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Camlin investing in product development, not TV ads

Social media is at the centre of the brand’s current marketing strategies

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MUMBAI: Be it the hilarious ad of its permanent markers that showed a dead man resuscitating back to life because of its indelible power or an emotional and sensitive ad of a little school kid sharing his colour set and sketchbook with a poor boy, Camlin India had once been in the race of most iconic ad maker brands. But for quite some years, the story of the brand’s marketing tactics has seen a massive shift. There are no more such stories that stay with the viewer and a growing focus on digital is in the loop.

Indiantelevision.com recently interacted with Kokuyo Camlin CMO Saumitra Prasad to know more about this shift in the approach. He shared, “Camlin has been investing in developing superior products far more than investing in TV campaigns and that differentiates it from other players.”

On being quizzed what is his strategy to make the brand visibility grow without focusing much on the TV ads, Prasad noted, “We have tried to create strong communication for markers and mechanical pencils in the past which has served its objective. Currently, social media has become our main source of communication. Our Facebook page has more than 8 lakh fans.  We have even created applications to promote products and the brand’s promise of making learning fun. Also, Camlin is an active partner of Kidzania in both Mumbai and Delhi to organise a brand experience to its consumers and it has given us great visibility.”

He added, “Camlin being the oldest brand in stationery has a legacy and thus it’s both a privilege and a challenge to manage the brand in its transition of contemporising it without losing its old qualities. While past generations have grown using only Camlin and would always prefer us, today’s children have too many choices and they will not accept our brand just because it’s their parent’s favourite brand. And today’s children are not only very discerning but also strongly influencing the decisions of purchase so they need to be on the side of the brand. Camlin is now a part of the global Japanese company Kokuyo which makes it rich with systems and processes.”

The brand is extensively focusing on making its products more contemporary and visually appealing by placing a lot of effort on branding and packaging. But only this might not be enough for the brand to top the charts in the stationery market, which Prasad predicts is expected to grow at 9-10 per cent in the coming years.

He shared, “Camlin has a very high-aided awareness but we will have to accept that when it comes to the top of mind awareness there are many brands which are taking away that share. There are categories in which we have a dominant share like crayons, water colours, poster colours, geometry box, mechanical pencils, markers but at the same time there are categories where we are not the lead brand, like pens and notebooks.”

The focus is now on the notebook category by developing great products and supporting it with communication and activation support to increase trials and market share.

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