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Not just budget and investments in tech, but Mondelez’s agility makes a difference: Nitin Saini

Speaking to BestMediaInfo.com about the brand’s focus on big tech, Saini, Vice-President Marketing, Mondelez International, stated that while technology is really important for the brand, what is even more important is the idea because that’s where it all starts with

Nitin Saini

Known for its Cannes Lions-winning deep fake work, My SRK Ad, Mondelez has indeed made sure of keeping technology and innovation at the core of everything it does.

Taking forward the Gen AI baton is the brand’s two newly launched campaigns- ‘Say It With Oreo’ and ‘#MyBirthdaySong’.

Speaking to BestMediaInfo.com about the brand’s focus on big tech, Nitin Saini, Vice-President Marketing, Mondelez International, stated that while technology is really important for the brand, what is even more important is the idea because that’s where it all starts with.

He stated that the first and foremost thing for Mondelez is the brand purpose, which is followed by the ‘idea’, after which comes the quotient where technology can assist in bringing the idea to life in a very innovative, interesting and meaningful way.

“We have seen great success with how actually technology can bring the idea to life in a very exciting way, so it's well embedded in the way the marketing folks think at Mondelez India now,” he commented.

Furthermore, he also opined that consumer centricity is a cornerstone of all the work that Mondelez India does by using digital effectively to scale data-driven marketing and build hyper-personalised experiences for the brand’s consumers.

“This approach is what we refer to as Empathy@Scale. Being a brand that consistently embodies a wide array of feelings, our primary focus has been to meticulously capture the unique essence of each consumer throughout our marketing ventures. Also, we believe that by genuinely conveying a narrative intertwined with the emotions associated with our brand, we reinforce our core value proposition. Purpose takes a centre stage for all our campaigns, making it integral in our effort to connect with our consumers,” he said.

Touching upon the brand’s product innovations and purpose-driven marketing campaigns (IMC) that in his views sets the brand apart in the minds and hearts of consumers, he stated that GenAI allows them to personalise campaigns for our consumers and enable high interactivity with the brand’s consumers amd that goes to build brand love.

“We are aiming to use it as a key enabler to build those moments of personalisation and brand experiences. Investments specifically to drive sales and marketing use cases that focus on End-to-End, Online to Offline consumer journeys and Improving Productivity will follow,” he added.

He further clarified that is not a ‘lot of budget’ or ‘investments’ in tech, but ‘the agility of the team’ that makes a difference for the brand.

“We work with both our creative and media agency partners to find the right tech solutions as well as tech partners to bring the idea to life. Having said that a lot of focus is on how can we use technology to make the idea exciting,” he said.

He also highlighted that since technology is a great way to go about and enable personalisation two of the brand’s recent activations leverage Generative AI and other new-age technologies because magic is created when both idea and tech come together.

Conceptualised by Leo Burnett, Oreo’s recent brand campaign vouches on the power of generative AI to fuel the generation of playful answers, followed by the voice cloning AI engine which plays back the same in Farhan Akhtar’s voice.

Similarly, Cadbury Celebrations’ #MyBirthdaySong which was ideated by Ogilvy brings alive four types of new-to-market tech GenAI tools- AI-generated lyrics, AI-composed music, AI generates vocals and real-time generation of personalized ‘birthday’ songs.

The partners for both campaigns were Prodigious and Content Factory and Gan Studio and Uberduck, respectively, along with Publicis’ Media arm- Wavemaker.

Commenting on the objective that the brand was eyeing for ‘Say It With Oreo’, he stated that because Oreo is all about playfulness, it was just that the brand was exploring ways in which one can bring more playfulness in people's lives and found one in the latest activation.

On the other hand, #MyBirthdaySong, is all about building relevance for Cadbury Celebrations in the occasion of birthday gifting, he said.

“We know that it is our clear brand positioning that has built a strong equity for the brand and not only that but it does help in building that connection with the consumer and translating into long-term equity building and higher sales. Therefore, tied quite well to the ambition of our brands, the Oreo activation helps us build a stronger positioning of the brand on playfulness and equally for celebration, we see a big opportunity in building relevance for the brand on the occasion of birthday gifting,” he added.

Commenting as to how the brand is gearing up for this year’s festive season, Saini emphasised that the brand will certainly be coming up with various activations around both Rakhi and Diwali which will fall in the second half of 2023 as those are really the two big occasions that the Celebrations’ brand leads.

“We are excited about the upcoming festive season and aim to interact with our consumers through various touchpoints using a multi-media approach. Given that the consumer is spending a lot of time on digital channels, we will continue to invest in online channels for our upcoming campaigns as well as strengthen connections with our consumers through various marketing technology initiatives- whether its about unlocking playfulness or spotlighting on generosity – technology is a fantastic enabler to bring these acts to life,” he opined.

Sharing his viewpoints on how the brand is prepping for the cookie-less world and building first-party data, he stated that that the brand is proactively adapting to the evolving digital landscape in anticipation of the cookie less era. 

Mondelez has already set up a consumer digital organisation where the team is concentrating on the brands’ owned media platforms and collecting their first-party data, he said.

Moreover, the brand also believes in engaging with consumers on an ongoing basis, gathering data, and making it smarter along the way because by prioritising the cultivation of first-party data, Mondelez strategically will build a direct and meaningful connection with its consumers. 

“This approach not only enables us to navigate the changing privacy landscape but also empowers us to deliver even more personalised and relevant experiences,” he shared.

Upon being questioned as to whether or not the brand’s tech-led campaigns work equally well in Bharat as they do in India, he replied that the brand has opted for a pan-India approach because technology today cuts across different Indias, irrespective of the tier-wise divide. 

Having completed 75 years in India, Mondelez, in his view has got some of the really strong brands in its kitty including Cadbury which is almost synonymous with the chocolate category and has been built over years through some fantastic work around communication, activation, or innovation. 

What Mondelez looks at is meaningful consumer touch points that can be used by the brand to address- be it an occasion, festival, event or even some properties on TV, therefore when it comes to the mix between traditional and new age mediums, the brand would have a mix of both owing to TV’s highest reach and Digital because it allows one to do more personalisation, he opined.

“We've been able to build a strong emotional connection with people in the country. And the way we see it, I think there is still a lot of opportunity to grow in the category,” he said.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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