Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tasty, yummy, comedy...

...are the three themes that Yum! Brands has showcased successfully in its ad campaigns
What do you get when an American company banking on Italian culinary decides to tantalise Indian taste buds and promotes its cuisine through Mexican ads? Utter chaos? Or a mouth-watering extravaganza? Or both? Well, looks like a mouth-watering extravaganza is what the ubiquitous brand – Pizza Hut from the stable of Yum! Brands has in mind while baking a recipe for its die-hard consumers.

The QSR brand from the country of Uncle Sam forayed into India way back in 1997, but unlike other players (read Domino’s), Pizza Hut never Indianised its product or pricing. No wonder, at the onset, the advertising campaigns were also very global in their approach. Mexican style or an overall global appeal was the core focus of the advertising strategy. This was where the company made a colossal blunder, as their strategy flopped big time. This was a welcome bonanza for other fast food chains like Domino’s and McDonald’s, who stole the show with their desi menu and easy on the pocket pricing.

Yum! Brands’ Indian safari suffered a major setback and they had to put a stymie to their KFC brand in India. For the fast food major, it was back to the drawing boards to once again revisit their strategies, which had let them down at the first place. Yum! Brands revamped its entire 4Ps. Niren Chaudhary, MD, Yum! Restaurants India Pvt. told 4Ps B&M, “We made certain mistakes and we had our lessons to learn. We stuck it out with Pizza Hut. Like we optimised our value proposition with Indian market, we made sure we were relevant to Indian consumer and our advertising also necessarily needed to portray that.” So in 2000, Pizza Hut came out with an ad campaign conveying the localisation message of their brand with humour.

The ad featuring Bollywood comedian Javed Jaffrey was an instant hit, and the rest, as they say, is history. Thereafter, tickling the funny bone became a common backdrop in all promotional campaigns of Pizza Hut. Recalls Chaudhary, “Such ads really helped us and other things also started taking up. We became the leader in pizza segment and we have seen a zoom in sales by as much as 50% in Pizza Hut.” Pizza Hut has now announced plans to roll out more customised ads featuring its different products. But to cash in on the sizzling hot gastronomic Indian economy, a smashing menu is not adequate. The pricing factor is an equally crucial issue and Pizza Hut started slashing its prices. “Whether it’s ‘Treat for Two’ or other campaigns, all ads convey the economical side of the product as well. “This was necessary to attract more consumers,” says a spokesperson from JWT.

After successfully establishing its Pizza Hut brand, Yum! Brands is now busy promoting KFC and here the message is to promote it as a trendy hang-out. This is pretty evident in the recent ads of KFC, featuring a dating couple enjoying eating at KFC. But unlike Pizza Hut who focused more on the economical and localisation aspect in the initial phase, KFC’s focus is more on the quality side of the brand.

And for all you food lovers out there, what you have got is a yummy pizza along with tantalising fried chicken – talk about a double whammy!

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2008

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist)

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