We want to change the perception of McVitie's being just a healthy biscuit to a tasty brand: Abhishek Sharma of pladis India

The brand forayed into the cream sandwich category with the launch of McVitie's Cream. The brand has also started a consumer engagement campaign in association with Jungle Book. The campaign is conceptualised in house and will last for another nine month

Akansha Srivastava
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We want to change the perception of McVitie's being just a healthy biscuit to a tasty brand: Abhishek Sharma of pladis India

To launch the cream sandwich biscuits under the brand McVitie’s as part of widening the consumer base in India, pladis India has come out with innovative packaging that will engage consumers to watch interesting Jungle Book webisodes and win many exciting prizes. The campaign is conceptualised in house.

As part of the consumer engagement campaign, McVitie’s Creams packs come with a QR code, which will allow kids to watch webisodes of The Jungle Book. A new webisode will be released every week. Consumers also stand a chance to win daily assured gifts and one tablet every week under the promotion ‘Eat 2 win’. The campaign was launched in Delhi in March and will run for nine months. Also, along with the Rs 20 pack, 3D cards would be given out and after collecting five cards, one will have an opportunity to win a fixed prize.

The brand intends to run the campaign on air exclusively with Viacom18 kids channels on the television front.

pladis India is now widening its consumer base to be a household brand name with its extended play in taste led segments of biscuits – creams, cookies. Its ambition is to operate like a full-biscuit player with consumer offering in all sub-segments of biscuits over the next three years.

McVitie’s recently ended relationship with Bipasha Basu and got Kajol Devgan as its brand ambassador. She won’t be seen in the commercial for the brand on air, but will actively promote the brand in various kids connect programmes.

Talking about the strategy on changing the brand ambassador, Abhishek Sharma, President pladis India (McVitie’s), said, “Bipasha stands  more about urban, fitness and out-of-home and not traditional Indian. However we felt that McVitie’s can now broad base its appeal to more traditional Indian housewives and moms and get away from just saying it’s healthy. We felt Kajol will suit the best for the brand. Kajol’s association for the cream is important because she also represents super mom. She represents a mom who takes care of the family’s health. She has done quite a lot of advertisements around this before.”

The brand’s target audience for the cream category is kids. When asked for the reason to limit the brand to kids as the target segment, Sharma said, “This is target audience segment where we are making our first foray. McVities is a brand that has been known for healthy wheat biscuits. Indulgence and tasty is something that the brand is not known for. Cream is related to taste and drives on indulgence. We now want the brand to be related to taste and indulgence. We felt that it is essential to target kids first because kids are more attuned to trying and eating through impulse. Adults’ habits are very well set and kids’ habits are not set. Our association with Jungle Book gives us reason to believe for the kids to have our product.”

McVitie’s Creams will be available in seven SKUs (Stock Keeping units) across the country in grocery stores and modern retail outlets, and will be available in a pack size of 70 grams, priced at Rs 10 and 100 grams for Rs 20.

In a Rs 25,000-crore market, McVitie’s shares its portion of Rs 200 crore plus in India. Sharma believes that setting a particular target market share for the brand is not a justified idea as of now. “We are hardly anything. Setting any market share goal is pointless. What we want to do now is to play in all the biscuit categories and change the perception of McVities digestive biscuits from a healthier to a mass consumption product that you can have anywhere and anytime. That transition we have to do, otherwise you can’t play in all the categories.”

DDB Mudra is the creative agency and Zenith is the media agency on record for the brand.

pladis is a part of the Yildiz Holding, a food company in Turkey, headquartered in Istanbul. pladis has internationally recognised biscuits and confectionary businesses with global brands and regional jewels — Godiva Chocolatier, McVitie’s Biscuits, Ülker and DeMet’s Candy Company. pladis India operates in the category of biscuits under the brand name McVitie’s. Entered India in 2009, it is now a well-known brand in India with retail sales of Rs 200 crore plus, growing double-digit ahead of the biscuit category. The original McVitie’s Digestives biscuit is one of the leading brands in the healthier biscuit category, and McVitie’s has ownership of whole-wheat in this space.

Abhishek Sharma McVitie