In the first chapter of our throwback series here’s taking you through the behind-the-scenes and campaign strategy of the ‘Real Milk, Real Ice-cream’ proposition of Amul.
As we brace forward in 2021, one can’t help but think about one of our favorite desserts, which is ice cream. This brings forth, the memorable case of Amul’s foray into the Indian market with Real Milk and Real Ice-cream proposition back in the 90s. How can one forget about the memorable jingles such as ‘Chalo Chalo’ and ‘Doodh Doodh’?
Arming itself strategically backed with data, Amul had collaborated with Draft-FCB Ulka at that time and researched upon the core insight behind the story of the brand proposition to attempt and establish itself in the heart of India.
The Icecream Market in the 90s
Ice cream was one of the largest categories in the packed foods during the early 90s in India with the unorganized sector dominating the market. In the organized sector, Kwality Walls occupied a major chunk with an all-India presence. Further, bolstering the brand presence, HUL acquired Kwality Walls in 1995. The Ice-cream market in the 90s also involved brands such as Vadilal and Dinshaw.
From the house of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), Amul was a known brand for milk and butter during that time.
Launch of Amul Ice-creams
The brand soon decided to launch Amul Ice-creams in the market in 1995 but did not have a first-mover’s advantage with the presence of existing national and regional players in the market who had the distribution capacity along with exclusive parlors and established pricing strategy.
One of the major requirements for Amul was a network of freezers across retailers as a part of the launch strategy of the perishable ice-cream products.
To solve the issues Amul adopted the following factors for the ice-cream launch:
- Amul ice-cream prices were kept about 20-30% lower than the average market price
- The brand launched the ‘Humara Apna Deep Freezer’ initiative to mitigate the issue of the freezer network. As part of this, the dealer could buy a freezer at 45% of the normal price and keep Amul ice-creams exclusively stocked. They could even own the freezers permanently by paying its actual price in installments within 5 years.
The brand also leveraged the fact that Amul ice-creams were made from real milk and fresh cream. Soon, Amul Ice-cream was launched on 10th March 1996.
The Story of ‘Real Milk & Real Ice-cream’
As cited in the book, Draft-FCB Ulka Brand building advertising concepts and cases by M.G Parameswaran, consumers considered ice-creams for special occasions and celebrations. In collaboration with Amul, the agency leveraged the Mind and Mood tool to understand consumers and churn further insights as a means to differentiate the product in the market.
Apart from the celebration factor, the agency and the brand team unearthed another interesting insight. Amongst the target segment for the brand – mothers – at that time utilized ice cream to solve their concerns of milk consumption for their children. How? If a child did not want to consume a glass of milk, the mothers would readily like to feed them Amul Ice-cream cups. Considering Amul to provide the nutrients of pure milk, mothers envisaged Amul ice cream as a replacement or an option to complete the milk requirements for their children as per the DraftFCB Ulka research. This gave birth to the ‘Real Milk, Real Ice-cream’ proposition based on the brand attributes of purity and quality of milk.
The first Amul Ad by Draft-FCB Ulka in 1996 as a part of Amul classics brought one of the most memorable jingles of all times – Chalo Chalo showcasing wide varieties of Amul Ice-cream offerings, highlighting the message of ‘Real Milk, Real Ice-cream proposition.
Leveraging the insight, the communication strategy kept the celebration aspect with the family and friends, intact while highlighting the goodness and quality of Amul milk in the Ad. The jingle and the visuals indicated the many options of Amul ice-cream flavors and the seemingly superior offerings.
To combat the competition in the market, Amul Ice-creams also propagated that the products did not have any vegetable fats as opposed to the other brands and was made of fresh cream and fresh milk.
Amul Ice cream ads not only harped on the Real Milk, Real Ice-cream proposition but also the bonding and togetherness of loved ones and family members, an emotion perpetuated through Amul ads even today. From highlighting the functional attributes to capturing various emotions and making an effort to establish itself as the ice cream for all transcending age, caste, and culture, Amul Ice cream ads aimed to occupy not just the market but the hearts of the Indian consumers.
In 2019, the agency again leveraged the mood survey to understand the pulse of the nation. As per the research, about 70% of the market segment was occupied by the take-home services in the more mature ice-cream markets. The brand brought some exotic flavors such as Cappuccino, Anjeer, Cheese & Almonds, and Rajbhoj. With this, the agency brought the Flavor of the month campaign. The following years (2020 and 2021) saw Amul leveraging nostalgia during the pandemic.
Being quintessential to a cult brand amongst its loyal consumers, the brand continues to bring its offerings to the consumers in line with the Real Milk and Real ice-creams proposition to date.
To Sum It Up
Leveraging a core insight and robust marketing mix, Amul managed to capture almost 40% of the market share in the 2000s to become one of the market leaders in the industry. Backed with research, data, and creativity, Amul ice-creams established itself in the market with a 3-pronged strategy focused on distribution, communication, and pricing.
As the brand brought back the popular ads leveraging nostalgia with Ramayan and Mahabharat aired on Doordarshan in 2020 when the pandemic first hit, Amul Ice-cream revived the Chalo Chalo ad continuing with the Real Milk Real ice-cream while aiming to bring respite in 2021.