Even Wagh Bakri Gets It All Wrong

For us Gujaratis, tea means ‘ચા’ (cha) and ‘ચા’ means Wagh Bakri!

WB is one of the most favourite and preferred tea brands for Gujarati households. And the way the brand has been growing for over 100 years around the sutra of ‘hamesha rishta banaay’ has been simply brilliant.

I have been a big admirer of WB TVCs and print ads but two of the most recent campaigns have left me with lots of questions…putting them forward in this post

Wagh Bakri trying Tata Jaago Re?

Wagh Bakri had released these ads on the front page of Times of India, Sandesh and Divya Bhaskar, asking people to be sensitive in using their cell phones so as to ensure that other person is not unnecessarily disturbed.

Wagh Bakri SMS campaign

So when I first saw this ad, with that clip art mobile phone I thought of Wagh Bakri must be bringing some mobile app. Then I started to read the body copy and by the time I finished the essay type copy, I was like What? Why? What?

First of all I was just not able to find a connect between the Wagh Bakri tea and being sensitive towards using the cell phone. Then when I thought harder I came to a conclusion to that may be Wagh Bakri like Tata Tea is trying to build its own Jaago re kind of social cause campaign.  Even if that’s the intention then the execution is extremely poor for the reason stated below

  • Non-relevant theme of the ad – asking people to use text messaging over direct phone call – is that even an issue?  And even if it was ever then the trend has changed long time back with arrival of Blackberry messenger and then Watsapp (creative director of this campaign, needs technological upgrade)
  • It’s not a design, it is a DTP work – The theme of the ad is poor, but the design makes it worst (seems like Microsoft Word was used to design this). There surely could have been a much smarter and creative way of showcasing the message instead of writing a short essay on technology and cell phones.
  • Missing brand connection – putting a line at the end – ‘let us communicate effectively & with warmth over a cup of tea’ is nothing more than forced attempt to connect the cause with the brand. And in Gujarati copy, even that line is missing
  • Missed the social too – today would you want to ask for the feedback on facebook/twitter or on email?

Unfortunately this print ad seems like an amateur attempt by a mature brand like Wagh Bakri.

Wagh Bakri’s Wrong Label

After Ranjit innerwears, Astral Poly Technik we now have one Wagh Bakri joining the league of Gujarat grown brands to tie up with movies to promote their brand.

As a part of Wagh Bakri’s tie up with Once Upon a time in Mumbai Dobaara (OUTIMD), I have seen more than 25 co-branded hoardings across Ahmedabad  – seems WB promoting OUTIMD rather than OUTIMD promoting WB, that to at a very heavy cost!


But the big question I have is why a brand like WB who has always maintained on not to associate with celebs have gone ahead and tied up on a movie which has two of their competitors brand ambassadors – Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha, faces of Red Label tea  (remember Akshay Kumar asking people to call up and convince Sonakshi that Red Label is tasty and healthy both)

More so ever there also doesn’t seems to be a logical connect of the WB brand with OUTIMD , however there have been attempts to justify the tie up as – “The perfect blend of kadak-meethi (strong and sweet) of our tea complies with the film’s tale of strong action and sweet relations. This movie is based on relations and our tagline suits the story the best.” (Source – http://bit.ly/14JmcgA). Seems somebody at WB got carried away by the excitement of associating up with OUTIMD so much that they probably forgot to check on who the starcast of the movie is.

But I give it to Wagh Bakri for always trying to do something new and keep their brand fresh and alive in the mind of people. And I hope that their next campaign will be more thoughtful…


How a Fitness Centre leveraged Bhaag Milkha Bhaag popularity

In last few days the entertainment talk of the country has been Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and the chiseled athletic body of Farhan Akhtar. Every newspaper, magazine, news channel, website has been reporting on what kind of workout regime Farhan followed to get those sinewy legs and stunning six-pack abs.

And what came as a pleasant surprise for me was to see an Ahmedabad based gym ‘Zeus Fitness Point’ leveraging this popularity of BMB and creating a BTL activity around it and also getting a PR coverage for their efforts.

What did they do?

Fitness Point organized a Bhaag Milkha Bhaag competition where they got their members to register for a treadmill challenge – the one who runs for the maximum time gets to win free movie tickets.  Keeping it simple!

What I liked about this activity is

  • Brands alertness – leveraging a popular trend like BMB at the right time
  • Social Connect– activity designed to engage the members
  • Generating Irresistible content – at this time anything to do with BMB is what a reporter wants for his/her story and by delivering exactly that, press coverage to milna hi tha.


The lesson from this is that to build a brand you not only require big budgets, but what you require is the right ideas at the right time.

More Spend, Less Sense

For last few days Ahmedabad city was splashed with many such ‘teaser’ outdoors where a brand claimed to be Rare, Unique and Uncommon.


And then this is the campaign that got revealed later –

Asopalav ‘Sale’ 2013

Asopalav Sale - Rare


Asopalav Sale - Uncommon

My reaction to this campaign is in two parts

  1. As a consumer
  2. As a media buyer

As a consumer Asopalav did managed to get my attention with the teaser campaign, where I got really curious to know on what is that one of its kind – rare, unique and uncommon thing going to be. But when the campaign got revealed I was excited no more as it turned to be just another ‘Sale’ campaign. June is the time where every other brand puts up a sale and offers discount, so what’s so uncommon with Asopalav announcing the same? Probably I would have still not been so disappointed if this colourful Asopalav hoardings would have at least told me on what is that which will make their Sale ‘unique’? But there is just nothing in the follow-up communication, not even a mention of what discount is going to be offered, the only saving grace has been the dates of sale being mentioned in the designs. So what really makes Asopalav sale rare, unique and uncommon still remains a mystery for me.

As a media buyer my first question is does a sale campaign of a prominent brand like Asopalav require a teaser campaign?  Answer is ‘No’. Asopalav is one of the leading brand in its category having a big customer base who every year eagerly wait for the Asopalav Sale to be announced. The teasers are useful when there is a need to create interest in the minds and hearts of the consumer and for the Asopalav Sale there is enough interest already there. So all it needs is a straight forward message to be delivered to the consumers about discounts on offer which could have been done in a jargon-less manner and in one short campaign which would have also meant cost savings and better ROI for Asopalav.

It is always good to be creative with your campaigns but more importantly it should make sense to the consumer and for the business.

YouTube Video – Good Intention, Poor Execution

In past 3 years we have seen so many new B Schools opening up in Ahmedabad – United World Business School, Xcellon, SBS, TBS, ISBM, IBMR, ISBA, Amity. With so many options available to an aspiring MBA student, it has become necessity for the B Schools to heavily advertise in print, outdoors and radio so as to ensure that they become the most preferred choice of a student.

But what has been missing is any real effort by any of this colleges to target the students on social media. But I was pleasantly surprised when i saw a YouTube video link of Shanti Business School on my FB news feed (shared by a friend), and the thumbnail of two animated characters really got me inquisitive to see the video.

Original Video posted on Shanti Business School YouTube channel

After seeing the video I felt who is the creative genius behind this! (sarcasm intended)

I am appreciative of the fact that Shanti Business School tried something different in a form of witty and humorous YouTube video. But unfortunately the poor treatment of humor does more harm than benefit to the SBS brand.

3 things that makes this video poor

1. Poor Brand Positioning

  • ‘Is se to mahine ka aloo pyaaz bhi nahin niklega, aur upar se chor ka naam ka kalank lag jaayega’
  • ‘Ab hum gaajar nahin, gaajar ka halwa khaatein hain’

This kind of lines will surely will make people remember the video (the way I did) but leaves behind a non-positive and non-serious brand positioning and that’s the last thing you need as an educational institute.

2. Poor contextualization – My conclusion after seeing this video was that if a young person wants to make money and good living without being a daku or chor then he should pursue SBS executive education course. Why would you want to compare your TG with chor-daaku? And who would want to be a batch-mate with some gali ka gunda!

3. YouTube basics missing – video title like Shanti Business School – Executive PGDM is not going to take your video anywhere. Ideal video title for YouTube videos are one which will create curiosity, for eg: ‘How to earn your next promotion’

If you do all the effort in making a YouTube video, it is important that you do it well to create a positive impact on the brand. Always a good thing is to show a video to few people and take their feedback before uploading it on a public forum like YouTube.