Viral Marketing, Marketing and Advertising News, AND BrandEquity


There was a 9% growth in advertising volumes in the FMCG sector across all TV channels in 2020 compared to 2018, according to data provided by the Television Audience Measurement. (iStock image)

The Covid-19 pandemic has catapulted the rapidly evolving consumer goods (FMCG) industry onto a sudden growth trajectory under unusual circumstances. The situation has also forced them to change the way they view marketing and consumer awareness.

The first reaction was a shock, says Amandeep Singh Kochar of the marketing and customer experience agency VMLY & R, which works with consumer companies like PepsiCo and Colgate. “Most companies wanted us to stop spending on marketing because there was a fear that production units would be forced to shut down,” he added.

But because the government allowed businesses to sell essentials, FMCG companies were the lucky few with a rich portfolio.

So where have the big bucks been spent?

Traditional media
Television has become the medium of choice, although there is little fresh content. Reruns of old series like Ramayan drew audiences and so brands followed. “With more time spent indoors, television continues to remain very relevant,” said a spokesperson for PepsiCo India.

There was a 9% growth in advertising volumes in the FMCG sector across all TV channels in 2020 compared to 2018, according to data provided by the Television Audience Measurement.

“Since the pandemic, there has been a distinction between discretionary categories and products that help consumers in the battle against Covid-19. This includes soaps, disinfectants, surface cleaners and nutritional products that help boost immunity, ”said a spokesperson for HUL.

Lifebuoy launched a public service announcement in 2020, encouraging people to use any soap, even that of competitors, to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. HUL’s Domex floor cleaner relies on the need for superior disinfection, even when things have started to normalize. “With the second wave, the brand amplified its message of ‘Domex kills coronavirus instantly’,” the HUL spokesperson said.

Digital engagement
Digitization has become a key trend. The pivot has not been easy, given the size of these historic brands. There is a 24/7 real-time cycle of dialogue between brands and people on digital media, the spokesperson for PepsiCo India said. “We engaged digitally with campaigns such as Lay’s What’s Your #Relationchip Status, Kurkure #AbLagaMasala, Pepsi #GivingToughTimeAToughTime and Mountain Dew #JeetKiOre. ”

ITC has set up a dedicated marketing command center called “Sixth Sense” in Kolkata and Bangalore.

Based on the idea that moms were overworked during the pandemic, ITC’s “Sunfeast Mom’s Magic” launched a campaign called #StayStrongMoms, including a live virtual concert with singers to salute the role of mothers.

Brands have also recognized the need for more targeted campaigns. In keeping with a sensitive approach during the pandemic, HUL’s “non-frontline” brands were relatively low-key.

Product innovation
The information captured by Sixth Sense has helped hygiene brand Savlon introduce disinfectant sprays for surfaces and fabrics, as well as masks in various sizes. Several neem-based natural cleaning solutions have been launched, including Nimwash Vegetable and Fruit Cleaner and Nimeasy Enzyme-Based Eco-Friendly Dishwashing Gel.

Home became the new playground for consumers during the lockdown, so FMCG companies launched several easy-to-cook products like frozen snacks and pasta baking. ITC has met nutritional and immune needs with Natural Plus B juices, Aashirvaad Svasti milk fortified with vitamin A or Aashirvaad Nature’s superfoods with varieties of ragi and millet. In the first wave of Covid-19, there was a pervasive sense of uncertainty and a lack of knowledge about the virus. The second wave stood out for its vicious impact. Consumers were in shock. But the importance of observing safety and good hygiene practices has remained the same.

Converting to sales
If digitalization has given brands reach, the commercial aspect was crucial. “Conversion is just as important,” says Kochar. Consumer awareness and distribution saw several innovations. Consumers were cautious when leaving their homes, even to buy basic necessities. FMCG companies were the first to partner with new distribution partners like Domino’s Pizza, Dunzo, Swiggy and Amway to bring their products to consumers.

“These partnerships have helped us ensure availability and seamless last mile delivery of our products,” said the spokesperson for PepsiCo India.

ITC also launched “ITC Store on Wheels” which has brought its FMCG products to over 900 residential complexes in 13 cities. The company strengthened its drop-shipping platform, with the service extended to seven subways and 14 cities.

“Direct-to-consumer” has become the buzzword, which has resulted in increased investment in online stores. These channels have helped brands use them as a test bed for new products as well.

Way forward
Digital shopping as well as the adoption of healthier, more natural products – these are pandemic trends that are here to stay. Most large companies are now positioned to meet the challenges of the future, applying the lessons of 2020 to advance their consumer marketing initiatives.


Top 10 categories for advertising in print media in 2020

1. Automatic
2. Education
3. Benefits
4. Personal health care
5. Retail
6. Bank
7. Food and drinks
8. Personal accessories
9. Durable
10.Personal care / Hygiene

Top 10 advertisers in print media in 2020

1. SBS Biotech
2. Maruti Suzuki
3. MotoCorp Heroes
4. Honda motorcycles and scooters India
5. Hindustan Unilever
6. Bajaj Auto
7. TVS Automobile Company
8. Life insurance company
9. Hyundai Motor India
10.Kia Motors Corporation

Top 10 TV Advertisers in 2020

1. Hindustan Unilever
2. Reckitt
3. Proct and play
4. ICT
5. Colgate Palmolive
6. Godrej consumer products
7. Cadbury India
8. Wipro
9. Amazon online
10.GCMMF (Amul)

Top 10 brands to advertise on TV in 2020

1. Dettol soap
2. Dettol antiseptic liquid
3. Colgate dental cream
4. Lizol surface cleaner
5. Santoor Sandal and Turmeric
6. Lux Soap
7. Clinique Plus Shampoo
8. Surf Excel Easy Wash
9. Horlicks health drink

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