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How Hitachi and Barista joined ranks to attract millennials

Hitachi has collaborated with Barista to introduce the ‘Hitachi Alphonso Smoothie’ in limited cafés. Both brands share with BestMediaInfo.com what it takes for two unrelated categories to find a common route to create a buzz

Brands are leaving no stones unturned to attract millennials with new and innovative concepts. And co-branding for new products is a latest trend in this direction.

Hitachi, in an attempt to become the most preferred air-conditioning name among the affluent millennials, has launched a campaign in partnership with coffee brand Barista.

As part of this brand engagement drive, it has introduced ‘Hitachi Alphonso Smoothie’, a summer drink, in 40 Barista cafés of Delhi/NCR.

BestMediaInfo.com talked to both the brands to understand how two different and completely unrelated names came together, introducing a new product in the market.

Partha Sen

“While Barista’s team were devising their summer strategy, our marketing team were on the lookout for an innovative marketing activation to drive the product attributes and key communication message. The idea of a co-branded, cool refreshing drink was an instant hit between both brands, as one will beat the heat from the outside and other will give respite from the inside,” said Partha Sen, Head Marketing, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India.

To create a buzz around millennials, the two-month brand drive was designed as an extension to the ‘Hitachi Air- Feel it to believe it’ campaign, which was in line with the launch of their new global brand look, along with a series of short films to strengthen their bond with customers.

Hitachi placed tent cards, countertop, and an eight-inch screen playing HitachiAV in the cafes, along with the smoothie curated for the extended summer season in North India, July and August. The brand roped in bloggers while promoting it on digital platforms.

The brand invested 4% of its revenue in promotion via print, TV, OOH, digital and others. But digital and OOH were the more focused mediums of promotion for Hitachi, this year.

With 40% higher spends in both mediums, Sen said that with the instant hit, the attempt has already driven brand salience and engagement, with the youth becoming the greatest ROI for the marginal investments made.

Since a major chunk of Barista’s customers are within the age group of 20 to 35 years, with the majority of them being young urban professionals, the association was said to be a conscious choice as both brands were serving the same TG and have a similar philosophy.

Gurmeet Singh

Gurmeet Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India,  said, “While the drink has been quite a hit, such new mediums of marketing drive brand saliency and adds buzz to our regular marketing campaigns. We are aiming to become the most-preferred air-conditioning brand among the affluent millennials entering their prime spending years.”

Puneet Gulati

Puneet Gulati, CEO, Barista, who feels the new smoothie would have a positive impact on the rest of its offerings, said, “To promote this innovative beverage, we have lined up an aggressive social campaign, which includes our internal social assets as well.” The café brand who majorly bets on digital medium, is intending to create a new and innovative medium for future product and brand level integrations.”

Sharing how the Hitachi Air Alphonso Smoothie was the outcome of thoughtful brainstorming, Gulati said such kinds of activations are a win-win for both partners.


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