Why The New Britannia Bourbon Was Launched As A Smartphone

Britannia Bourbon relaunched with a vibrant packaging, brand new TVC and an interesting digital campaign to connect with today's youth, on its 60th year

Bon The Original - Bourbon

I first came across #BonTheOriginal on my Facebook stream. My first reaction upon entering the website was, “great another new phone coming into the market.” I even registered for the online unboxing set on 6th February, 2015. With amazing prizes on offer, I thought I might get lucky and own a new phone - a phone with features like power pack, friend finder, auto charge and Chocolaty 2.0.

Hang on, but what is this Chocolaty 2.0? Is it a new mobile operating system? Something is not in place, I wondered if this could possibly be a smart launch for a new product on social media. It took me another day or two to figure out that there is no new phone!

Unboxing #BonTheOriginal

#BonTheOriginal went online with a microsite inviting fans to be part of the irresistible bon 6 - Unboxing #bontheoriginal on Feb 6, 2014. Popular MTV VJ Bani J and Indian actress Kriti Kharbanda who is quite popular down south were roped in to boost the campaign.

Both the influencers, who have a massive youth appeal both offline and online gave a stiff competition to the Apples and Lollipops by building the excitement for the new Chocolaty 2.0 launch.

The buzz caught on like fire on social media with bloggers writing about the new launch, driving traffic to the portal and even some lucky ones receiving their box of surprise.

The excitement was still alive on the 5th with bon6 launching the specs. A much needed contest asked fans what is their favourite feature and why. 6 lucky bons were up for grabs.

Meanwhile the microsite had an interesting progress bar matching the countdown of the launch. The progress bar was being pushed by the continuous inflow of tweets from fans. Additionally, fans were asked to tweet about #BonTheOriginal and why they deserved one of the bons. Fans didn’t disappoint #BonTheOriginal, listed below are some of the amazing user responses:

The day arrived for the unboxing but amid rife speculations whether Bon was really a phone or a chocolate or a biscuit. Finally the secret was out, both Bani and Kirti unboxed bon6. And it wasn’t a phone or a chocolate; it was the all new irresistible New Britannia Bourbon. Clean bowled? Britannia Bourbon

Chocolaty 2.0, Power Pack, Crystal Coated Body and all other features seemed perfect for the new Bourbon. But what were the fans saying about a phone which was a chocolate biscuit from Britannia. The brand asked fans to post their reactions with a picture; a lucky one wins an iPhone6!

Looking at the expressions, it seems the gamble has paid off.  The surprise launch of the New Britannia Bourbon seems to have worked on social media.

New Britannia Bourbon TVC

With the word out Britannia Bourbon released a TVC to mark the new packaging of the chocolate cream biscuit with the tagline ‘Thoda Aur Chocolaty’ and ‘Thoda Aur Crunchy‘.

Created by McCann Erickson, the TVC is based on the brand insight that youth today like the concept of ‘Thoda Aur’ (little more). It shows a guy trying to ask a girl out for coffee at 3 pm by using Britannia Bourbon biscuits to make clock hands. The girl smiles at this sweet gesture and nods in the affirmative. In the meantime, another girl comes and moves the Britannia bourbon biscuits to make 6 pm time and bites into the biscuit. The guy is left amazed by the “Thoda aur” he gets. It ends with the voiceover ‘New Britannia Bourbon – Thoda Aur Chocolaty’ and ‘Thoda Aur Crunchy’.

“With the re-launch of Britannia Bourbon, we have re-invented the product by keeping it original with more of what we had… ‘Thoda Aur Chocolaty’ and ‘Thoda Aur Crunchy’. With this shift, we embark on a journey to strengthen our credentials with the youth of today for whom ‘Thoda Aur’ is always welcome,” Ali Harris, Marketing Director, Britannia Industries, said.

Connecting with the Millennial

Britannia rolled out the new campaign at a time when it turns 60. “We brought the first premium chocolate biscuit experience  to India 60 years ago with the Britannia Bourbon. Even today Britannia Bourbon is a favorite of chocolate biscuit experience seeking Indian consumers,” informed Ali.

Britannia, the leading player in cookies with an estimated market share of 30 percent was the pioneer in the chocolate biscuit segment. Having a Bourbon in my childhood days was a luxury, but does the young generation connect with the biscuit anymore. Over the time the market has been flooded with quite a few premium chocolate biscuit brands while Bourbon lost its charm. The challenge for the brand was to bring back the lost charm and connect with today’s youth in their language - the millennial way.

Sandip_Maiti“With the brand having a fresh advertisement and new packaging, Britannia wanted to have a refreshing digital leg so that people talk about Bourbon on social media.” added Sandip Maiti, Founder and CEO, Experience Commerce. “We came up with the idea that we are going to talk about it as if it is a smartphone since it is the most important thing in a young persons life. Even if we have a new phone we are always dreaming about the next new phone.”

The idea was innovative but at the same time risky. We have seen a majority of brands hesitate to try out something new on social media because of the notion - what if it fails. That’s why an ideal launch today is to make a TVC (to be read as the 4 min long ad films), do a small contest with contest players on Twitter who will go berserk for a new iPhone, get trended, and if you have more budgets invest in media buying and there you are with the tried and tested recipe.

Britannia resisted the vanilla way of launching the product on digital with the able support of Experience Commerce. “It was risky but with this idea we thought of invading the conversations of youth on social media. The creatives gave a feeling of a new phone launch but if you go one step down it was clear that it can’t be a phone. In the past, conversations used to happen with a pack of Bourbon and we took inspiration from it and tried implementing it on social media.The intention was to have fun and never to fool anyone.”

Bold move clicks with fans

Campaign numbers are yet to be revealed but observing the campaign for the last few days on social media gives a clear indication that the move has been appreciated. According to market reports, 40% of cream biscuit consumption is by Indian youth aged between 15 to 25 years. Britannia knows that youth with mobiles as best friends, is its pivotal target audience.

The idea to build the initial hype around a new phone followed by the surprise product reveal was risky but cleverly played. The website content and the visual creatives shared on social media didn’t make any false promises but was optimum enough to kick start the conversations. The other highlight of the digital campaign was the smart placement of simple contests, that kept the buzz going for the three days to the final reveal. The final day included a promoted tweet to drive people to the hashtag that was already buzzing with campaign conversations. Smart move to first build conversations the organic way, leverage the reach of online influencers and later push more eyeballs to the conversation with media buying.

The conversation trail on social media clearly hints that fans are overjoyed with the smart and fun launch. According to industry estimates, India’s biscuit market is worth Rs.23,000 crore and growing at the rate of 8% per annum as of September, 2014. With this innovative and daring product launch of Bourbon, Britannia would be hoping to grow its share over the 25% premium category.