Ranveer Singh's energy level was beyond my anticipation: Sameer Nagpal, Dalmia Cement

This is our first year where we are going to put a substantial amount of money into building our brand: Sameer Nagpal, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited, shares the insights driving the cement brand's IPL ad strategy.

By  Storyboard18Apr 22, 2024 8:10 AM
Ranveer Singh's energy level was beyond my anticipation: Sameer Nagpal, Dalmia Cement
Sameer Nagpal, COO, Dalmia Cement, stated, "We are a very engineering company, and it's a commodity product. So we were not very sure how this would all pan out. But the campaign is based on such a wonderful insight that every prospective home builder or even a homeowner will connect with it and will enjoy the entire playing of that ad and how it unfolds. We are extremely happy with the final product which has been delivered."

Cricket, often called India's religion, is more than just a sport. It's a profound passion that unites millions of people throughout the nation. Channelling this passion onto a mega pitch for viewers and advertisers is the Indian Premier League, an occasion that captivates the hearts and minds of fans and sports enthusiasts all over the country.

Amidst the diverse range of brands seeking to leverage the IPL's expansive potential is one of India's leading cement manufacturers, Dalmia Cement. In an interview with Storyboard18, Sameer Nagpal, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited, shares the insights driving the cement brand's IPL ad strategy.

Edited excerpts:

What's your marketing strategy for the 2024 IPL season, considering it's one of the biggest events of the year?

This is our first year where we are going to put a substantial amount of money into building our brand. In the past, the brand has stood for bringing sustainable practices to the sector, and introducing new technology to the sector. Now, this year, we have decided to target our brand towards the consumer segment. Therefore, in a way, this is going to be the launchpad for the Dalmia Cement brand. As you rightly said, cricket is a religion in India, and IPL has taken cricket to a different level. There couldn't be a better way to start this new journey than with IPL. So, IPL is our first focus, and we will build from there on.

Could you provide insight into the decision-making process behind selecting Ranveer Singh as the brand ambassador for Dalmia Cement, considering his widespread popularity as a celebrity choice for many brands? How does this decision tie into the consumer insights that you are leveraging for the campaign?

It's important for us to position ourselves in a space where cement's core proposition to any customer is strength. Now, when you think of strength, there are brands that articulate it in different ways, but they all look similar, almost alike. Therefore, it was important for us to figure out a way to talk about strength in a more distinctive manner, relevant to our target audience.

Our primary target audience is the individual homebuilder, most of whom reside in tier-2 and tier-3 towns. With that as our main focus, we looked at how to differentiate on strength. We spent a lot of time with Ogilvy (the ad agency handling the brand), and based on the brief we gave them, they came up with an interesting way of articulating it, which was RCF, standing for Roof, Column, and Foundation. Dalmia Cement is positioned as an RCF expert. This insight came from the fact that the most critical aspect of a home's structure is the concrete used in building it. Most ads or articulations of strength do not utilize this insight, which we converted into our campaign.

When considering which celebrity and how to reach our target audience effectively, we evaluated many actors, but ultimately chose Ranveer Singh as our preferred choice. Ranveer has a unique ability to get into character, and we were impressed by his talent. In our film, we needed someone who could play the role of a contractor, explaining to a family that their house will be strong because their RCF is strong. We felt that Ranveer would be most suited to tell this story, hence our choice of him.

Could you share some insights into the making of the campaign, especially since you were present on set during production? What was it like observing Ranveer Singh working to deliver the message for your brand?

I must say, it was a very interesting experience. I've never been to a shoot like that. To see how it all comes together and how the work takes shape was fascinating for me. Seeing how the various different characters articulated their parts and how it all came together was fascinating.

Ranveer Singh's energy level was beyond my anticipation. I was impressed by his professionalism on set. His timing and adjustments to requests or changes were commendable. Another thing worth mentioning is that at the end of the shoot, some of our team members, including myself, wanted to take a selfie with him, and he obliged. When I went out and came back in, I saw a queue of people standing, and it had spilled outside. I was curious about what was happening inside, and when I went back in, I saw everyone standing in line to take a selfie with Ranveer because he had said everyone on set gets a chance. It was amazing to see a star devote so much time to make everyone happy on set. It's his way of saying thank you, I guess.

IPL is one of those times in a year when people really look forward to watching ads. What's your approach to using humour as a creative device?

We are a very engineering company, and it's a commodity product. So we were not very sure how this would all pan out. But the campaign is based on such a wonderful insight that every prospective home builder or even a homeowner will connect with it and will enjoy the entire playing of that ad and how it unfolds. We are extremely happy with the final product which has been delivered.

Watch the ad here.

First Published on Apr 22, 2024 8:08 AM

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