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Parle has an edge over the competition with its Indianness: Mayank Shah

Parle Products has launched an integrated brand campaign, which showcases its portfolio of brands and a message that strongly links each of these brands back to the mother brand, Parle. Through the campaign, which has been conceptualised by Taproot Dentsu, Parle wants the consumer to know how far and wide its range of product offerings go and how firmly entrenched they are in the daily lives of the consumer. 

Titled ‘Naam toh Suna Hi Hoga’, the campaign not only highlights the deep connection that various Parle brands have with Indian consumers, but is also amusing and witty in its execution. 

A series of four TVCs have been released in 12 languages, including Hindi, English, Marathi, and Tamil as part of the pan India campaign, which is running extensively during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 season, of which Parle Products is also an associate sponsor. The campaign will be sustained through a strong digital campaign in the second leg. 

Speaking about the campaign, Mayank Shah, Category Head, Parle Products, said, “Parle Products has always offered its consumers something memorable for every occasion. Various brands from Parle form a part of almost every Indian household. Through this campaign, we aim to focus on these brands and connect it to the mother brand – Parle. The unique ad campaign showcases situations where people are oblivious to certain things in life, just like they are not aware of the multiple brands from the house of Parle. The treatment of the TVC is refreshing with a hint of quick wit and humour.” 

The four ad films are a humorous take on the daily lives of Indians stuck in awkward situations – a friend-zoned boy confronting his crush, an employee being questioned by his boss, a school principal complaining to a mother, two women bragging about their lifestyle. Parle and its products feature as an integral part of the narrative, helping them realise what the characters are unaware of. 

It all began with hard boiled candies 

Launched in 1929, the first product from Parle was hard boiled candies, which became an instant hit. Biscuits followed a decade later. Mayank Shah, Category Head, Parle Products, said that Parle has always been open to experimentation, which has worked really well for the brand – be it the launch of Monaco or Krack-Jack, which was the world’s first sweet and salty biscuit, or moulded Hide & Seek Chocolate Chip cookies. However, in the constantly expanding snacking category, there was a declining relevance of crackers and biscuits in the consumer’s life due to the availability of a plethora of alternate options, Shah pointed out. 

Amid the clutter of brands in the Foods and Beverages category, Shah believes that Parle has an edge with its “Indianness”. He said, “Parle is a home-grown brand and in our previous campaign, we had called Parle – ‘Bharat Ka Apna Biscuit’. We have been here for the last 88 years and the kind of understanding we have for the Indian consumer is our competitive advantage vis-a-vis other companies and we are India’s largest distributed FMCG brand.” 

He admitted that though Parle had launched a few products in the last two years, they were not well received in the market due to the economic instability, coupled with the demonetisation drive last year. “However, the brand is now optimistic and looking at new products and entering into newer categories to diversify its existing portfolio in 2017,” Shah affirmed. 

Shift in communication strategy 

Over the years, Parle’s communication strategy has undergone a major shift from being very rational and product-centric to now being more emotional and exhilarating. However, according to Shah, it has become a challenge to establish reach and connect with today’s digital savvy generation. He feels that there is a lack of transparency in measuring ROI on digital and brands need to have specialised communication for digital because one cannot use communication that is meant for one medium on another medium. “Using a TVC on digital and saying you have done digital will not yield you results. Brands need to look at digital as a separate medium and have tailor-made communication for their audience. But that trend is yet to evolve in India,” Shah noted. 

The integrated brand campaign 

Commenting on the latest integrated brand campaign for Parle, Shah felt that the kind of image Parle deserved for being so diversified in categories and offerings was lacking, hence the objective behind their latest campaign – ‘Naam Toh Suna Hi Hoga’ – is to showcase the spectrum of their wide array of products.

“The creative agency (Taproot Dentsu) has done a great job at conveying the brand’s message to the audience. While people know most of the products from Parle group as a separate entity, they usually associate Parle with Parle G. So, we wanted to convey the message that we have a wide range of products catering to various target groups with several flavours. That was the brief shared with Taproot Dentsu, which has come on board for the first time with Parle for this campaign.”

Launched during the IPL season, Parle is investing heavily on the entire campaign since it is a big initiative for the brand to display all its offerings to the audiences. Shah claimed that the campaign has been very well received by the audience as it is different from the regular advertisements as they are not promoting a particular product.

Speaking about the marketing strategy, he said, “We are working on something exciting which will be launched soon. While the objective will remain the same, its execution will be different on different mediums.”

Agency Speak

Taproot Dentsu will continue to use the heft of the Parle name to strengthen relevance of newer brands, while in the case of the more iconic brands, it will remind people that there’s nothing quite like old favourites.

Elaborating on the campaign, Pallavi Chakravarti, Executive Creative Director, Taproot Dentsu, said, “We’ve all enjoyed Parle products for as long as we can remember. The aim of the campaign is to make their brand name synonymous with the huge range of goodies that we consume almost every day. With ‘Naam Toh Suna Hi Hoga’, we’ve found a light and hopefully memorable way of driving the brand name and equity home. If their products have always brought a smile to our faces, why shouldn’t their ads?”

Ayesha Ghosh, General Mangaer, Taproot Dentsu, added here, “From childhood favourites to contemporary delights and from sweet delicacies to savoury flavours, many of India’s snacking staples have one name behind them – Parle. However, the name of this legendary company is closely associated mostly with one iconic brand – Parle G. In its latest advertising campaign, Parle is letting the world know exactly how far and wide its range of product offerings go and how firmly entrenched they are in our daily lives, perhaps without us fully realising it. The campaign doles out these nuggets of information, tongue firmly in cheek, with four short and wickedly sweet commercials, as light and pleasing to the palate as its variety of crackers, cookies, biscuits and snacks.”

She further said that this is Taproot Dentsu’s first project with Parle, and they already have two more in the pipeline and hope to continue the association.

Ghosh noted that amid the constantly expanding snacking category, there was a declining relevance of crackers and biscuits in the consumer’s life due to the availability of a plethora of alternate options. Also, owing to less communication from the players in the category, there was a lack of excitement towards it too. “These reasons, coupled with unorganised brands trickling in every day, our task was to increase relevance of biscuits, crackers and confectionary in the consumers’ lives. While doing this, we were to associate the equity of heritage cracker brands to brand Parle and that of Parle to upcoming individual brands,” she added.

On creating greater visibility for Brand Parle, Ghosh said,”Having chosen the IPL time to launch these films, we are already investing in the most accurate place for assured visibility of households. Also, with multiple films under the same campaign, we aim to keep it fresh and new in terms of the amusement and memorability quotient running through the entire campaign. Beyond TV, we will also reach consumers through other media as we go through the subsequent phases of the campaign.”

Commenting on the campaign strategy for Parle going forward, Ghosh mentioned that given the nature of all the offerings from Parle products, one could not really assign a ritual, time or occasion of consumption. In view of that, the strategy has been to turn the lack of an occasion into omnipresence and pump some lightness back into snacking, by becoming the jack of all occasions, not the master of one.


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