some value to the brand.

Amin Lakhani

“The questions about return on investment (RoI) were there when we were making the first video as well. But irrespective of the awards the campaign has won, when the client comes and asks you to make another video that is really the biggest accolade of all. HUL could have invested their money anywhere but the fact that they have come back means it is bringing some value to the brand,” said Lakhani.

Not only has the campaign added value to the brand, it has put Mindshare and Y Films on the global platform as well.

“This initiative has inspired clients outside HUL for Mindshare and it has inspired HUL in other countries. They have taken our content over to other countries and in South East Asia, five other countries have taken up our content,” added Lakhani.

Ashish Patil

Ashish Patil, Head, Y-Films, is of the view that everything is measurable, it is the parameters that change and therefore when it comes to content marketing, one can’t look at the impact it has had on the brand through the same lens that they use for television.

“Everything in life is measurable. The only difference is that the metrics you are applying to TV cannot be applied here. This is digital and your feedback is real time. Views, engagement, percentage likes and dislikes, shares, all these are tangible, measurable metrics. For Brooke Bond Red Label in particular, after the window of the first campaign landing, the brand outsold the packaged tea category by 1.3 times, that is a 30% spike in comparison to the category. There were other factors involved obviously but this campaign played a very big part in delivering that,” said Patil.

For the second instalment of the campaign, six differently abled teens feature in Brooke Bond Red Label’s 6-Pack Band. The ‘Isspeshal Band’ has recreated the iconic chartbuster, ‘Dil toh pagal hai’ along with 100 kids from a special needs school.

The ignorant often refer to people with special needs as ‘paagal’ or ‘mad’. The song flips that on its head by telling people that if not discriminating between people or listening to your heart is at times considered crazy, then we all need to celebrate that madness. Because the heart, after all, is crazy. Conceived and produced by Ashish Patil, the project is curated by Shameer Tandon. The new version is a collaboration with ace singer-composer-song writer Vishal Dadlani.

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