Marketing FMCG products on social media is a fun game, but certainly not a cakewalk. In the oversaturated FMCG scenario, the consumers have the privilege of just going by their gut feel and not really measuring the pros & cons of the product. And that’s why FMCG marketers focus on making the brand experience as feel-good as possible for the consumer. That is also why most FMCG brands want to be present as living, breathing, laughing, opining entities for their consumers (which is mostly youth).
Consider the Appy Fizz communication in the last few years – The coolest drink to hang out with – the ‘wannabe’ bottle coming alive and cracking jokes with college-goers as one of them is what makes it acceptable to the young audience – ergo the brand experience. This is what most FMCG brands are trying to achieve through social media these days.
This is NOT a TOP 6 LIST – that’s a topic for some other day. In fact, the 6 brands cannot be ranked on the podium as it would be unfair to pit a noodle brand against coffee – both having in fact the same parentage. The basis of selecting these brands is a heady concoction of factual information (like number of fans and people talking about the page) and subjective factors such as tonality, independence / proximity to the ATL campaign and to the international page (if available).
So, here is a look at some Indian FMCG brands on Facebook:
Brand: Nestlé Maggi Noodles
Brand Proposition: 2-MINUTE Noodles
Page: Meri Maggi
Present Member Count: 710,051
People Talking About the Page: 10,530 (1.4%)
Launched: December 22, 2010
Maggi as a brand has become emblematic in two ways – all noodles are referred to as Maggi, and when one thinks of Maggi, the first (and probably the only) thing that comes to mind is noodles. A couple of years back, the good people at Nestlé realised the importance of the 25+ years of reputation and goodwill of this wonderful, iconic product and decided to take advantage of it. And so, Meri Maggi was born in the last week of December 2010.
The tonality of the brand remains very neutral, edging sometimes on monotony. Most of the content is user generated, and all the moderator has to do is present it with a pic.
Safe and sound says me. Being the brand that Maggi is, it’s best to leave it at that way and not try and take on a presumptuous tone. After all, what brand doesn’t dream of a day it can speak to everyone without ever opening its mouth!
The international page of Nestlé Maggi has evolved from only talking about noodles to talking about other products under the Maggi umbrella, and to engage the users in other lip-smacking ways. But things work a little differently with the Indian leg of the brand. To keep the noodle-love intact, Nestle has created a whole new page to talk about other products and for general engagement.
Brand: Cadbury Dairy Milk
Brand Proposition: Khushiyon ka Shubh Aarambh
Page: Cadbury Dairy Milk India
Present Member Count: 732,049
People Talking About the Page: 17,896 (2.5%)
Launched: October 15, 2010
What Maggi is to noodles, Cadbury Dairy Milk is to chocolate. Even the advent of imported chocolate and other competition has not diluted the sweetness of the brand. So when the party animal Pappu passed through a sweet & sentimental phase, first Cadbury Dairy Milk’s ‘Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye’ took shape, and later evolved into a much crisper ‘Shubh Aarambh’ proposition. Focussing on making everyday a celebration, the ATL communication harboured on stories to make the heart melt like….chocolate (what else?)
The Facebook page sticks to this same tonality in its interactions – communicating on the dualistic “meetha/ shubh Aarambh”platform. The brand takes on topical events, like the provision of better mid-day meal to students of government schools, and puts a “Meetha” stamp of approval on them. Needless to say, the members love this approach of picking up current topics, and respond with fair amount of appreciation.\
In fact, when compared to Dairy Milk pages of Australia, Singapore, Canada, etc – the India page seems to be much more engaging, both in quality (of conversations) and quantity (of members). In a genius bid of outdoing itself, the Dairy Milk faces stark competitions not from other brands, but one that was conceived from under its own umbrella – Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk, which has crossed the lucrative 1 million mark!
Brand Proposition: Change the Game
Page: Pepsi India
Present Member Count: 2,789,286
People Talking About the Page: 86,215 (3%)
Launched: Sometime in 2009
Whenever the scenario gets a bit too redundant, you can count on Pepsi to Change the Game – but what has not changed is the habit of the soft drink giant to always stay ahead. Managing to fit in one frame some of the biggest names of the cricket and football worlds together speaks a lot about how serious they take your biting your lip at the college canteen fridge.
The thing to appreciate about the page is that it is part of an integrated campaign, and it’s performing its role well. The page interacts a lot, not because it wants to stay at the top of your list, but because it actually has a lot to talk about – From microsite to viral film releases to on-ground football tournaments and what not – it’s all there.
Another game-changing fact is that going by PTA (and even the quality of the interactions), Pepsi India is actually doing better than Pepsi worldwide – hope it stays that way!
The only downside in this game-changer’s Facebook strategy is the app called ‘Shout Out Goal’. Probably it only wants limited participation, but the use of a webcam AND a microphone is not something everyone can manage. But then, when your member base is as large as 2.7 million members, you tend to embrace features which for a regular sized page are only somewhat possible.
Overall, a good effort by Pepsi to cash in and complement the hype of the ATL campaign.
Brand Proposition: Switch on the best in you!
Page: Know your neighbours
Present Member Count: 1,549,172
People Talking About the Page: 18,435 (1.2%)
Launched: August 12, 2010
Deepika Padukone shaking away to sultry salsa beats is good enough to make a millions hearts skip one or even many beats!
But, the makings of a brilliant integrated campaign, just got coffee spilt all over it! Or are we over-expecting? Come on; let’s have more stories about Deepika & Purab, and the meddling ex-coffee hating Veer!
Failing to impress with any genuinely original ideas (and this is where brands like Dairy Milk cash in,) the communication of the Nescafé India FB page rests on the ongoing “Shake it, make it” campaign and Splitsvilla 5 (which they are sponsoring, ironically, as the concept of the show is that you don’t really know your neighbours and can’t trust them) while occasional a coffee recipe and a hint of IPL is thrown in.
Although the brand does not have a lot to talk about, it still features in this list probably because the ATL campaign has brought the page many loyal consumers, and they stay loyal even if there is not much happening on the page except the same dance routine by Deepika. This is a true example of the brand being sustained by the TG.
Brand Proposition: I’m lovin’ it!
Page: McDonalds India
Present Member Count: 193,875
People Talking About the Page: 46,992 (24%)
Launched: April 15, 2010
The world’s most popular (and sometimes most unpopular) fast-food chain is on Facebook for spicy interaction. Fuelled by its ongoing “Spice Fest”, the conversations attempt to add a little spice to life – sometimes topical (loved the Maharashtra Day post) and sometimes direct, the moderators make sure that they drill the message “THERE’S A McDONALDS BURGER FOR EVERY OCCASSION” into the members’ psyche.
Another cool thing happening on the page is a contest for a free McD meal. All you have to do is switch on your webcam and eat as many “visual burgers” as possible. Who came up with this and what was he tripping on? McDon’t know!
But compared to the worldwide McD page, the India page is a bit shy in tonality – even if the topics of conversation are the same, the worldwide page (about 19 million members strong) is more conversational, upbeat and expressive. Hopefully, the moderators will work on that, and when they do people will really be lovin’ it!
Brand: ITC Bingo!
Brand Proposition: YAY! I’M 5 YEARS OLD!
Present Member Count: 1,898,647
People Talking About the Page: 63,782 (3.3%)
Launched: June 16, 2009
What do you do when your brand turns 5 years old?
You party like there’s no tomorrow. That’s exactly what Bingo is doing on FB – letting members know how happy they are to be 5 years old, and it seems this party will last for another 5 years! The communication is centred on party games, party names, bright party pictures, top party people (who will party with Bingo! for real) – here’s one page with the energy and excitement of a true 5-year old, and the IQ level too!
Tongue-in-cheek humour set aside, the communication prior to this party mode was pretty much topical, with messaging on bollywood, sports, Mark Zuckerberg and Jackie Chan. The brand never had one promise really – but then sometimes that can work in your favour as you can say anything about everything, and still mean nothing. (It’s an art, really!)
To them we say, have a Happy 5th Birthday, may the hangover last longer than the hype!
Please note: All Facebook data was captured on May 1, 2012, and will have changed by the time you read this.
Featured Image Courtesy-Morberg