Inside: Milk Bikis’ storytelling efforts to leverage it’s strongest market, Tamil Nadu

Milk Bikis & You campaign 2020

As a token of gratitude for Tamil Nadu, the brand’s strongest market in the country, Milk Bikis launched a campaign to re-establish its stronghold. Social Samosa speaks with the brand-agency duo.

In its latest campaign, Milk Bikis captures its special bond of friendship with Tamil Nadu, for over 40 years, through the everlasting nature of childhood friendships, leveraging nostalgia at its core.

As the long-format ad film, ‘Milk Bikis & You’, progresses, we witness how the two friends ‘Semiya & Bonda’ strike a chord of friendship over half-a-piece of the biscuit.

Objective & Insight

Milk Bikis is quintessential to being symbolic of the friendships and the memories of growing up for the consumers in Tamil Nadu for 40+ years. According to the brand, everyone in the state has a Milk Bikis story, that is personal, vivid, and laden with warmth & emotions. This aspect came alive as the response to the brand’s previous activation campaign, ‘My Milk Bikis, My Experiences’ back in 2017. The insight behind the latest campaign stemmed from an insight witnessed in the aforementioned campaign.

Vinay Subramanyam, Vice President – Marketing, Britannia Industries Limited, shares, “Through this campaign, we are not only celebrating decades of love that our consumers have given to us but also paying homage to that unbreakable bond of friendship that we share with them.”

The objective of the campaign is to capture the magic of childhood friendships that Britannia Milk Bikis has cemented as the brand celebrates its 40+ years bond with the State, said Bala Manian, CEO, OPN Advertising.

Brief

The task here was to capture this timeless bond and to make it come alive, highlighted Subramanyam.

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Conceptualization & Execution

Subramanyam shared that while attempting to understand the levers & reinvigorate the love for the brand, they plotted the journey of the consumer with the brand and found that it is very similar to that of a childhood ‘best friend’. “As they grow up, other relationships come into play but, the bond with Milk Bikis always remains strong and special. When they become parents, Milk Bikis is reintroduced into their lives through their children”, he said.

Based on this thought, when OPN presented the script to the brand with the story of ‘Bonda’ & ‘Semiya’, it was finalized, and permissions to shoot in August with the necessary restrictions were obtained. “But the incredible work put in by OPN and Jerald (the Director) gave us a result we were very happy with”, added Subramanyam.

According to the agency, the idea for the creative idea took birth from the brief itself.

“We attempted to capture the magic of childhood friendship which becomes a metaphor for the relationship the consumer shares with the iconic Milk Bikis and trigger a sense of nostalgia for kids growing up through the 80s and 90s in Tamil Nadu”, highlighted Manian.

Creative brainstorming

With the ongoing pandemic and productions halted in the past, the brand believes that the ad film is truly relevant for today’s times when friends are reconnecting virtually and reliving the good old times.

As per the agency, the biggest challenge was in terms of shooting the film during the lockdown, because unlike the ‘Lockdown scripts’, the campaign was based on a growing-up saga. The depiction of the video showcasing the deep-emotions needed to be executed in a convincing manner. “But thankfully, since the client, the production house, the cast, crew, and everyone involved with the film believed in it strongly, we were able to pull it off”, shared the agency.

The creative process doesn’t easily lend itself to a project management approach. It’s not entirely linear and everyone feeds off other ideas to critique them, refine them, or take a creative leap from them to an entirely new direction. “The important thing is to not get bogged down by the limitations of the tools, but to remain clearly focused on the idea”, explains Manian from OPN Advertising firm.

Further, Subramanyam highlighted that all the meetings for the script, the cast selection, etc were done online through video conferencing. “We met multiple times (online) with the director and the OPN team over 4 months to close minute details”, he described.

Marketing Strategy & Social media play

“We feel that social media is the voice of consumers”, said the brand. Usually, the content that is able to stir human emotions, reaches out to the masses & becomes like their innate feelings, too. “What has been most gratifying is that most of the engagement is via people acknowledging their friends, their own real-life ‘Bondas and Semiyas’, shares Subramanyam.

“Traditionally TV has been our primary medium of communication since it provides the most cost-efficient reach to our consumers. However, in the last few years, we have created digital first content, like this film, to target our digital- active audiences”, highlighted the brand

Communication Strategy

The brand used a differentiated strategy to drive conversations around the campaign. The film was first launched on digital followed by an integrated plan inclusive of print, TV, and mobile platforms. Since, Tamil Nadu, as a state formed the core focus for the campaign, the brand judiciously adopted a regional marketing & communication strategy.

The 170 sec, long format film was exclusively aired for a day at top programmes in Tamil entertainment channels, said Subramanyam.

On the same day, a print ad in leading Tamil dailies announced the film’s premiere on channels at specific time slots with an option to download the film through WhatsApp for an exclusive preview.

“Post our film’s release on TV, we noticed a huge surge in traffic on our social media platforms. Consumers wanted to view the film again and hence visited our social media handles. Now the focus is on sustaining the engagement with consumers on social media”, shares Subramanyam

Going beyond

The brand also pointed out that for Milk Bikis, Tamil Nadu is the largest and strongest market in terms of value and equity. In the last decade or so, most of their communications have been centered on the state. While in the rest of India, where the category is still in nascent stages, the communication objective is to build the category; in Tamil Nadu, the brand intends to stay authentic, stay connected, and continue with their current marketing & communication strategy for relevance.


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