Interview: Vinay Subramanyam, Britannia Industry on Little Hearts’ “Always on” strategy…

Vinay Subramanyam interview

In a tête-à-tête with Social Samosa, Vinay Subramanyam, Head – Marketing at Britannia Industries Limited delves into the brand’s digital marketing strategy, Little Hearts’ break the hearts communication theme, and more.

Vinay Subramanyam, Head – Marketing at Britannia Industries Limited tells Social Samosa how the brand leveraged a progressive insight to target millennials in a market that is constantly evolving.

Edited Excerpts:

Please take us through the new campaign of Little Hearts. What is the idea, objective & rationale?

The brand analyzed the change in the mindset of our audience and discovered a progressive insight – The modern millennial is no longer enamored by the “mushy” and “soppy”. Heartbreaks are a big part of their lives. Therefore, we decided to take an edgy view of heartbreaks, by urging consumers to “Break Some Hearts” – both figuratively and literally.

We knew that many other brands would come up with Valentine’s day campaigns, but with an anti-mush/love stand, we thought we can stand out.

We chose music, particularly rap because the Indian rap scene has been booming of late and has reached its height post-Gully Boy. Leveraging that would allow us to gain favor amongst our young audience and the fusion with Qawwali adds an interesting edge to the music.

Little Hearts has been consistent with its Break The Heart theme. What is the idea behind taking a rather different approach to love?

Launched in 1993, the heart-shaped sugary biscuit was targeted at young adults of the time. The campaigns rolled out across the years mirrored the feeling of love and romance and encouraged the youth to forge more bonds amongst each other.

However, over the years our consumers have evolved and the youth of today has a very different view towards love and romance. Therefore, we decided to take an edgy view of heartbreaks, by urging consumers to “Break Some Hearts”. By taking a counter-culture stand we have managed to break new grounds with a young audience that relates with our lighthearted, relatable point of view.

What is the marketing mix for the brand? How much does digital occupy in the pie?

Digital has been chosen as the primary medium to communicate with its audience. This is very relevant to our target audience (Gen Z). Digital media also helps us to engage with the young audience better and build relevance for the brand in their lives.

As our core creative is a long-format video, our primary media objective is to provide a seamless viewing experience to the audience and at the same time create maximum buzz and awareness. Thus, we have taken the popular platforms of YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram where our target audience is present in vast numbers and can also engage with us.

As an FMCG brand, how do you engage with your consumers through social media on a consistent basis – what kind of content pegs work? How has the arrival of social media changed consumer consumption?

This is one of our brands, that exists solely on social media, and the primary rationale behind this is that we understand our target audience. Content on these platforms has been crafted to connect with the millennials and Gen Z’ers.

We have also witnessed a considerable change in the way consumers have starting consuming and responding to branded content. This makes it important for us to always be aware of the environment and ensure that we speak to them in a manner that is relevant and engaging.

Our brand has always maintained an always-on approach, be it any current or trending news – from Game of Thrones, to Friendship Blackhole – our content has always aimed to stay in line with the latest trends and listen to the events taking place across the country and the world – that is of relevance and importance to our TG.

Have you roped in influencers for the latest campaign? How has the influencer marketing evolved to this day according to you? 

We worked with influencers across India with a focus on lifestyle and food to initiate conversations around the campaign through interesting content on their handles. In fact, the concept of the song required two celebrities who had an image and a connection with our target audience, on platforms they live on.

Ahsaas Channa and Kaam Bhaari are two such faces who come with a huge fan base that lives and breathes on social media. They added freshness and an element of intrigue making them the ideal fit for the campaign.

Also read: Content led engagement increased consumer visit-frequency on the app: Harish Narayanan, Myntra

Please take us through the measurement metrics for the brand on social media.

For Britannia Little Hearts our strategy to measure the performance includes three key elements.

  • Initiate organic conversations amongst our consumers. We would monitor these conversations to assess the success of the campaign
  • Our hope is that these conversations would result in an increase in the brand’s engagement with these millennials and Gen Z’ers. To be able to continue as a relevant brand for our consumers, it is important to keep them engaged
  • Little Hearts has always been a digital brand as we understand that’s where our target audience resides and through this campaign, we hope to continue leveraging that connect with our target audience that may result in the brand gaining more salience.

Share 3 tips/lessons on digital marketing for brands in the FMCG sector for 2020?

Reaching out to consumers in an ever-changing digital world means, staying up to date with the latest trends in communication and marketing.

It is important for brands to identify the platforms our target audience is the most active on and curate content specific to those platforms. Messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have seen a huge increase in the number of users. Marketing tools such as personalized messages, offering valuable resources, providing support would prove to be highly effective in maintaining a constant connection with the consumer.

Another platform that has rapidly been gaining popularity is Tik Tok. The aim here should be to stay true to the platform’s strengths and the audience on it while ideating and strategizing.

One of the most critical elements to be conscious about is the evolution of technology and how it can be best leveraged, be it the upcoming surge of chatbots, increased use of Augmented and Virtual Reality or the expansive use of AI, as a marketer it is critical to be cognizant to them all and use them to the brand’s benefits.


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