Kingfisher redefines 'Original Social Network' with new ad campaign

MUMBAI: Amidst the blazing presence of several social media and networking platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and Pinterest, it is hard to imagine a way to socialise and network without needing to share, like, tweet, tag and hashtag others. However, the fact remains that people did network, hangout and have vibrant discussions even before social media existed; be it over hot steaming mugs of coffee, at the dinner table at home or over clinking bottles of beers at parties. Kingfisher strikes this note with a new cleverly crafted campaign that declares the popular alco-beverage brand from United Beverage Limited as the Original Social Network.

Through a series of seven short and snappy videos titled Channel, Follow, Check In, Whatsapp Tick, Sharing, Trending and Tinder, the brand establishes Kingfisher beer as an essential element of socialising while using modern social media jargon like ‘#TheRightSwipe’ for Tinder, ‘share’, ‘like’ and the concept of double ticks on Whatsapp.

While JWT is the creative agency for the campaign, Kingfisher has given the digital mandate for the same to 22feet Tribal Worldwide

“Until recently before the advent of social media, networking was around beer.  Now, after seeing the new way youngsters socialise we thought of giving a new spin to the old idea of networking over beers, yet giving the modern terminology that the youth is familiar with,” United Breweries marketing senior vice president Samar Singh Sheikhawat tells

Taking the digital first route, the brand plans to release the campaign on digital platforms a week before its scheduled release on television and other traditional media, which is slotted for the beginning of April, followed by a 360 degree marketing campaign for the same.

“Keeping in mind that partnerships is the way forward, we are engaging with Google, Facebook and Twitter and plan to sign annual agreements with such platforms across all our campaigns. We are currently in dialogue with Google, Adobe and Twitter with whom we will be signing partnership contracts with an aim to become the most salient alco-bev brands across these platforms over the next few years. Given the nature, magnitude and aim of the campaign, the brand is heavily investing into The Original Social Network," says Sheikhawat.

"Between television and digital it’s a very large component of our spends. In the financial year 2015 - 2016, almost 15 per cent of our spends on marketing for brand Kingfisher will go into The Original Social Network. For the next year (2016 - 2017), we will be increasing the spends to 20 per cent," reveals Sheikhawat revealing that the brand intends to shoot an original film to take the campaign to the next phase.

"If one were to consider the peripheral promotional videos, the budget for the campaign may go up to 25 per cent," asserts Sheikhawat.

Alcoholic beverage brands have long mastered the art of surrogate advertising without making direct reference or showcasing the same in traditional media. Some use music cassettes and CDs, while others use websites as references. It is no doubt a creative challenge for marketers of alcoholic beverages to come up with new innovative ways to make a brand statement.

"I think the industry has found a way around it. We, at Kingfisher have a viable alternative, which is the Rs 200 crore packaged drinking water brand from Kingfisher. Unlike other brands, we use this legitimate viable product to our advantage,” Sheikhawat shares.

Keeping the constraints in mind the new campaign becomes all the more important for it highlights the moments around the product rather than the product itself.

“If we connote the micro moments around beer, we can find nomenclature for the same in social media that we are used to. So we thought it would be a good idea if we could build a campaign on this sentiment that marries both worlds of networking,” he adds.

On the digital front, since YouTube doesn't allow alcohol advertising, Kingfisher will go for a non product communication of the brand on the platform. The same goes for the open page that the brand has on Facebook. On the other hand, on its age-gated page, the brand will go for product advertising. 

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