Brand News

Kingfisher: The King of Social Networks?


The moment we think of Kingfisher, the tune 'Oo La La La Le O' hymns in our minds reminding of chilled beer and cricketers. The brand is synonymous with both as firstly it commands over a 50%+ market share in the beer category in India, and secondly, it has been largely advertising with cricketers in the past across the seasons.

They have been associated with cricketers and teams all over the world. Be it a MS Dhoni (India), Chris Gayle (West Indies), Brett Lee (Australia), they have them all on board either currently or at some point of time.

But this time, the brand has attempted at creating a difference by releasing its first ever campaign during the festive season featuring a Bollywood actor. Their latest campaign #TheOriginialSocialNetwork aims to tell people that Kingfisher, which has always been positioned around 'King of Good Times' is also the Original Social Network and was born much before Facebook, Twitter or any other popular mediums.

Their latest film aims shows Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput walking into a night club like just another cool guy. He meets friends and makes new friends at the venue and has a good time with all of them. The film is simple and draws parallel with the working of social media networks.

The campaign is designed and conceptualized by J. Walter Thompson.

Speaking on the idea of the campaign, Samar Singh Sheikhawat, Senior Vice President, United Breweries, says that Kingfisher has been positioned as the original medium for social networking that was established way before any of the modern day social networks. "Over the years people have been bonding with Kingfisher and it has brought them together. People have always celebrated the brand as 'King of Good Times'. Our idea is to connect with the youth and the reason for coming out with a campaign amid the festive season is that the consumption of the brand is extremely high during this season also and hence wanted to stay at top of mind," opines Sheikhawat.

Senthil Kumar, National Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson shares that the brand wanted to interpret its positioning 'King of Good Times' in a fresh and youthful manner while keeping in mind its trademark tune.

The brand is not deviating from advertising with cricketers as it will still continue to do so with a strong focus on IPL. But for this campaign it has chosen Rajput. Speaking on the reason behind opting for Rajput, Sheikhawat points that the script for the commercial was written without keeping in mind any actor. "Rajput is a popular youth icon and he is doing a film on the Indian Cricket Team Caption MS Dhoni. He is a cool guy that walks in a nightclub and does resonate with our TG. Also he is not one of those who is more often seen in advertisements yet he has his own class, style and niche especially with the work he had delivered in the past. We could have opted for other stars also like Ranbir Kapoor but then the ad would not have been remembered as Kingfisher ad but more like a Kapoor ad."

Kingfisher is spending 20% more on the current campaign, than what it usually spends on its IPL campaigns. The campaign is live across mediums and across all major cities and towns of the country. It is promoted on television supported by digital, onground, radio and print.

Good Times?
The current campaign has a lot of 'firsts' in it. It is the first time that the brand is being advertised during festivities and it is the first time that they have had a Bollywood face. And experts seem to be liking these 'first' attempts made by the brand.

Jagdeep Kapoor, Chairman and Managing Director, Samsika Consulting shares that the brand plays on the phrase 'social network ' since it has been associated with get togethers, parties, socializing and networking. "It is a clever play of words and trying to appropriate the phrase 'social network' and claiming the early 'originality'. Moreover, the Bollywood actor is about to play a cricketer's role in reel life and at the party is enjoying a cricket match apart from dancing. Thus the cricket connection with the brand continues to exist," shares Kapoor.

He further adds that though the brand is advertising in the festive season, it is working on expanding its appeal throughout the year. "It is enjoying the social network status, which goes beyond cricket. So, in my opinion, the ad will generate a great recall as it is vibrant and reflecting the brand's personality," opines Kapoor.

On the creative side, Titus Upputuru, National Creative Director, Dentsu Creative Impact, feels that people are increasingly spending time in the online world, even while being with friends in the offline world. "While it may all be getting sufficiently complicated, and the lines are blurring, this ad takes us back to the social world as everyone knew it before the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and such like."