REFRESH AND REFILL

By: Sapna Nair-Purohit             Dated: September 01, 2014

From being the choice of beverage for birthday parties to being sidelined by cooler international brands, Rasna has now sought to transform itself in the minds of the younger consumers. With its new imagery the brand hopes to blend into their lives and lifestyles...

"" Rasna is a stirrer of nostalgia... of mothers blending the concentrate in iced water with generous spoonfuls of sugar in a tall jug of glass or stainless steel. Rasna was nearly synonymous with birthday parties and picnics, until cooler, ready-to-drink beverages swamped the Indian market. It was the undisputed leader in its category (concentrate and powder drinks), but somewhere along the way, urban and upwardly mobile consumers moved away from it. DILUTING THE CONCENTRATE IMAGE For long, Rasna has been known as a concentrate. Priti Nair, Director, Curry Nation, which has been handling the brands communication for the past two years, agrees. The concentrate baggage has stayed with the brand. The process of putting synthetic powder into water is an image we associate with Rasna and that, according to Nair, is what discourages new mothers once Rasna consumers themselves from the very soft drink that they once thrived on. We were clear about not showing the making process. The making is the problem. People dont have the time, she observes. Rasna had meanwhile decided to make it a healthier drink by adding fruits and nutrients. The results were far from encouraging, for the brand could hardly break away from its concentrate imagery. On the other hand, health-conscious consumers reached out to brands such as Tang which came in with a healthy proposition. When Curry Nation started work on Rasna, the attempt was to break out of this concentrate image, says Nair. We decided to talk about Rasna as a brand. And let distribution take care of who to target and when. When they go to the market, let people figure what fits their budget. Thus it was decided not to push the concentrate and instead showcase all of Rasnas products. Pushing the concentrate was only going to pull down the other products, she says. The brand could hardly break away from its concentrate imagery. On the other hand, health-conscious consumers reached out to brands such as Tang which came in with a healthy proposition... Apart from introducing newer flavours for the concentrate, Rasna launched a variety of other products such as Rasna Ju-C (a ready-to-drink beverage) and Rasna Fruit Plus. STIRRING A CHANGE A typical Rasna ad consisted of a little girl and a celebrity (the last brand ambassador of Rasna was actor Genelia DSouza) enjoying the beverage with the famous, almost iconic, tagline I love you, Rasna. Celebrities such as Karisma Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal, Virendra Sehwag, Saina Nehwal, and Kapil Dev have also been part of Rasnas campaigns in the past. In 2013, Curry Nation created an animation film for Rasna as discussions were still on about the big leap that the brand would take and neither of them wanted to run the risk yet. Thats the thing with legendary brands you cant take a sudden leap like giving up the Rasna girl. These things have to be done slowly, she points out. When you are talking to children (kids products), they need to see adults in the communication because kids want to emulate adults... The film highlighted the inclusion of real fruits in the drink, foregrounding Rasnas health quotient, and featured the Rasna girl as well as the tagline. So there was departure, yet continuity. Nair had been in discussions with Piruz Khambatta, the Chairman and Managing Director of Rasna, for almost five years, about changing the brands communication strategy. When you are talking to children (kids products), they need to see adults in the communication because kids want to emulate adults, they dont want to use kiddi products, she says. See any category targeted at children today carbonated beverage category, chocolate category advertising will show younger people, she adds, citing the examples of Boost and Maggi. It was finally decided to propel the brand to a different level and change the perception of the brand altogether. "" CHANGEOFY Some significant changes had to be ushered in. Rasna brought in variations on the product side as well such as on-the-move sachets, sippers, and ready-to-drink beverages. Our belief was that if youre investing in making the brand younger and closer to what the generation is consuming, then your advertising too should reflect that. You cannot stay in the mummy-children territory forever, Nair asserts. Rasna needed to stand for something, rather than just be a sweet kiddi brand or a brand that made adults nostalgic. Tang is positioned as a healthy drink and Rasna doing the same would have been futile. There had to be a clear distinction. We cant say the same things as them because when the consumer has to choose he will choose Tang since it is a foreign brand, Nair says, matter-of-factly. The agency and the client thought it was best to stand for a certain philosophy. Physically the product benefit is sugar and fruit, so you get energy. So, we decided on adding Rasna to life and live life a little better, she says, while explaining the Rasna milaofy line. She hopes the line will become part of everyday parlance. A song was created to go with the visuals that depicted slice-of-life moments, featuring kids, teenagers, adults, and couples. If youre investing in making the brand younger and closer to what the generation is consuming, then your advertising too should reflect that. You cannot stay in the mummy-children territory forever... There was, however, one significant umbilical change. The brand bid goodbye to the Rasna girl who had been a fixture in Rasna ads for decades. Even though she was a remarkable hook for the brand, there was no evidence of the Rasna girl actually resulting in sales or salience of the brand. Apparently, subsequent research proved that the Rasna girl was not missed. Nair believes the TVC has broken the mould. When you see a mix of people, it doesnt come across as just a childrens brand, she says. Sustenance will now be key for the brand, which has a large following in the small towns of India. Curry Nation will now have to ensure the brand has topof-the-mind recall and will need to constantly refresh its communication strategy. Affinity to the brand is important. You have to start liking the brand, Nair says. CB

Related stories

The shoe master...

MAGMay 01, 2014

Three ps...

MAGMay 01, 2014

Read more...

OUR MAGAZINE

ADVERTISEMENT

© Copyright 2015. Creative Brands Magazine. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy /  Disclaimer /  Terms & Conditions