#SSIPLWatch How Happilo leverages RCB’s digital community to build brand awareness 

Shamita Islur
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Founder and CEO, Vikas D Nahar in conversation with Social Samosa talks about how Happilo aims to build visibility through RCB’s digital presence in IPL 2023.

With the Indian Premier League expected to clock more than 500 million reach from masses across TV and digital platforms this year, brands are more than eager to dip their toes. 

For D2C brand Happilo, its association with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as its Official Snacking Partner is all about building awareness and trails for the brand. Founder and CEO, Vikas D Nahar in conversation with Social Samosa talked about how Happilo aims to build visibility through RCB’s strong digital presence and community.

He said, “With IPL, we are sure that we will reach out to the masses and it will help us build large-scale distribution and strengthen our brand share in the online space. This year Happilo is starting with media and team partnership, and we are now hoping for revenue and brand-level impact for the same.”

The brand previously sponsored Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2022 as a conscious attempt to increase penetration in the North.

Digital Strategy 

After establishing its presence in the North, Happilo aims to build visibility and penetration in the southern markets. 

Its recent association with RCB, a team that enjoys a valuation of $1.04 billion and has a strong social currency with 10.3 million followers on Instagram, and 6.5 million followers on Twitter, will help the brand achieve this goal. 

What made RCB the right choice for Happilo is also how the team uses its social media to engage with its fans. It routinely highlights the cricketers’ stories via its podcast, shares banter and generates engagement via fan activities. 

By leveraging this content strategy, fan following and follower base of the team, Happilo eyes a bigger pie of the southern market. 

While digital is the brand’s major focus, its marketing mediums also include TV. 

Elaborating on the media mix of Happilo, Nahar said, “We have a high decibel plan with Star Sports HD & SD channel LIVE matches. We are also going live on Jio in CTV and reaching out to digital audiences via collab with RCB official pages, the RCB fan club and a large-scale influencer plan. We are activating distributors and general trade via on-ground activations and meet & greet.” 

As of now, the brand has announced multiple merchandise and free ticket giveaways to engage with fans of the team by asking them to share their favourite match moments.

Also Read: EatSure aims to drive brand visibility and consumption through its association with RCB

Happilo is using a mix of JioCinema and Star Sports to reach out to its audiences. Other than its investment in IPL, Nahar said, "We will continue to invest in media based on seasonality and build reach and frequency."

Driving Visibility

The dry fruits and snacks brand relies upon occasion based consumption to drive its growth. 

During Diwali, Happilo looks for General Entertainment Channels (GEC) and movie channels to target the larger female audience as they generally make those buying decisions. 

The brand has included celebrities in its marketing strategy by onboarding celebrity couple Kiara Advani and Siddharth Malhotra to endorse it. 

Nahar mentioned that the brand wanted to focus on celebrities, and Kiara who has topped the charts in Ormax Media's report as one of the popular celebrities and Siddharth who is pretty active in health and fitness, did justice to the campaign’s theme.

Adding to this, Nahar said, "Happilo launched three films under the campaign, all designed by McCann Worldwide Group. With celeb’s presence and the right media mix, the campaign has increased our awareness scores to more than 86% as per the quantitative study." 

In an age where the popularity of mascots seems to have faded, the brand makes use of its very own 'Happi' to break the clutter in the FMCG space. 

Talking about whether using a mascot has helped the brand, Nahar mentioned that through the post-campaign research, it was observed that people remembered the brand by looking at the mascot & his action of Nut – Gun. 

He continued, "Mascots create the visibility for the brand in people’s minds and help build recall. We have continued the mascot in all our ads after that so that we can carry the story forward."


A still from an ad campaign released by Happilo in 2022

With Vikas D Nahar as the face of brand Happilo, his appearance on " target="_blank" rel="noopener" title="">Shark Tank India as a guest Shark has also contributed to some quantifiable numbers of inquiries and conversations on digital and social media.

Apart from the digital promotions, the brand has been working on expanding its offline presence with 10 flagship stores in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. It has built experience stores where people can sample products. Nahar said that brand activations in malls and surrounding areas have also helped the brand include better trails and create trust in quality and purchase.

Furthermore, Nahar elaborated that Happilo is planning to expand 100+ Exclusive Brand Outlets (EBOs) and franchise stores and are in the process to start expanding in international markets like European and US markets. 

With the launch of new products made of dry fruits under its portfolio, the focus for 2023 will be on product penetration, increasing consumption and high brand trails in Metro, Mini Metro and Tier 1 markets. 

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