We want to own the narrative on hydration in the country: Bisleri's Tushar Malhotra

Tushar Malhotra, Director of Sales & Marketing, Bisleri discusses the genesis of the CGI IPL campaign and how it maximized the return on investments and digs deeper into the hydration partnership with the five IPL teams.

By  Indrani BoseMay 29, 2024 8:34 AM
We want to own the narrative on hydration in the country: Bisleri's Tushar Malhotra
Tushar Malhotra, Director of Sales & Marketing, Bisleri

First, it was traditional advertising – the billboards and the print ads, the newspaper ads, then came the internet and social media, meme marketing and then AI enhanced personalisation, and finally CGI. Some advertisers now feel that even though this format worked for a few brands by grabbing eyeballs and shocking the viewers, it is now being overdone and thus becoming an overkill under the guise of brand innovation.

Needless to say, Bisleri took a risk with their recent CGI campaign to honour its partnership with the five IPL teams - Delhi Capitals, Gujarat Titans, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, and Royal Challengers Bengaluru. In an exclusive chat with Storyboard18, Tushar Malhotra, Director of Sales & Marketing, Bisleri discusses the genesis of the CGI IPL campaign and how it maximized the return on investments and digs deeper into the hydration partnership with the five IPL teams.

What led to the genesis of the campaign? Do you think CGI campaigns are becoming an overkill?

There are different mediums in which you can impart a message today. You can impart it through a video or you can impart it through a post, or through a photograph. The CGI is now one of those mediums, where you can do a cost benefit analysis of whether putting it on the medium gets you enough virality or gets you enough engagement.

CGI has become a regular medium currently. There is no innovation. With the money that you're putting in for a CGI piece of work, you have to look at it from an engagement and ROI perspective. The Gujarat Titans reveal video of the limited edition got 75k shares. For us, the ROI was worth it.

All our partner teams had an announcement post the limited edition part with the CGIs - in Mumbai, we leveraged the Gateway of India, in Bangalore it was the Bangalore Palace, in Delhi, it was the India Gate. In Jaipur, we had parachutes outside a Jaipur heritage building carrying the Bisleri bottles.

Bisleri has partnered with five IPL teams this time. What were Bisleri's objectives and strategies for this partnership?

Bisleri is a brand with a legacy of over 50 years. It's one of the most trusted brands of water in India. We want to own the narrative on hydration in the country. Hydration is a very important topic today especially in the post pandemic world. For us, there was nothing better to own the space of hydration than with an association with sports. We started a very robust sports marketing program where we have association with every genre of sports, from cricket to football to marathons to athletics, both in India and abroad as well. Our association with five of our partner franchisees in IPL is an extension of that sports marketing program.

What were the results of the CGI campaign and how was the ROI measured?

The CGI campaign is an extension of our #DrinkItUp campaign, which we launched with Deepika Padukone as the brand ambassador in December, we've extended that campaign to our sports marketing program as well. We've shifted from #CarryYourGame to #DrinkItUp right now to have one single campaign across all facets. And this is about owning the space and hydration and also making drinking water cool. And to get that strengthen our association with especially our GenZ consumers.

The integrated marketing campaign has multiple legs to it. The first leg is our limited edition bottles, where we got crores of limited edition bottles with each of our partner teams in the market for the last two months.

The Mumbai limited edition bottle has Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma, and Ishan Kishan. This also builds a lot of regional brand love and connection during IPL because April and May in India is all about IPL.

This helps us build connections through our product. We do a lot of digital engagement with the partner teams and players and that gives us millions of engagements as well. Thirdly, the onground branding also provides a consumer experience. The fizzy coolers and the ice boxes that are used by players during practice matches gets covered in TV. We get 5-6x times our investment through that visibility alone. From a perspective of our truck brandings, we have got hundreds of trucks with our partnered teams.

Finally, our trade also gets converted into a festival-like atmosphere, because we put POSM of all our teams and all our trade. We've got a 74-match association with Star Sports on TV, where we've taken spots in all 74 matches in the IPL. It's the first spot before the start of every second innings.

Could you outline the ad spend and digital investments for this campaign?

April and May are one of the best months for any beverage brand in terms of sales because of the heat. There is an inherent seasonality in this month. As IPL takes place in April and May, the event takes a large chunk of the TV advertising spend as well. Therefore, as a brand, you can maximise your investment's outcome in playing and communicate effectively on TV. Our investments are spread across all mediums. Thus we are reaching out to consumers at almost every aspect of engagement and just not one engagement per se.

What's going to be the area of focus for Bisleri this year?

Our sports marketing program is going to continue. We also have our association with the UTT - the Ultimate Table Tennis league coming up. We've got six teams in ISL. We have marathons including the Dubai marathon as well.

Our e-commerce campaign is also doing pretty well. We've clocked some of our highest numbers this season as far as direct-to-home and e-commerce is concerned. Sustainability is also an important aspect for us. We have a Greener Promise program going on. Our Bottles For Change campaign has reached out to lakhs of college students on talking about plastic recycling. Our rainwater harvesting program called ‘Nayi Umeed’ is also doing very well. We have a new campaign coming out next month for Limonata, which is one of our fastest growing carbonated soft drink brand.

First Published on May 28, 2024 8:49 AM

More from Storyboard18

Advertising

Mahindra commemorates 25 Years of Kargil Vijay Diwas with 'Hearts to Bravehearts' initiative

Mahindra commemorates 25 Years of Kargil Vijay Diwas with 'Hearts to Bravehearts' initiative

Advertising

Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, VML bag Bronze Lions on Day 2 of Cannes Lions 2024

Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, VML bag Bronze Lions on Day 2 of Cannes Lions 2024

Advertising

Birla Opus launches its new thematic communication

Birla Opus launches its new thematic communication

Brand Marketing

Maruti Suzuki's Partho Banerjee on targeting young eco conscious consumers and more

Maruti Suzuki's Partho Banerjee on targeting young eco conscious consumers and more

Advertising

Meesho's Soumitra Choubey: Witnessing a surge of Gen Z users under 25 joining the platform

Meesho's Soumitra Choubey: Witnessing a surge of Gen Z users under 25 joining the platform

Advertising

Cannes Lions 2024: India bags 20 shortlists in Design, Entertainment, Direct Lions, Industry Craft, Media and PR categories

Cannes Lions 2024: India bags 20 shortlists in Design, Entertainment, Direct Lions, Industry Craft, Media and PR categories

Advertising

Not sure the Chatpat campaign would’ve had the same effect if the character was called Vishnu: Kartikeya Tiwari, FCB Kinnect

Not sure the Chatpat campaign would’ve had the same effect if the character was called Vishnu: Kartikeya Tiwari, FCB Kinnect

Advertising

IAS partners with Reddit to provide AI-driven measurement to advertisers

IAS partners with Reddit to provide AI-driven measurement to advertisers