The specialist division of Ogilvy and Mather generates the numbers that make brand managers ecstatic.
Hitesh Ranot | Delhi | January 31, 2011
Consumers want to be spoken to in their own language, their own idiom. Do the national brands keep this fundamental fact in mind for their communications? Do they localize their communication for better consumer connect? What does it take and what does it deliver in turn if national brands develop region wise communication plans?
Surprisingly, these fundamental questions are overlooked all the time by most advertisers of national brands, especially those headquartered in Delhi and Mumbai, when addressing consumers in southern India.
This is a market which has literacy rates way higher than in any other part of the country, is relatively more prosperous and doesn’t suffer from the media dark conditions of many north Indian states.
Incredible as it may seem, for decades the national brands have run the same campaigns for the north and the south, never mind that the Punjabi and the Tamil are as different as paneer makhni and idli-chutney. In doing so, they send out mis-conceived, mis-cast, absurdly dubbed and eventually insensitive communication, spending exorbitant sums of money only to alienate consumers.
A few years back, Ogilvy and Mather thought to bridge the gap and created a specialist division Ogilvy Dakshin to arrest this wasteful practice and help national brands connect better with consumers in southern India. Since then, Ogilvy Dakshin has helped 11 big national brands to create a magical impact in the regional market. The results have been thrilling for all.
How did Ogilvy Dakshin do it? Reacting to this, Suguna Swamy, Consulting Partner and Creative Director, Ogilvy Dakshin says, “Like everything, it’s easy to do when you know how.”
“We live and work in this region. We have teams that are soaked in the culture of the south for decades…no Matunga or Munirka immigrants. We know the sounds, the streetspeak, the emotions and the imagery that connect with the consumer, right here, right now.”
“Check our Ogilvy Dakshin showreel. It’s vivid and robust. In 30 minutes it shows you the lively and memorable work that is making big news for many top brands in South India. Brand managers, marketing managers and divisional heads are ecstatic about the ways their brands have grown – some in a very short time - with the intervention of Ogilvy Dakshin,” adds Suguna.
The showreel describes the problems faced by Ogilvy Dakshin’s partner brands, the solutions provided to them and the near-instant effectiveness.
For example, the ‘Canteen’ film developed for Fanta rapidly increased brand salience and boosted sales by 19% over the previous comparable season. Ogilvy Dakshin picked the South Indian star Trisha, wrote up a fresh script on the national strategy and created the difference for the brand.
The similar success was repeated for Thums Up ‘Hunk a Day’ campaign. Against a targeted growth of 10% based on the previous year’s promotion in Andhra Pradesh in the same month in 2009, Thums Up ‘Hunk a Day’ by Ogilvy Dakshin delivered a 20% volume growth.
Coca-Cola India tasted the good result again for their Coke ‘Sevisri’ - an outdoor promotion in the summer of 2009 in Bangalore that delivered a 25% growth over the previous season, besides boosting goodwill among franchisees.
Elated with the idea working well for the brands, I Srinivas Murthy, Director-Marketing, Coca Cola India attributes it to “Ogilvy Dakshin’s strong focus on local southern consumer insights and its vast experience in developing + executing marketing programs on this basis” and “putting business objectives at the front of the activity, helping the client work on better programs. Execution-focus helped deliver these programs on time (the oft-forgotten, first steps to making up marketing program a success!) This was achieved even with multiple programs operating simultaneously,” added Murthy.
Murthy goes on to say, “Regional marketing is dominated to a great degree by graphics/print work such as point-of-sale- merchandise, outdoor so on. Dakshin has helped to improve the relevance of the copy, adapt national templates to local insights, and make a big difference to regional marketing.”
In a similar manner, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk “Thala deepavali” (‘A couple’s first Diwali’) reinforced the CDM brand’s role in bringing people together and spreading good cheer; in a nuanced Southern manner befitting the Deepavali season.
It was part of a 2009 national Diwali campaign that saw CDM double tonnages and achieve record sales in the Dakshin region.
Fortune is India’s No. 1 cooking oil but was not even in the consideration set of consumers in TN & Karnataka. Hence Adani Wilmar, makers of Fortune Sunflower oil turned to Ogilvy Dakshin to help increase market share.
With a fresh and focused campaign Fortune Sunlite Sunflower Oil “Mooke pidikka sapidunga’ (“Stuff yourself !” ), Ogilvy Dakshin lifted sales for Fortune in TN in the very first year itself and took it from unknown to No 2 position within four months. The campaigns that followed were so successful that Adani Wilmar entrusted the entire Fortune account to Ogilvy and Mather.
“We turned to Ogilvy Dakshin for brand connect with our huge Southern region market. Brand recall after we broke the first advertising was very good and we achieved 50% increase in growth in the first year itself,” says Manish Iyer, Senior Manager, Adani Wilmar. The single most striking contribution of Ogilvy Dakshin is to have made Fortune Sunflower oil a likeable local brand which keeps coming through in every study”.
The 2009 Deepavali campaign for Arvind Brands’ apparel chain was an outstanding success and resulted in almost doubling of sales in that season. The success of the first campaign Megamart “Orutharkittayum sollidadeenga’ (‘Keep it to yourself’) was only the beginning. Since then the communication from Ogilvy Dakshin has been helping the sales team outstrip even the company’s ambitious targets, acknowledged readily by Megamart’s senior managers.
J Suresh, Managing Director and CEO, Arvind Brands says, “We have no hesitation in saying that Ogilvy Dakshin understands local requirements very well and is very capable of developing / adapting creatives which will touch the local sentiments and make the brand more endearing to Southern audiences”.
The Ogilvy Dakshin success trail includes one more national brand, Dabur Amla Hair Oil. Immediately after its 2010 ‘Black is Beautiful’ Tamil, Telugu and Kannada campaign by Ogilvy Dakshin, Vikas Mittal, EVP, Personal and Home Care, Dabur India said, “The ultimate test of any campaign is the business outcome – it’s growing at +30%! Well done and we are looking forward to renewing this campaign with you and your team soon.”
Praising Ogilvy Dakshin on its approach, Mittal adds, “Right from their appreciation of the brief to alternative creative routes (all equally powerful) they weave a distinctive south cultural angle into the proposition… to deliver the final campaign across TV, print, outdoor and PR in a top quality way.”
Dakshin’s latest work is for ITC Foods Bingo Premium Salted Potato Chips and Bingo International Cream and Onion. The two wacky commercials, in keeping with the Bingo brand personality, have recently gone on air. “Initial response is encouraging” says the client.
Looks like yet another Ogilvy Dakshin success story is coming up.