The social media ‘manthan’ of milk brands…

milk brands social media marketing

From haldi doodh to the daily doses of milk for strength – Indian consumers and brands are reliant on it for various reasons. With the dairy brands social media marketing chapter coming off age – we decode the trends that dominate.

Milk, a staple in the Indian palette, has been at the heart of many economic and marketing initiatives. From the days of the White Revolution to the ‘Doodh doodh doodh’ campaigns to now the digital chapter with dairy brands social media marketing, the industry has flourished.

Milk Marketing – The Early Days

The White Revolution transformed India into a world leader in milk production. Dr. Varghese Kurien, the Milkman of India, took matters into his own hands to make ‘milk’ cool in an era of fancy colas. He led the ‘White Revolution’ under Gujarat-headquartered National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) executed it in 3 phases. Thus came around one of the first roots of milk marketing in India.

This phase saw some of the most memorable campaigns in the milk marketing segment – Doodh Doodh’ conceptualized by Kurien and executed by FCB Ulka in 1996 for the Operation Flood program, Amul’s ‘Manthan’ campaign from 1996 which includes clips from Shyam Benegal’s film (1976) with the same title, telling the story of the White Revolution.

The iconic ad campaign was revived by Amul and Draftfcb Ulka in 2011 and later in 2013 showing the progressive journey of women dairy farmers.

Cut to 2020, Amul became the first brand to trigger nostalgia by re-launching its 90s advertisements under the #AmulClassics series, including the ‘Manthan’ ad during the reruns of Ramayan and Mahabharata during the pandemic.

Like the traditional mediums, social media has been witness to a new chapter of milk brands marketing, creating a different kind of revolution.

Milk Brands’ Social Media Marketing

While majors like Amul, Nestle, and ITC massively sell the proposition of the ‘goodness of milk’ through social media, local and medium-scale dairy businesses catering have been concentrating on the ‘desi’ strength and nutrition that comes from milk consumption especially when a health crisis loomed large.

Milk, the ‘IMMUNITY Booster’

With excess emphasis on immunity in the last one year, it has been a consistent theme in dairy brands social media marketing.

ITC’s Aashirvaad Svasti Milk celebrated World Milk Day in June 2020 with the launch of an ‘Immunity Song’ for kids in association with Alive India. With this initiative, the brand aimed to create awareness about the importance of immunity for kids with its new Vitamin A fortified product.

The farmer-owned dairy cooperative has also been reported to have doubled its marketing spends during the peak of the pandemic to get the milk supply going and generate brand recall through media communication highlighting the ‘immunity’ quotient.

Adding further to its bouquet of immunity-boosting milk products like ‘haldi doodh’, Amul also rolled out ginger and tulsi milk.

Mother Dairy too harped on the enhanced immunity wave with the launch and marketing of its Butterscot Flavoured Haldi Milk.

Meanwhile, Nashik-based Sarda Farms which recently expanded its operation in Mumbai claims to deliver fresh cow milk directly from the farms at the consumer’s doorstep, creating an old-world experience. Although the company has established itself as a dairy, its primary focus lies in promoting the ‘fresh cow milk’ as the ultimate immunity booster visible across its social handles with hashtags like #healthymilk #puremilk #FromFarmToHome.

Creating Hyperlocal Demand

The concept of a2 Milk – cow milk that is free of a form of beta-casein proteins called A1- has been adopted by various local players. Vedic Gir Cow’s A2 Milk serving in Ahmadabad is leveraging social media to spread awareness about the advantages of a2 over a1 induced milk and create a demand for its products in the region.

Similarly, Gwala’s A2 milk boasts on social media the significance of fresh cow milk and how being ‘purer’ than its competitors gives them an edge. Apart from marketing cruelty-free (Ahimsa), Single Sourced A2 Milk from Naturally grazing, grass-fed Gir Cow, the company also shares content alerting consumers of milk adulteration methods and practices statistics.

We are not the one’s saying this. A national survey reports states these facts. #a2milkmumbai #a2milk…

Posted by Gwala’s A2 Milk on Wednesday, January 13, 2021




Becoming India’ first brand to introduce camel milk, Rajasthan based Aadvik Foods has garnered a significant amount of fan following.  From sharing crucial information about vaccinating the camel herd to sharing consumer feedback across social media with an objective to expanding its consumer base, the brand has been quite active in indulging in strategic communication.

Giveaways and offers is a tactic to be followed by Gyan Dairy from Uttar Pradesh, encouraging customers to buy their product and  generate demand driven by local consumer insights.

Gyan Fresh aaya hai ek gift ke sath. On your first recharge of Rs.1000 in the Gyan Fresh app, get 1/2 litre Gyan milk free for a week. Download it for Android: bit.ly/GyanAndroid / iOS: https://apple.co/3aA0KEZ

Posted by Gyan Dairy on Sunday, January 17, 2021

Also Read: Inside: Reviving mall economy – A marketing strategy to the rescue

Power of Nutrients

This marketing theme is majorly based on the good ol ‘doodh peene k faidae’ funda.

Parag Milk Foods’ owned Gowardhan in a #DidYouKnow format educates its followers about the various aspects of protein-induced milk components and how it’s beneficial for our body.

Milklane positions itself as a toxin-free and antibiotic safe milk with no adulterants or preservatives. The creatives churned by the brand majorly highlight the nutrients milk carries and why is it cooler than softer drinks for kids.

Aadvik Foods never misses an opportunity to specify product benefits keeping the exclusiveness of ‘camel milk’ at the core of its communication strategy.

Promoting Quality Milk, Affordability  & Safety Practices

In November 2020, post the launch of its premium milk offering – Aashirvaad Svasti Select Milk in Kolkata, ITC launched a ‘Doodher Report Card’ – a daily quality assurance report of the pack of milk that consumers would buy. Highlighting this offering, Aashirvaad launched a TVC, which features popular TV show hostess and actress Rachana Banerjee as the brand ambassador. Through this ad film, Rachna Banerjee has helped put the spotlight on the importance of quality as well as the taste of milk. 

 

Sarda Farms too particular focuses on the milk quality and the health factor that comes with it. The brand speaks about the benefits of its product and how the company takes great care in sanitization drives and cow feeding.

Further, keeping the white-golden-hued theme intact on social media, the farm-based dairy company looked to garner eyeballs by customizing milk according to consumer’s choices and demands. For instance, lowering the price to make the milk affordable to its target audience during the lockdown.

Owing to the rising concern around COVID-19, brands took to assure consumers about the various safety measures taken while processing and delivering milk. Pride of Cow leveraged the power of social media to put out a clear message of adhering to the safety standards at each step.

Influencer Marketing & Live sessions

A large chunk of Sarda Farms’ Instagram communication is occupied by Influencer tie-ups, especially with mom bloggers discussing the health benefits of milk across age groups. Live sessions with experts and nutritionists are executed to burst myths around milk and solve consumer’s queries.

On the other hand, Pride of Cows roped in Bollywood diva Kareena Kapoor to increase the credibility around its products and assure the consumers of its quality and pureness.

MilkLane too has adopted the technique for generating product relevance among its target audience and occasionally ropes in influencers to talk about the product specification while keeping human interest stories at the center.

Be it leveraging the festive occasion or any occasional set-up, Mother Dairy has been heavily promoting the milky components through its social media handles while also roping in chef bloggers. For instance, during Diwali the brand brought on board few experts and food influencers of contest announcements where they urged consumers to make delicacies using Mother Dairy Milk.  

Moment Marketing & Seasonal Greetings

Almost all milk brands have been managing to churn out relevant content around topicals and trending moments to join the moment marketing bandwagon. While Amul has pioneered the moment marketing trend, other brands too have been highlighting the importance of milk consumption by integrating their product with trends and occasions.  

On the occasion of World Milk Day, Pride of Cows rolled out a consumer engagement activity on social media asking parents to #RaiseAGlass and share a picture of them with their kids, drinking milk.

Apart from launching consumer engagement activities, the brand is also seen actively hopping on the topical wave and get talking about what’s been trending at the moment. Thereby not losing an opportunity to market its product in a fun and quirky way.

Creating topical creative around #DoodhPiyoStrongRaho, Mother Dairy walks the talk by integrating the significance of milk with what the world is talking at the moment.

Parag Foods’ Gowardhan Milk seems to be a fan of trending formats wherein it can be seen leveraging the fun and chatter around them.

Seasonal/Occasion/Festival based greetings is a common theme followed by most milk brands in their social media marketing plan where they can be seen narrating the goodness of ‘milk’ in their brand creatives suiting the occasion.

In Conclusion

With social media platforms democratizing communication for all, it has been prudent in bridging the gap between mass campaigns and micro tactics for direct to consumer communication – be it the bigger FMCG brands or the local dairies. Owing to a level playing field on digital, both the sets have been reaching out to their respective target audiences while making milk ‘cool’ yet again for the new age population.  

From topical trends to influencer marketing and celebrity endorsements, dairy brands are leveraging social media marketing, keeping the charm of Manthan days alive on digital.


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