The brand’s target audience straddles both small town Geetha and Metro based Divya. This seemingly disparate target groups have a few similarities. For both Geetha and Divya, tea has always been a ‘group thing.’ A cup of tea is never drunk alone, but with family or friends. Be it film gossip, politics or social scandals, everything gets discussed over a cup of tea.
Another similarity is their love for music. On every social occasion be it with family, festivals, or friends, music is very much a part of the occasion. Music has the power to straddle socio economic classes, geographies and cultures.
In 2015, India heard a new voice. The voice of the Transgender. Neglected and abused for very long, this community was screaming out for acceptance. These 1.9 million transgender people are socially alienated. They found it nearly impossible to get conventional jobs and were forced to resort to begging and/or sex work.
In a landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court granted legal status to transgender citizens, but despite this, society continued to shut its doors. The “normal” people have been conditioned to believe that Transgender people are different and cannot be part of their world.
This was the very thinking Brooke Bond Red Label Tea wanted to change.
The pieces fell into place. Tea is a social lubricant, the brand is about togetherness and the Transgender community was yearning to be accepted. The agency’s challenge was to get India to confront its prejudices and change the way they perceive the ‘third gender.’
The strategy was to use pop culture (music) to change pop culture. The idea: India’s first transgender pop group - The Brooke Bond Red Label 6 Pack Band, in collaboration with Yfilms.
Their songs spoke the language of Red label. Its debut song “Hum Hai Happy” based on the Pharrell William’s hit “Happy” set the tone of the campaign. The song recounts their philosophy of being happy despite the adversity they are subjected to. The other songs were based on the themes of ‘togetherness’ and ‘acceptance’.
A band of 6 Transgenders may make for a great concept but to make it work, be acceptable and popular, it needed credibility and add a dash of glamour and style
It partnered with Sonu Nigam, India’s top Singer and Musician par excellence. He lent support to the brand in the bravest and most noble manner possible, by singing with the band.
Sonu Nigam, is the most credible voice today in the music and Bollywood industry. The choice not based on popularity but relevance. The number of fans was not the criteria but the quality of fans. If it is promoting a band and its music then the celebrity has to be from the music world. His influence went a long way in popularising the band and the brand.
He featured in two songs. ‘Sab Rab De Bande,’ (All are God’s children) reinforced that all men are born equally and should be embraced for who they are. The second song was an acoustic version of the second. Sonu, not only sang with the group but also featured in the music videos, that narrated the stories behind the songs.
Social media formed the bedrock of the strategy. It provided the necessary reach and enabled the public to participate and engage with the music videos.
The campaign rested on three pillars:
1. Reach: It needed to include both Geetha and Diyva in the most cost effective manner. While television has a reach of 59%, mobile reach today is around 66% and growing. It was obvious that mobile would be the focus of the strategy.
2. Content dissemination and viewership: Video content is what gets maximum views and shares. Mindshare had to ensure that mobile friendly assets were created. In addition to YouTube and Facebook, assets were also deployed on all the Live-streaming music Mobile apps.
The Bollywood brigade went wild on Twitter and showed their solidarity. Anushka Sharma, Hrithik Roshan, Sonu Nigam are just few names that tweeted/shared the videos on their channels.
To complete the mobile loop, top telecom players carried snippets of the song as caller tunes.
3. Measurement & Tracking: Getting to know consumer responses in real time was equally important. Social media (YouTube and Facebook) allowed it to do this and was integral to the success of the campaign. With the help of data partners, the agency analysed posts, videos and tweets thus improving the content story and deployment strategies in REAL TIME. The entire media journey was tracked from the launch date itself.
To increase scale and amplify the campaign, television music channels and radio channels carried it as part of programing. Top RJs interviewed the band members on their shows. The band was invited to perform LIVE, at the prestigious Radio Mirchi Music Awards.
Check out one of the music videos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msbZUmaUBuI.
Within the first three months only, brand consideration score touched a whopping 69% and a key brand metric, “Is a brand that makes the world a more welcoming place” touched 64%. (Source: Millward Brown). Brand penetration increased by +400 basis points.
All videos garnered over eight million views on YouTube with organic viewership greater than 25%. Industry benchmark being 11%. 60% of the viewership came through mobile.
The campaign reached more than 25 million through various hashtags and brand handles.
Videos garnered an engagement rate of > 2%, (industry benchmark 1.07%).
The Red Label Facebook page content had an engagement score of 981 out of 1,000, a first for the brand.
All 6 pack songs trended in Twitter (All India) at position one on the first day.
On an average, 68% of consumers associated the campaign with the brand Red Label.
UNAIDS, and UN Women, the special causes of the United Nations Organisation have also supported the cause.
International recognition: This campaign won the Grand Prix in the Glass Lions category at Cannes.