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Dinshaw's ice-cream: Coming out of the cocoon to advertise after three decades

The popular ice-cream brand in Maharashtra and other parts of Central India has made a comeback in the ad space with a new packaging and a film conceptualised by Curry Nation. With a marketing spend of Rs 12-15 crore, including a budget of Rs 4 crore for the campaign, Dinshaw’s intends to make its presence felt across India

Click on the Image to watch the TVC.

After a gap of around 30 years since its first ad on television, Dinshaw’s Dairy Foods, a popular ice-cream brand, has made a comeback with a new packaging and a brand film to promote its products.

The brand’s first commercial promoting its ice-cream on national television was in the 1990s. The latest ad is Dinshaw’s second stint on national television. Though it came out with ads earlier, they were meant only for local cable channels.

This time around with a marketing spend of Rs 12-15 crore, including a budget of Rs 4 crore for its latest campaign, the brand intends to make its presence felt across the nation. Established in 1932, it has a major market presence in Central India.

Zervin Rana

The campaign is conceptualised by Curry Nation after a recent account win in a multi-agency pitch. Talking about the idea behind the campaign, Zervin Rana, ‎Chief Operations Officer at Dinshaw's Dairy Foods, said, “The pre-packed cone format is one of the largest contributors in ice-creams. We selected brand ‘Dil-Hi-Toh’ as our offering in the segment to spearhead our consumer communication. The packaging re-design banked on interesting insight delivered by Ormax (Mumbai) and creative strategy came by triangulating mother Brand Dinshaw’s long-term vision.”

Priti Nair

Priti Nair and the team at Curry Nation crafted an interesting storyline to bring it alive. She said, “We were very happy to get a decently focused brief that was not another ice-cream seduction or happiness approach. It allowed us to connect the brand in the real terms and work with the youth segment and connect with them in an emotional and engaging manner. The tagline, ‘Dil Ki Dosti Pighalti Nahi’ works at multiple levels. Truly, happy to be associated with a brand that has been so much a part of our growing years. I still hum the Dinshaw's ice-cream yum yum…”

This year Dinshaw’s, working with Intradia World (Mumbai) and Lokus Design (Pune), re-looked at the brand architecture for all products. It led to redefining of seven specific brands in ice-cream, grouped according to consumer expectations, benefits and formats.

The brand has always positioned itself as very warm and friendly. The brand positioning is such that the consumers can trust them. Even in the current campaign, the elements of friendship and trust are coming out.  

The TVC shows a young boy. He has bought ice-cream and is waiting for his friends. As the wait stretches with no sign of his friends, he is tempted to eat the ice-cream. He unravels the packaging and is about to dig into the ice-cream, but then his dosti comes in the way and he decides to wait for the friends. The friends who are nearby had been playfully testing him if he will wait for them or eat the ice-cream. He checks with them on the phone and they join him. After all, heartfelt togetherness is all about ‘Dil ki Dosti Pighalti Nahi’.

The brand’s core target audience lies across Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. “This is our core market and this year we will be focussing on this territory only. Next year onwards, we’ll be focussing on Uttar Pradesh and Delhi and we have started selling there also. We have started doing well in the Northern part of India and in Allahabad, we are the market leaders,” said Rana. The brand claims to have a 60-70 per cent market share across Maharashtra, leaving out Mumbai and Pune.

Rana said the ice-cream industry is growing around a range of 15-20 per cent on volumes every year. Per capita consumption of ice-cream in India is in the 300 ml range per person.

Media plan

The campaign will be promoted on most of the GECs, regional and music channels. To take care of the media mandate, Dinshaw’s has hired RK Swamy Media Group as its Agency on Record.

The reason for not advertising at a national level earlier is because milk is sold in a very small territory of the Central region. So, there would be a lot of wastage if they go on national television. Another reason for getting on to television until now is that the brand did not have the resources to do it. Rana said that one also needs a good distribution network before doing television campaigns on national television. Until now, Dinshaw’s has been advertising on outdoor front and also did a lot of BTL activities. But this year, the ice-cream brand has also started giving importance to television and social media. The company’s major advertising spend has been allocated to television and social media and outdoor fun has been kept very limited. “We are also not stressing on print because our entire target audience is on social media platforms,” added Rana.

Why do ice-cream brands have TG as the youth and not kids?

The brand’s target audience is youth between the age of 15-35 years. In fact, almost all the brands in the category have the youth as the target audience. The question arises here is that why does the category focuses only on youth, while it is mostly enjoyed by children? “Surely they do, but from the children's point of view, you need to define the age and create products for them. In the ice-cream industry in India, I have not seen any brand that has come up with a special range of ice-creams only for the kids. One or two products here and there, but does not define a range as such. Every product category has a defined age where you can play. There is a gap,” answered Rana. Rana further added, “Another reason that brands have not focussed on kids’ category as such because when you are talking about 15-35 years of age, this is the age when they start getting money for their expenses. That is the time when you can attract them towards your brand. But for kids, you have to convince the kid and hope that they can convince their parents also to buy ice-cream.”

Is youth an easy target?

“Not really, likes and dislikes of youth change very rapidly. You can’t really fix yourself on one theme and go across it. You have to be interesting all the time. You need to back yourself with new interesting flavours, inclusions and branding campaigns. The youth today gets bored really fast.

HUL-Amul fiasco

Recently, HUL filed a case in the Bombay High Court against Amul for an ad where they were talking about the difference between an ice-cream and frozen desserts. HUL thought that this strategy of Amul was a direct dig at them and filed a case in the Bombay High Court. Commenting on the tiff, Rana said, “A good part of Dinshaw’s products are completely ice-creams. In this category, there are products in the low range and there are products in the high range. Most brands in the lower range have ice-creams that are frozen desserts and are made of vegetable oil. 90-95 per cent of these flavours are made of ice-cream in our case. Only the real low-value product range that is sold in volumes and market pressure don’t allow us to keep the products in the high range.”

Does Amul-HUL fiasco hamper image of other brands sold in the category?

“It might be too early to say that as they have just started doing that. Generally, we have not really got affected because almost all our range is completely ice-cream and consumers like it. Most consumers were not even aware what they were eating. It is only now that Amul is pushing the button that people are asking questions. We need not fear because we have always been in the ice-cream category.” Dinshaw’s ice-cream has seven sub-brands. ‘Allure’ is the premium range; ‘Fruit Tree’ is an ice-cream range with natural ingredients and chunks of fruits; ‘Dil hi toh’ is pre-packed cones; ‘All’s Right’ is no-sugar ice-cream. It is all about sinning without guilt; ‘Sunsation’ are the ice lollies; ‘Kulfeast’ are the Kulfis and Frolix; ‘The candies’ are cups and novelties.’

The TVC:


Client: Dinshaw’s Dairy Foods

Client team: Zervin Rana (Director), Sanjeev Kotnala (Brand and Marketing Advisor), Mahesh Chaube (Brand Manager)

Creative Agency: Curry Nation

Creative agency team: Nagessh Pannaswami, Priti Nair, Ajinkya Shindgikar, Sushant Ainapure, Vikrant Dange

Media agency: RK Swamy

Digital Agency: Tonic Media

TVC Direction: Shivendranath Dungarpur.

Still photography: Shekhawat Himmat Singh


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