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Expert Speak: Summer Marketing 2023 - High on spends, celebrity campaigns & product innovations

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Social Samosa
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Summer marketing


In the heat of the summer season, Social Samosa talks to brands that are expecting a hike in sales to find out the hottest marketing mediums of the season and their summer marketing plans to woo consumers.

It is that time of the year when you revisit your golden, childhood days and remember some of the good-old ads that played on your TV sets during summer. Whether it is GluconD’s sun sucking the energy out of us or the ever-green ‘chubhti jalti garmi’ jingle by DermiCool, summer which aligns with school vacation, over the years, summers have given us iconic campaigns that we still can’t delete from our system. 

As the heat dawns above our heads, brands gear up to leverage the hot weather to connect with the audience. Categories like beverages, ice creams, ACs and coolers, skin care, and others see a surge in their demands and subsequent marketing activities with the summer season.

Social Samsoa speaks to summer brands and takes a look at how are they prepping for the season.

A Summer Of Campaigns

With the early arrival of the scorching heat, the season has increased the demand for ice cream and cold drinks. Further, according to executives of FMCG and dairy companies, the sales are slated to increase this season by a significant double-digit.

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Agastya Dalmia

Agastya Dalmia, Founder & CEO Keventers says that the summer season contributes significantly to the brand’s sales and remains an indispensable part of their business.

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Manish Bandlish

“Summer is one of the most important seasons for a category like ice cream. Almost 40% of ice cream sales happen during the quarter of the fiscal year,” Manish Bandlish, Managing Director - Mother Dairy tells Social Samosa.

Brands across industries have already started rolling out their summer campaigns packed with sunny colours. It reflects an overall happy mood with a touch of celebrity flavour. 

Recently, Slice launched their newest summer campaign ‘Aam Ka Ehsaas. Sabse Khaas’ starring Kiara Advani, the brand’s latest ambassador. Similarly, the start of the summer saw Pepsi onboarding Ranveer Singh, rolling out their summer campaign which is a tribute to the spirit of youth. 

Keventers, a legacy brand in India has rolled out their summer campaign #TheCoolestSummer which focuses on beating the heat with their range of products and gives the consumer a ‘cool’ experience with the colour blue as a theme. 

Also Read: Case Study: How Tinder’s You Up? campaign garnered 50 million+ views by encouraging youth to explore their individuality

Other than food and beverages, the sales of appliances have seen a major spike. Summer campaigns for appliances, especially fans have taken the ‘savings’ route and emphasised on energy-saving and budget-friendly products.  

Havells’ summer campaign ‘Look up for a better a summer’ is an extension of their iconic Hawa Badlegi communication. 

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The Flavour Of Nostalgia

Rasna tapped into the power of nostalgia and played with their evergreen tagline - ‘I love you Rasna’, but this time engaging with a variety of age groups and tweaking it to ‘We love you Rasna.’

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Piruz Khambatta

Piruz Khambatta, Group Chairman Rasna, says, “In a recent market research study conducted by us, we found that 60% of the consumption of our products was coming from age groups other than that of children. Hence, the idea behind the campaign is to show Rasna as a more inclusive brand across demographics and age groups.” 

Summer isn’t just big for mainstream brands, many new-age and D2C brands have come into play as well. 

NOTO, an ice cream brand with healthy and vegan variants has gone all out with their digital presence this summer and is also expecting a 40% growth in its revenue. From bringing in new products that especially scream summer, the brand aims at targeting the health-conscious audience. 

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Mohit Khattar

Mohit Khattar, CEO - Graviss Foods Pvt Ltd – Baskin Robbins told Social Samosa that apart from their iconic icecreams, the brand is planning to launch a new range of beverages for the season ahead.

Summer flavours are an integral part of communications in the season. While brands such as Starbucks have been mastering this trend, other F&B brands too are now resorting to launching season based flavours.

TV & Digital: Hottest Mediums

As far as the media mix is concerned, summer category brands largely rely on traditional forms of advertising mediums with a major focus on TV, print, and OOH. They have also started incorporating digital into their media mix, especially following COVID-19.

As per the TAM AdEX report 2022, television ad volumes in the first quarter of 2022 saw Food & Beverage reaching the highest share of 23%, followed by the services and personal care/hygiene category.  

Talking about Baskin Robbins, Mohit Khattar mentioned, “Our Media mix is weighted around digital and social platforms with a mix of video and static content. We overlay this with the tactical point-of-sales initiatives. Given our target audience and their preferences, we tend not to rely on other conventional media platforms.”

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Ashni Shah

While TV comes on top for most, digital is where most people spend their time on. D2C brands like NOTO Ice Cream have multiple brand awareness-led activities in place, with an extensive digital strategy to generate engagement is the way to go as per Co-founder, Ashni Shah

Similarly, milkshake brand Keventers is going big on digital activations. Agastya Dalmia said, “Our media mix is predominantly digital, with over three-quarters of our media being focused online. However, we only leverage offline marketing during peak seasons to optimize our reach during the busiest times of the year.” 

With IPL getting integrated with summer, brands also tend to leverage the massive marketing platform as part of their marketing mix. Appliance and electronics company Crompton aims on targeting the premium audience via cricket and other high impact properties. 

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Pragya Bijalwan

Pragya Bijalwan, CMO - Crompton Consumer Electricals Ltd said, “For our upcoming summer campaigns, we are targeting a category-leading share of voice of 25% plus in fans & air coolers on TV this summer. For digital, we will be targeting 60% plus reach at a frequency of 5+ on high-reach platforms like YouTube & Social Media. We will also be present on new-age platforms like connected TV & OTT. Likewise, we are also collaborating with influencers to co-create content.”

She also mentioned that 35% plus of consumers rely on e-commerce as the key source of evaluation and said the brand aims on ranking on Google search. 

“We will look at top keywords with high intent searches on Google to deliver High SOV% (50%+ on Branded Keywords 25%+ on competition Keywords and 30%+ on generic keywords). We will enhance our share of voice through a sponsored brand or a sponsored product on e-commerce marketplaces.”  

Personalisation & Packaging

Alongside new product launches and campaigns, food and beverage brands are personalising the brand packaging considering the bounce back in travel and tourism. 

Mother Dairy’s Manish Bandlish said, “The summer season of 2023 seems to be in favour of the impulse portfolio. With less number of mobility restrictions, consumers are expected to consume more on-the-go. Though in-home packs (tubs/bricks) will continue to be consumed as a leisurely activity, the splurge on the roads will definitely give a boost to single-serve packs and formats.” 

Mohit Khatter mentioned that Baskin Robbins will be changing over to a new brand identity and introducing a new refreshed logo in India. 

He believes brands will be catering to youngsters through more convenient brand packaging and said, “In terms of single-serve packs – there was a time when customers would love to use both their hands to enjoy a cup of Ice cream. Now, given that most youngsters would rather use one hand to engage with their mobiles, brands like ours are thinking hard to bring in formats that will give youngsters newer ways to interact with and experience the brand.”

There’s a larger strategy to bring in more convenience to the consumers with quick service and online orders being a hit. Consumers are also becoming more health-conscious and opting for healthier options. Ashni Shah expects to see mini formats of ice creams that will help control portions with interesting flavour combinations.  

Keventers, largely a dairy-based brand, plans on taking a small step towards a non-dairy product portfolio. Agastya Dalmia mentioned that the brand aims to create an indulgent alternative with the launch of its first-ever range of Vegan Scoops. 

Consumers of the appliance category are expected to opt for more energy-efficient products. Pragya Bijalwan said, “In the past one year, the sales of personal & desert air coolers are growing by more than 25% on e-commerce platforms. The consumers in tier 2 & tier 3 cities are increasing their preference towards air coolers for their cooling needs, hence, this will be another key trend that will drive consumer behaviour.”

With a relatively early summer, brands have amped up their marketing strategies. Going all out on digital and traditional platforms, brands have started to communicate with their TGs to their full potential. With many summer categories already witnessing a home run, the coming months are expected to see consumer behaviour changing and brands reeling their sales in.

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