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Mondelez's Festive Marketing Mantra

The brand is staying actively invested in the season, asserts Anil Viswanathan

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Covid may have dampened our spirit to celebrate in the past two years but the upcoming festivities are expected to witness a glittering time for businesses and buyers, primarily because of ‘revenge spending’, along with an increase in lifestyle spends, work from home and an incessant need for celebration. Consumers are rearing to fulfil their ‘wants’ and not focus on ‘needs’ anymore. Where 80-85 per cent of the demand is already back, this time is expected to reignite demand further.

Going by the mobility reports, people are now moving around and their apprehensions are gradually fading away. Having said that, a large part of the country continues to work from home whether it is kids going to school or people going to work. So, while working and studying at home continues to be a dominant trend, it has proved serendipitous for snacking and confectionery brands.

Geared up with an innovative product portfolio and compelling marketing strategies for the upcoming festive season is Mondelez, the seven decades old snacking brand. Anil Viswanathan, Senior Director – Marketing, Mondelez India, who himself is associated with the company for good 21 years, speaks on how the brand is cautiously optimistic about the upcoming Diwali season. “For us, our season starts very much from July when our products' consumption picks up. We have seen some good momentum this year. So, we are cautiously optimistic, obviously, there lies a certain amount of uncertainty. So, we are trying to be dynamic in the way we look at our plans but based on the momentum we have had in the last 3 months, we are quite positive.”

Talking of which categories are on a growing trajectory, food and snacks definitely rule the charts. Small ticket indulgences, where consumers don’t have to worry too much about what they consume, along with spends towards kids that parents will prioritise, is benefiting the industry. “These are some of the areas where consumers will continue to invest. We do see investments in concept as people are coming out of constraints. There is also some focus towards the value segments as they continue to be conscious. As we know a large part of the economy was impacted by the downturn and now they’re trading off with value-driven transactions, the value side of the business and value segments are definitely going to see an uptick,” he mentions. 

Zooming In Its Marketing Agendas

It won’t be wrong to say that we’re still in the middle of a crisis year. In terms of attracting and pitching consumers, especially after this crisis time, Viswanathan believes that what brands do in the large sense always remains the same. However, for him, brands are now demonstrating greater empathy and not being opportunistic. “Brands that are able to customise their messaging to suit the current times are resonating more with the consumer,” he comments. 

Even when we talk of Mondelez’s portfolio, the company has attempted to be empathetic and authentic at all times. This was reflected when it activated Cadbury Dairy Milk under the broad umbrella of generosity. As expressed in Hindi – Kuch Accha Ho Jaye, Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye! With this, they are trying to put a spotlight on goodness by finding ways and means to celebrate it and then, of course, meetha wherein they find ways and means to celebrate variants of sweetness and sweet that are there in our culture. 

Mondelez is staying actively invested in the season and is actually increasing its investment over the last two years. “We need to invest as it is a part of our growth agenda. We believe that brands that stay invested will benefit from that kind of mental availability. We are staying invested and our mantra is very simple, we are where the consumer is.”

Hence, the brand will follow a multi-media approach and interact with the consumer through various touch-points. Given that the consumer is spending a lot of time on digital channels, online will also emerge as a big investment area for them. “Not just on the campaign side but even on the commerce side wherein, we can see both reach and performance. We are seeing a fair amount of traction on both our ecommerce platforms and egrossers and also on our D2C platform ” he asserts. 

He sums up by saying that the post-covid situation has re-balanced the overall ecosystem, with core and innovation being the most important part for any business to grow, especially in the food market. “Innovation has always been a major part of the growth algorithm. The role of core brands has also gone up as they are jostling for share and space. Those that are able to clearly identify their core proposition not just from a messaging point but also from a portfolio standpoint, readying themselves for the future, having a point of view on sustainability- these components are now becoming building blocks for the solid future of a core brand is taking more and more pre-eminence," he marks. 

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Anil Viswanathan mondelez