We are doing fewer things, but making them more impactful: Puneet Das

Bringing alive the magic and passion of West Bengal, Durga Puja is nothing less than a carnival of life celebrating a proud culture, the art, heartfelt warmth, friendship and an unstinted devotion to the Goddess. Keeping up with the festive spirit, which has not dampened even during the pandemic, Tata Tea Gold, the marquee brand from the Tata Consumer Products, aspires to add a rich flavour of celebration with its festive edition pack for West Bengal.

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The design language of the pack is a celebration of the festivities associated during this time. It is a fusion, inspired by two very prominent art styles – the bold brush strokes of the Patua style, along with the ancient art of Patachitra, visibly distinguished by its exquisitely fine and delicate lines. Illustrations like the intricate Shola work, the resounding notes of the Conch-shell, the all-pervading aroma of the Dhunuchi and the reverberating beats of the Dhaakis; have been exclusively created to convey the sense of devotion and the vibrant fervor; which are so unique to the festival. This gives people a chance to bring home and celebrate the festival and Bengal’s art and culture too.

Speaking about the campaign, Puneet Das, Senior Vice President - Marketing, Packaged Beverages, India – Tata Consumer Products, said, “Tata Tea Gold aims to celebrate the festive spirit associated during these times by paying homage to the traditional elements associated with the festivities. We have tried doing the same through our new festive edition packaging that pays a sincere ode to the festival and also the traditional arts and heritage of the state and region.”

In conversation with Adgully, Puneet Das speaks at length about the festive edition pack for West Bengal, as well as festive marketing amid the pandemic and keeping the campaign engaging and relevant for consumers.

The joy of the festival starts with the festive packaging that you have introduced. Is this a practice for every puja or this is happening for the first time? How and when did you plan your puja festival preparation during these tough times and what were the challenges?

Let me first tell you that Tata Tea Gold is one of the leading brands in West Bengal and, obviously as a leading brand we would like to be part of the social fabric of the state and of the region.

We actually did try out something last year at some local level activation. So, we did like a festive pack at a very small scale, and this year, we thought that with this entire pandemic and the gloom happening, this is actually the time when we should really be doing it at a bigger scale. We want to do our best to spread a little bit of cheer and happiness to the consumers, so we felt the best way to do it is with the packaging, because we can reach so many more consumers. We asked ourselves how can we pay homage to both the festival as well as the local region, and that is how we got inspired with this art as a way of celebration. Because in India, art captures really well the festivities and the expressions, so we picked up the local art of that region – Patua and Patachitra – and worked with our design team on creating the fusion together which brings out the festivities. So, that’s what inspired us.

Actually, I think the challenge was not from a festive point of view, but the challenge was that how much do you activate on-ground, considering the pandemic and considering social distancing and all, how do you ensure that you are being responsible and at the same time, activating what is the right thing to do for the festival? Hence, we did not go overboard on any activation and on-ground. The idea was just to ensure that you are following all the safety measures while you do that. Challenges are more about circumventing these things.

Disruption has also made a lot of us to rethink and innovate. This expression for Tata Tea Gold is something fresh and looks very innovative. How did this inspiration come and how did you bring in the fusion with two different arts? Who came up with this idea?

The idea and the origin happened during our team’s brainstorming, when we said that in the second half of the year most of India gets ready for the festive season. This year, we wondered how we could do our bit to spread that positivity and that vibrancy, etc. And then do it at a place where people can experience it at their home, because that is the other big thing. After a series of brainstorming sessions, we decided that the best way to do it is on our packs, because we reach the consumers’ homes, and consumers can interact with that. That’s how the idea of using art came up, because we were saying that if you have to express and bring out the festivities on the packaging, we will need to do it through various ways of designs. So, we looked at designs which were native and local to the region, and that is how the entire concept emerged.

What is the objective of the film that you have created, and who are you planning to target in terms of communication? Which markets are you looking at? How do you plan to measure the effectiveness of the campaign?

The film is more of a digital video to bring in the celebration spirit. If you look at the film and the pack, it completes the story of the pack, because we have put some motifs on the pack, some icons and all this tossed up, which showcase the celebration around the festival. These three digital videos will help bring it alive. So, the idea is to target it again in the market where the pack is present and simply spread the message of festive celebrations and bring alive this special festival pack as well.

Tata Tea Gold is a brand for the mass audience. Obviously, the focus is on the females of the house, and in general who are buying tea are the target audience. For the festival and celebration, we will specifically target across all groups. Since we are a mass brand, we want to speak to everyone. In terms of market, it will be the entire East, but our activation will be mostly focused on West Bengal.

This festivity has brought a lot of cheer and positive sentiments and everybody is trying to woo the customers with various offers during the festive season. How do you plan to stand out and get traction for Tata Tea Gold festive campaign?

We thought a little ahead, hence we are in the market already with the pack and in terms of taking the design philosophy out over there and it is already being picked up and being appreciative. I think the other way is we are also looking at some digital ways of interacting with our audience, which is something which will actually be a new layer this year. We are again trying to figure out how we can interact with our consumers from a digital length, keeping in mind the puja festivities and just activating a few of these pandals. We have created and designed eye-catching innovative outdoors as well, where we have picked up a few locations where we are going to bring out the whole visual around the pack in a very interactive manner. We are doing fewer things, but making them more impactful, so that we are able to break through the clutter, rather than just spreading ourselves thin and carpet bombing with activities.

The East is a very important market for Tata Tea. With the usual brand activation not possible amid the pandemic, what other activities have you planned to make the festival more memorable and engaging for your consumers?

Right now, it is mostly based on outdoors, digital and print. We have launched a very innovative print format, which is almost like a French window – you open it and you view the whole celebration visuals, which is being released in ABP and The Telegraph. In terms of digital and pandal activation, we are keeping it very limited because we need to keep in mind the social distancing aspect. That is how we are activating it on ground and we are only going to focus with our activation in West Bengal.

What is your overall major strategy going to be for this campaign? Since Tata Tea Gold is a mass brand, will you look primarily at the tradition medium or will you have a judicious mix of digital as well?

Even digital actually has a very good penetration at the mass level and reaches the audience. But when you do local activations, you don’t look at TV so much, you look at what is the right way to reach the local mass audience and also what is relevant for this time. For example, during puja festival, people step out of home. So, TV advertisement in a sense may not be as effective during this time, but outdoors or print can play a more impactful role, and the first point of interaction still is to target with the pack design, We are looking at whatever is the most effective way to reach at the local level, which is a mix of print, digital, outdoors, and our festive pack design to reach there. For this festival activation, we are not looking at traditional media like TV.


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