It’s a commercial that strikes a chord with today's youth while promoting a cuppa that stands apart for its zing and taste. A young man calmly enquires about the credentials and credibility of an oily politico before offering him a cup of tea. Result: a visibly rattled would-be public servant and a stirring message that connects immediately with the mood of a nation. This was how the people behind the Tata Tea brand wove in the themes of awakening, enlightenment and civic consciousness into their standout Jaago Re! [Wake up!] advertising campaign.
The first instalment of the campaign, which made its debut in 2007, had 10-second spots spotlighting social issues such as water, the responsibility of police personnel, the role of politicians, and women in sports. The Jaago Re title — reinforced by the tag line, Har subah sirf utho math. Jaago re! [Don't just get up every morning. Wake up!] — has played out on television screens across India to much recognition and a fair share of appreciation.
The campaign has gathered momentum since it was launched, with the current version adding meat to the primary content. For instance, there is a commercial targeting those who’ve never seen the insides of a polling booth. This one has an election-day scenario showing a youth telling a woman outside a movie theatre to head for a polling station instead of catching the latest film release. That the advertisements have struck a chord with the wider public can be gauged from the more than one lakh registrations that a website dedicated to the campaign (www.jaagore.com) has attracted.
According to research data, Jaago Re has been one of the most successful advertising campaigns launched in the last one year. The idea the folks at Tata Tea were working on was to underscore the importance of tea in everyday life. With a variety of brands under its umbrella — Tata Tea Premium, Tata Tea Gold, Tata Tea Agni and Tata Tea Life among them, each having its own advertising and positioning — the company felt the need for a unified, singular pitch that would boost the Tata Tea mother brand. The Jaago Re campaign, with its appeal to all demographic segments, does just that.
Sushant Dash, associate president, marketing, at Tata Tea emphasises the importance of the all-inclusive tack the campaign took. “We wanted Tata Tea premium consumers to see the commercials and feel it was their brand,” he explains. “Likewise, we wanted Agni drinkers to get closer to the brand through this campaign.”
Work on the campaign began in earnest once it was decided that a universal branding exercise was required. Tata Tea understood that the advantage it had over the competition was the Tata name and all the positives that it evoked, principally integrity and genuineness. From that flowed the linking of tea drinking, and the feeling of rejuvenation and stimulation that it produced, to social awakening. Tata Tea had discovered the perfect blend to secure a significant slice of advertising attention.
For the company, the campaign translates into increased sales. Tata Tea has registered consistent growth: a net profit of Rs43.79 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2008, as against Rs36.9 crore for the corresponding period the previous year. With operational share and sales come in a lot of other factors, much of which the campaign has accomplished. “It has helped us get our media spending together; we do not spend separately for our four brands,” says Mr Dash. “Also, all four sets of consumers believe it is their brand and mind share has gone up.”
Where does Tata Tea go with Jaago Re after this? “We are committed to the Jaago Re campaign; that’s the positioning of the brand,” says Mr Dash. “Following the billion-votes effort we now have the Tata Tea Arsenal Soccer Stars initiative aimed at encouraging kid footballers with talent,” says Mr Dash. The partner in the programme is Arsenal, among the most celebrated clubs in England’s Premier League. Under it, 30 children between 10 and 15 years from different parts of India will be given two weeks of training by Arsenal coaches in May 2009. A final selection of 15 boys will get the opportunity to attend an Arsenal training camp in London three months later. “We want to do different things with different segments,” says Mr Dash of the soccer stars endeavour.
Tea has made it to the history books many times since the Chinese began drinking it thousands of years back. Since those early days, this magical beverage’s ability to restore and revive, to refresh and revitalise has helped myriad people and cultures. Tata Tea’s efforts to lend an enabling hand — whether by bringing voters to election booths or encouraging kids to have a ball — spring from the knowledge that there is more to tea than just the drinking