ABP One: Creating brand solutions in the east

A new concept for any media group across the world, ABP One, an Anandabazar Patrika (ABP) group outfit is engaged in creating opportunities for the brands, help them identify regional marketing strategies and reach out to the consumers. The company’s solutions come in varied formats - consultancy, advertising campaigns, editorial integration, activation or media integration. However the essence remains that of partnering with brands in comprehending its needs, understanding its audience and their insights, and creating necessary solutions.

With ABP Group’s dominance in eastern India, ABP ONE is currently focused on the same region. The team has already worked with brands like Vaseline (Pujo Ready campaign), Aviva (Great Wall of Education), Kurkure (Pujo campaign), Parle Marie (editorial integration), Emami (Face of Bengal campaign) and Ponds (Fun in the Sun). However, the most talked about work from the team has been with Cadbury Dairy Milk's 'Cadbury Mishti Shera Shrishti' campaign. For which it has won two silver Effies - Regional Advertising category and Integrated Advertising category. For Cadbury it created the entire campaign - from insight, ideas, integration to execution.

The mishti (or sweets) industry in Bengal is deeply rooted in the culture of the Bengalis. So much so that almost every locality has a sweet shop. Every sweet shop has a wide spread of sweets. And eating sweets is a daily habit of people in Bengal. The challenge for Cadbury's was to enter the mind of this sweet loving Bengali.

The concept of the campaign rested on a simple insight. That Bengalis not only love eating sweets but also appreciate newer varieties in sweets. The strategy therefore, was to make Cadbury Dairy Milk (CDM) a variety in sweets instead of competing with sweets. By creating Cadbury Mishti using CDM.

So how was this done?

The best sweet shops were tied up and given the challenge to create this Cadbury Mishti. And it was expected that the people of Calcutta would consume this new variety, appreciate and accept it. Accordingly an advertising campaign was launched to excite the consumers and bring them to the shops. This campaign took the theme of 'general elections' as politics was another love of the Bengalis and Bengal had recently gone through a historical political change. Creatives were created keeping in mind the way election is promoted in this region. The concept of wall painted slogans was the core. Supported by celebrity campaigners, on-ground processions, ambient banners, pamphlet distribution, transit branding and such. The ABP and The Telegraph editorial teams created editorial contents as it turned into a common conversation reference for the Calcuttans.

The 'vote' was to be a much sweeter one. For one had to eat a mishti from the shops and dial a unique toll free number to vote for that particular shop. The purpose was to find the 'Cadbury Mishti Shera Shrishti' or Cadbury Mishti best creation. However getting into the mind-space and creating a new habit were the two big challenges. Also since ABP One was working on a theme like elections always meant that caution had to be a priority.

The outcome and the success of the campaign was beyond expectations. Though the idea with Cadbury was a unique one, ABP did not lose sight of the realities on the ground. This was  done through extensive insight mining as it calls it with the consumers. This was aided by the fact that the power of a mishti 'vote' had a huge potential to connect emotionally. However, numbers always surprise  - got more than a million votes in just over a month and more than 80 varieties of Cadbury Mishti were created.

Other than pure consumer response and brand score measurements, ABP One believed the success of the campaign would be if Mishti shops would retain their creations after the campaign was over. To their surprise, a research after 6 months of the campaign has shown that not only the tied-up shops have retained their Cadbury Mishtis but also about a hundred new shops have started making their own varieties, that even without any initiative taken either by the ABP One team or Cadbury's.

Given the ABP Group’s stronghold in the Eastern and north-Eastern markets, a logical step is to expand in East, which is their current focus. ABP One strives to create new opportunities in North East and Orissa for the national brands looking to venture into these markets. The group’s newspapers have commendable footprints there which would allow it to create ideas that are worth making the right news! Backed by a young team with a very different philosophy, ABP One wants to build better marketing and communication strategies for its client brands. It wants to create solutions that are brave, consumer focused and therefore effective. For the same ABP One need to be creative, analytical, thorough and particular... things that not only drive its business but also its people.


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