It’s been more than two decades since the Boomer Man first appeared on our TV screens. We delve into the Boomer advertising journey which has been as magical as its memories.
When a month ago, ‘Boomer is back with a new campaign’ made news, a few of us wondered that did it actually go anywhere because the iconic ‘Boom Boom Boomer’ tune still rings fresh in our minds. “BOOMER® is one of the oldest gum brands in India with a history of over 25 years. In this time, a generation has grown up seeing the brand and new ones have come into the foray who have never heard of the brand or probably been exposed to any of the brand’s campaigns since we have been off the air since 2014,” says Yogesh Tewari, Marketing Director, Mars Wrigley. The Boomer advertising journey is testimony to that.
This Thursday, we do a quick throwback to one of the most cherishable phases of our childhood when blowing chewing gums was a hobby many were lured into and Boomer set in just perfectly.
Mars Wrigley’s ‘BOOMER’
History states that Boomer as a chewing gum was first created by a Joyco, a Spanish confectionery giant in 1995. When the age-old US-based Wm. Wrigley Jr. company sensed a demand for the chewing gums and the increasing sales worldwide, signed a purchase agreement with Agrolimen – a privately held Spanish food conglomerate – for certain confectionery businesses of its Joyco Group in early 2004.
Key additions to the Wrigley Company’s stable of brands now included Boomer bubble gum, Pim Pom lollipops, and Solano cand. Reportedly, one of the major highlights of the deal was Wrigley’s acquisition of the sales and production operations in China, India, and Spain, apart from smaller operations in France, Italy, and Poland, as well as Cafosa, Joyco’s gum base business. As per the disclosures made by Wrigley, the deal brought it the leadership position in the bubble gum category in India, China, and Spain.
Later in 2008, the Wrigley Company was acquired by Mars and in October 2016, Mars announced the merger with Wrigley rebranding itself as the Mars Wrigley Confectionery.
Boomer Man- The evergreen Brand Mascot
The memories of the tall superhero clad in a blue suit – Boomer Man- can never fade away from our minds, I repeat, the animated character was showered by love from not only the children but the parents who adored him as much as the former.
While other brands in the category splurged on roping in known faces and endorsing USPs like sugar-free chewing gums, Boomer created a brand mascot for itself whose recall value cannot be compromised until today. It is also said that the Boomer Man character and fandom hailed it at the top position in the market.
In fact, many brand custodians hailed this move as superlative in the market which was slowly and steadily getting swamped with more players targeting a similar audience set and pegging the ‘fun’ quotient as the saleable tactic for chewing gum. How to break the clutter? Boomer was quick to respond with ‘’Boomer Man’ in the times when kids were obsessed with cartoon characters and red ample of superhero comics aspiring to be one themselves.
The Boomer Advertising Journey
Amidst the high-end mergers and acquisition what remained constant for Boomer until 2014 was its quirky and modern advertising. Unlike its competitors like Perfetti Van Melle’s Big Babol, Boomer had created a character logo of Boomer Man and kept him at the brand mascot to lure in the attention of kids who thought that the Boomer Man is no one but a saviour of the planet.
In the late 90s when the ‘Boom Boom Boomer’ tune surfaced on the TV screens of millions of Indians, the Boomer fandom was quick to form and children- the bubblegum’s primary target audience- were glued to the idiot box whenever the ad jingle played its part.
“The iconic BOOM BOOM BOOMER® tune brings back a lot of nostalgia and is easily identifiable by anyone from the 90s. The brand’s persona was adventurous and fun back in the days which is reflected in all the past campaigns. One of the fondest memories that I associate with BOOMER® is that of learning to blow the bubble and then trying to make them bigger and bigger, shares Tewari.
Boomer Man is considered as one of the brilliant works in the history of Indian advertising and marketing with a mascot so strong was not much of a difficult job for the brand.
As mentioned on adjunkee, Boomer man’s elasticity not only provided imagery of the super stretchable Boomer gum but also his heroic image was fresh and inspiring for the kids. It was time kids saw something other than Shaktiman on TV. The brand utilized him in every way they could: TVCs showing him saving the day on various occasions, temporary boomer man tattoos, school, and stationery merchandise.
Later many variants like Boomer Splash and Boomer jelly were introduced in the market where Boomer was placed as the bubblegum which offered a great taste and exciting product forms.
In words of marketing evangelist Harish B via his blog, Boomer is also touted to have revived the chewing gum market in India and in 2000 became the single largest brand in the segment with a market share of over 40%.
Donning the competitive spirit, Boomer took on Cadbury’s éclairs by launching Boomer Gumlairs – a combination of bubblegum and chocolate- in 2009. Sporting the tagline ‘Éclair ka baap’, it was priced at Re 1 and targeted at children in the 6-14 age group. To support the launch, the company joined hands with Mudra (agency on record) to roll out a TVC while Mediacom handled the media duties for the brand.
One thing remains though- consumers across generations have loved the fruity bubblegum and its ad campaigns alike.
The communication aimed at driving home the point of how blowing bubbles wasn’t only fun but also ‘cool’ which wasn’t restricted to kids but the older adolescents too. Boomer Man’s superpowers added ‘savage’ imagery to the brand.
In 2010, BOOMER® was advertising on IPL and had a consumer promo running called BOOMER®’s T20 Mania. At that time, the brand engaged with over 8 lakh consumers. Lakhs of T20 Mania gifts ranging from special IPL team sunglasses, wrist band watches to match tickets, etc. were up for grabs as part of this promotion.
In 2013, Thoda Khao Thoda Khelo was a key campaign when BOOMER® launched Mango flavor in its already existing popular jelly flavors namely: Orange, Watermelon, and Mixed Berry flavors.
BOOMER® from the very beginning partnered with channels/platforms/properties which were popular with its TG. The BOOMER® campaign Phat Li came 6 years back in 2014 wherein, the brand engaged with the youth and took fun to the next level. According to Tewari, “The ‘Phat Li’ campaign did a fantastic job of it with young friends playing innocent pranks among each other and capitalized on the brand proposition of fun and enjoyment.”
To much of everyone’s surprise, Boomer returned in July 2020 albeit donning a new avatar and the unforgettable BOOM BOOM BOOMER tune in a series of new TVCs conceptualized by DDB Mudra. The three TVCs capture the wacky and humorous essence of the brand, bringing to life the tag line, BOOM MACHA DE, through comical hyperboles. With a common theme of exaggerated humour, which is ‘stretched’ like bubblegum, each film is playful and funny and promises to make the viewers smile with the over-the-top reactions.
Talking about the Boomer relaunch and the new TVC campaign, Tewari, said, “BOOMER® has, over the years, become a favorite for our consumers in India. With this relaunch, we aim to build the gum category relevance for in-home consumption through the day, which also reflects in the execution of our films – morning, afternoon, and evenings.”
Boomer- an unforgettable saga
Commenting on the Boomer advertising journey so far, a DDB Mudra spokesperson says, “We would define BOOMER®’s advertising journey to date as very exciting. The Bubble Gum category itself gives you the freedom to explore all aspects of “fun”. It has always been exaggerated, over the top which makes it one of the most exciting categories to work on. In the 25 years of BOOMER®’s existence, the brand has shown various fun, over the top situations that make the Boomer advertising journey still fondly remembered and BOOM BOOM BOOMER®jingle, iconic. The advertising journey also saw a shift in the TG, from speaking to teens, it is now speaking to the youth but the core of the brand i.e. exaggerated fun remains the same”.
Tewari informs us that the ultimate goal of all marketing strategies of Boomer is to maintain long term brand equity and a positive relationship with the consumers. Even after 25 years since its launch, BOOMER® enjoys a loyal fanbase of consumers who love the product.
“That happened because we continued to drive distribution and in-store activities making the gum easily available for our consumers. BOOMER®is Mars Wrigley’s biggest gum brand in India in terms of volume, value, and distribution. Our key marketing strategy has hugely been driven to build on these aspects. Apart from this, we have also built our brand on product innovation with new variants such as Jelly on Top variant or the Duet variant which is chocolate filled gum,” he asserts.
However in 2015, Boomer is believed to have succumbed to the growing competition and constantly changing consumer taste and stopped advertising further.
Now that it is back, the brand claims that the new take on BOOMER® is very contemporary and draws on exaggerated humor, which brings a smile to the audience’s face with its wackiness. This theme is consistent in the new campaign which also cues key consumption occasions for the category- boredom, boosting confidence/ during workouts, and between meals.
The Digital Strategy
While there is no presence of Boomer India on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram other than a newly developed Youtube page, we asked the brand about its digital presence.
To which Tewari replied, “The world is increasingly moving towards digital as people are spending more time online than outside. However, Mars Wrigley has always adopted a 360-marketing mix with digital, TV, and OOH. With youth as our core target audience, all our campaigns have always had a major focus on digital and television and we will continue with the same strategy for BOOMER® as well while bringing fresh storytelling to the audience,” he concludes.
Boomer, like many others, had its share of ups and downs but is still remembered as the friendly companion that everyone definitely needs in their lives. The Boomer advertising journey was as mystical and joyous as its brand elements.
On that note, to savour the nostalgia one more time repeat after me- BOOM BOOM BOOMER!