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Jingles are a potent tool for brand building: Gunjan Khetan of Perfetti Van Melle India

As per Gunjan Khetan, Marketing Director, Perfetti Van Melle India, from revamping the signature jingle to forging alliances with Gen Z influencers, Mentos' endeavour to transition 'Aam Zindagi' to 'Mast Zindagi' encapsulates a vibrant narrative of adaptation and resonance in the ever-evolving consumer landscape

Gunjan Khetan

Known for its commitment to being a youth-centric brand, Mentos collaborated with Gen Z influencers Orry, Palak Tiwari, Jasleen Arora for its campaign with a new jingle to bring out the brand’s philosophy of inspiring a life that is both fun and refreshing.

Curated and conceptualised by Schbang, the campaign aimed to bring innovative and delectable offerings by Mentos to its consumers, and make sure that the youth resonates with it.

As per Gunjan Khetan, Marketing Director, Perfetti Van Melle India, from revamping the signature jingle to forging alliances with Gen Z influencers, Mentos' endeavour to transition 'Aam Zindagi' to 'Mast Zindagi' encapsulates a vibrant narrative of adaptation and resonance in the ever-evolving consumer landscape.

Shedding light on the enduring power of jingles in today's content-saturated world, Khetan said that jingles, with their catchy tunes and carefully crafted lyrics, create lasting impressions and effectively cut through the noise. Jingles are more than mere taglines; they are a potent tool for brand building, a sentiment echoed by the success stories of iconic campaigns like Alpenliebe and Saridon.

Explaining the rationale behind collaborating with Gen Z influencers for the campaign, he highlighted Mentos' urban-centric appeal and its status as a global, premium brand.

“By partnering with influencers like Orry, Palak Tiwari, and Jasleen Arora, Mentos aimed to resonate with its refined, youthful audience and reinforce its cool, stylish image,” he added.

Khetan addressed the deliberate choice to create polished, ad-like content with influencers, rather than opting for raw, organic content.

“Many influencers are creating great content, and that's commendable. However, there's a risk that their content becomes too similar to others. To stand out, it's important to do things differently while still leveraging the unique talents of influencers. Mentos stands for its distinctiveness and hence went out with a different approach,” he added.

While Khetan confirmed plans for additional content releases featuring influencers, he said, “We're currently working on scheduling the release of this content. We aim to strike a balance so that not all content is released simultaneously, but also ensure that there's not too much time between each release.”

He highlighted the positive response and buzz generated by the campaign, suggesting a promising trajectory for Mentos in engaging its target audience

While clarifying if the objective of the campaign was engagement or reach, he stated that the main goal was to strengthen the brand's image. Despite not running mainstream advertising for Mentos in a while, the brand image remains strong.

“We recognised the latent value in the brand and decided to invest in it to see how it can propel forward. For me, it's less about reach or engagement, but more about reintroducing the brand to the right audience and observing its impact on brand perception,” he added.

Addressing the question if Mentos is planning to use influencers other than Hindi-speaking or English-speaking, Khetan mentioned that the brand is focused on aligning with the interests and preferences of the target audience rather than the language they speak.

He added, “ We selected influencers from various backgrounds such as music, gaming, and dance, ensuring that they resonate with different segments of our target market. Our approach was not region-specific; instead, we aimed to engage with influencers who share common interests with our audience, regardless of their geographical location or language.”

As per Khetan, Perfetti ads are not focused on functionality aspect. He said “Perfetti ads prioritise emotional and human-based elements over functional aspects for several reasons. Firstly, our products belong to an impulse category, meaning consumers make quick, instinctive purchases rather than heavily considering product features. Additionally, the confectionery market is already saturated, with high penetration rates ranging from 70-80%. In such a competitive landscape, standing out requires more than just functional claims.”

He added, “By focusing on emotional storytelling and humour, our ads aim to create memorable experiences that resonate with consumers and reinforce brand recall. This approach allows us to connect with our audience on a deeper level and differentiate ourselves in the market.”

While the industry is witnessing a rise in performance-led campaigns, Khetan believes in striking a balance between performance marketing and brand-building campaigns.

He stated that a brand requires both brand building for long-term success and performance marketing for short-term results. Brand-building activities, such as those seen with Chupa, Mentos, and Alpenliebe, lay the foundation for a brand's identity and reputation over time. However, short-term results are also essential for sustaining the business in the present.

“This is where performance marketing plays a crucial role. It allows for measurable outcomes, optimisation, and ultimately, sales generation. Therefore, brands need to strike a balance between both approaches. At Perfetti, we invest in both sides of this equation, ensuring that we drive sales while also building a strong brand presence,” he added.

Khetan provided insights into Mentos' market share and growth trajectory, highlighting its leadership position in the mints category. With a robust distribution network spanning urban, metro, and rural areas, Mentos continues to drive penetration and growth, cementing its status as a beloved brand across diverse markets.

"Mentos stands as the market leader in the mint category, boasting a market share of over 30%. Its growth trajectory remains consistently upward, with ongoing expansion in market share and penetration across India,” he said.

He concluded,” With a presence in approximately 12 million FMCG outlets, including close to 5 million direct outlets, Perfetti competes effectively with top-tier companies in terms of distribution.”

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