Case Study: How the return of Parle’s Rol.a.Cola was turned into an engagement activity

Rola Cola return

To generate a buzz, Parle traced the journey of the much loved Rola Cola across the world before its return as Rol.a.Cola in a new avatar.

In an earlier case study, we had put forth the details of how the journey to Rol.a.Cola’s return began on Twitter. Here, we trace the next phase of the campaign that focussed on creating a narrative around the absence of Rola Cola and its subsequent return. The key elements were nostalgia and the demand by netizens to bring back their beloved Rola Cola.

Category Introduction

The entire confectionary market is roughly about 4 lakh tonnes per annum while growing at a rate of 12%. Within that hard-boiled candies constitutes a major chunk with almost 35% contribution. Almost to the skew of about  1,20,000 tonnes per annum. 

Brand Introduction 

Confectionery contributes about 15% of Parle’s total business with diverse distribution networks in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns and rural regions. Making consumer demand a priority, Parle Products relaunched Rol.a.Cola product after 13 years.

Summary

The hard-boiled candy with a Cola flavour was discontinued by Parle in 2006. A tweet by a Rol.a.Cola lover started an unanticipated chain of events. 

An initial tweet from a social media user requesting Parle to bring back his favourite candy, Parle Products sought 10,000 retweets to bring back the iconic Rol.a.Cola – in response, a consumer-driven #BringRolaColaBack campaign went viral and secured more than 711k impressions on Twitter. 

The brand claims this is the first time in India that a product was making a comeback because of a digital movement run completely organically by users. The entire campaign on social media garnered an impressive 5 million digital footprints.

Problem Statement/Objective

The objective of the campaign was to give consumers a platform to voice their opinion and concerns. Each user was an influencer who played an essential role in the marketing efforts for the product. Parle Products acknowledged that the nostalgic factor played a key role in the comeback, but also ensured that it did not define the product.

The next step of the promotion was to make itself relevant for the younger and new generation to have a greater appeal and brand connect. Thus, making them prolonged brand consumers.

Brief

To re-launch Rol.a.Cola and position the brand as a crowd favourite among millennials as well as Gen Z.

Challenges

To appeal and create a connect with the product for the new and younger audience.

Execution

It became the obvious trajectory to celebrate the retweets Parle had received at the beginning of Rol.a.Cola’s digital launch #RolaColaisComingBack on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. While posting some from the 10k retweets with replies, Parle thanked the audience for the digital movement and also highlighted the reason for the launch of the candy.

In the next leg of the campaign, Parle Products wanted to show people why Rol.a.Cola went missing. The candy, even though out of production in India was available internationally. Drawing from this insight, Parle built the story of Rol.a.Cola travelling around the world. 

It went to the Maldives and enjoyed the pristine beaches.

From there it stepped into the ancient mysteries of Egypt and enjoyed the Egyptian markets.

Switzerland was the next stop where it learned to ski and lived its Bollywood dream.

Finally, it ended up in Spain where it performed the flamenco dance and kickstarted its football career.

The candy that would be out in the market would now be of a bigger size and have better packaging. To show this transformation Parle Products used a dramatic visual of Rol.a.Cola working out to become bulkier and then achieving its new size.

Finally, the homesick candy decided to come back home to India where everybody was asking for it.

India’s most loved candy then arrives at the airport in style to meet the paparazzi.

The Parle family is taking a family photo when Rol.a.Cola returns to join its family. The #RolaColaisComingBack phase ends and #RolaColaIsBack becomes the new chant of the nation.

Results 

The overall campaign, including #BringBackRolaCola and #RolaColaIsBack, organically reached 10 million users. It gained 50M+ impressions and engagement to the tune of over 100K+ in the form of tweets, hashtags, replies and tweet likes.

The creatives were also shared on other platforms, reaching 40M users on Facebook with 1M+ engagement and 100M+ impressions and 35M users on Instagram with 3M+ engagement and 50M+ impressions.

Parle Products Senior Category Head Marketing Krishnarao Buddha said, “We wanted to give the consumers the choice to have their favourite cola candy back on the shelves, and the request for 10,000 retweets was an ideal way to judge consumer demand. Subsequently, #RolaColaIsBack got an overwhelming response to our absolute delight. We have taken a conscious call to promote Rol.a.Cola only on digital platforms as it was there that this unique demand took shape and led to the reintroduction of this much-loved rolled candy.” 

Commenting on the performance of the candy, Krishna added that, “The response has been phenomenal across India and we are confident that Rol.a.Cola will be a Rs 100-crore brand within the first year of the relaunch.”


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