Advertising do digital efforts for FMCG need offline support?

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The online banner campaign for has been quite visible on ad portals like over the last few days. Pegged as the Hunt for India’s True Snexy, ‘7 snacks are going head to head with each other over a period of 15 days and 5 rounds to garner most love and vote from people so as to come out as India’s most loved snack‘.

The campaign, created by Experience Commerce is a brave and refreshing one because it’s taken a different path from the ‘tried & tested’ 30-sec TV spot for the launch of an FMCG brand.

Folks at the office think its the precursor to the launch of Britannia’s Nutrichoice Thins. If it is so, the effort is even more laudable since its a break from the typical ‘serious’ tone of voice in the health space. But going by the number of supporters to each category (namkeen had 1218 supporters when I checked last), the number of followers over at Twitter or the Facebook page, one can’t help get the feeling that the campaign deserved more buzz and participation.

I am not aware if the campaign met expectations but one gets the feeling that perhaps they overestimated people’s enthusiasm to talk & share stuff about samosa or panipuri. It also leads me to believe that in India, still the most reliable (but cost ineffective) method to promote a digital effort is to go offline with it. Personally speaking I visited the online properties of Quaker Oats and Saffola after seeing a print or TV ad. The oft-quoted Sunsilk Gang of Girls received huge TV effort years ago during the launch phase, to boost traffic to the site. Have things really changed since then? Do brands, especially FMCG brands which operate in the ‘everyday’ use need an offline TV or print campaign to boost their online properties?

One has the Kolaveri phenomenon on the other hand, where great content went viral simply through a (free, I may add) tweet and a video upload. But does that rule really apply to a commercial project like selling a food brand? Or it is it all about content irrespective of the category? While the Snexy content could’ve been tweaked to create more enthusiastic participation & sharing, in India brands may still need the backing of a mass-media led approach to promote their online properties. What say?

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  1. Thank you for reviewing our campaign. You got it right! Only thing I would like to add is that the #of supporters is not the only measure (since most people hesitate to leave emails); we have over 30,000 actively rating/sharing the snacks already. By this weekend, we hope to touch 200,000. That is our goal.

    However I am not sure offline support is the solution. We could have gotten a faster liftoff with high impact creative online advertising – that could have been a cost effective alternative.

    Do check out another of Britannia's campaigns at

    • Thanks, Sandip. Congrats on the initiative. 200,000 is a large number – all the best. Must say that there's obviously been a lot of thinking and effort in creating all the characters (very detailed), the various rounds and the blog. Here's hoping more FMCG majors will take up to Digital in a big way in the months to come.

      On offline vs online for FMCG, I would say it depends on the category & the creative idea. For everyday mundane products TV is still king and even if they come on board to digital with an interesting concept/execution will the audience warm up to participation purely through online ads? I have my doubts.

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