Maggi has come up with a new integrated campaign, for its new noodles flavor, launched in the form of a variety of teaser and hype-generating commercials. The crux of the current set of commercials show people trying to ‘guess the taste‘, or in other words, the main flavor of the new taste. (Maggi says that the taste is so great that they were unable to zero in on anything specific, and hence they ask you to tell them the taste)
This is an extensive campaign by Maggi for this new product launch, ranging from TVCs, online Facebook activity, Video Submissions (UGCs) as well as packaging change (the new product has a dedicated temporary packaging on the theme of ‘guess the taste’).
Watch one of the commercials here:
The campaign was initiated along with the ads of the other recent launches of Maggi, Tricky Tomato, Thrillin Curry and Romantic Capsica, as can be seen on the commercials listed on this Nestle webpage: Nestle Products
The aim, obviously, is to create a stir . Their own regular Masala Maggi is so strong a brand, that even for Maggi to launch a new product in the market, a bang is needed to make people notice. Maggi has almost gained the generic brand status among noodles, and it being such a power brand, the marketers of the new flavor knew that the campaign has to be big to at least grab sufficient attention.
Maggi, the undisputed (though not unchallenged) leader in the Rs 1300 Crore Indian market (with 85% market share) is now taking actions to protect its turf. Earlier, there were minor regional and small scale players attacking Maggi, such as Wai Wai and Indo-Nissin’s Top Ramen (Even though Top Ramen brought on an abassador no less than SRK!!). But now, the biggest of the bigshots in the industry, HUL (Knorr), GSK (Horlicks Foodles) and ITC (Sunfeast Yippee) have tossed their hats in the ring, challenging Maggi to respond. The market is heating up, and the leader was bound to respond.
Maggi’s other launches in recent times, such as Vegetable Atta Noodles, Multi-grainz, etc, in my view, were less about boosting sales than about protecting against flank attacks. These ‘healthy’ variants were backup option to keep in hand, under attack by other health-oriented campaigns by Knorr and Foodles. Knorr, with its soup-association, and Foodles, carried by Horlicks brand equity, are particularly well placed to leverage on the health angle.
But now, the newer flavors are the latest offensive reaction from Maggi. They add diversity of taste in the product portfolio. They have recognized that the Classic Maggi Masala, while a huge driver of sales, forming a chunk of their revenues, has been quite unchanged for years now. They understand that the consumer wants variation in taste from time-to-time. It is this need for variation that is being tackled here. They want that if a consumer wants to try something different, he should go for other flavors from their own stable instead of going to the competitors. The newest flavor, accompanied by the biggest campaign, might just be the boost that Maggi needs in the Maturity stage of its Product Life Cycle to take on new challenges, and to hedge some risks from being solely dependent on one product variant.
The campaign, in my opinion, is an excellent one, although the product (having tried it myself today!) lacks the sort of pull which the campaign is building upon. (It could be because I am myself a die-hard Maggi Masala fanatic and instinctively rejected the new variant). But still, the market is built around the metros and tier-1 cities, and with rapidly changing taste preferences, who knows what might catch the customer fancy!
P.S.: This is the second major step that Maggi has taken to stamp its authority, with the first one being the popular viral campaign about ‘Me and Meri wali Maggi’. (I would venture to say that Maggi’s campaigns are a marketing purist’s delight, first with the viral campaign and now this buzz marketing endeavor. They are taking pure marketing strategies and molding them to best fit the consumer appetite)
My personal product review on the new taste: The flavor is of Mint !
Ref: Excellent Market Review http://business-standard.com/india/news/nottwo-minute-war/421944/