A precursor to Cadbury India’s idea of supporting local stores

Cadbury’s new “This is not just a Cadbury ad”, wherein, in the garb of a Cadbury’s Celebrations (positioned as Mithai for Deepavali) ad film they showcase names of local stores based on the viewer’s pin code, is one among many recent ads that have larger brands hoping to help local, neighborhood stores affected by the pandemic.

Where the Cadbury ad differs is that it goes beyond merely talking about the fact that we, as users, need to consciously choose to buy from local shops (implying that we need to look beyond the e-commerce behemoths that we are so accustomed to, also because of the lockdown-induced habit), and go into specifics. Cadbury’s is the first Indian ad campaign that names specific local stores as a finger-pointing exercise, for us to consider them during our festive purchases. Whether a fleeting mention of the shop and location is enough to make us consider them is a different question, of course.

One of the first ad campaigns that fed us the idea that we need to consciously consider local stores is Axis Bank’s Reverse The Khata, conceived by Lowe Lintas, in June.

There were no specifics in that campaign and it remained at a generic level exhorting us to select local stores as a way to support them.

This campaign theme is different from the ‘we’re open for business’ theme that has been adopted by even more brands.

PhonePe’s Unstoppable India was the first in that series, by Leo Burnett India:

Titan’s Let’s Get India Ticking was the second, in that series, by Lowe Lintas:

But when it comes to Cadbury-level specificity, by naming local stores as a way to help them, there is a direct precursor from another country, from June 2020.

Nutri is a company from Ecuador that is into food products. Given the range of products they have—milk, milk-based products, fruit juices etc.—they seem like the Amul kind of company, in Ecuador, to me, as an outsider.

Back in June 2020, they got their local agency, DDB Ecuador, to produce a simpler, sharper forerunner to Cadbury’s Indian attempt in October 2020.

The campaign was called ‘One More Page’.

What Nutri did was to add an extra page under the Classifieds ads section of 3 leading local newspapers and listed 400 local entrepreneurs/local shops from several cities in Ecuador like Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca among others! The details included the name of the shop/service, a brief 2-line about what they have to offer, and contact details.

Now, classified ads are not very expensive in print newspapers and most of these local shops and services could afford to advertise themselves in classified slots too. But what they wouldn’t get is the visibility, and may get lost among the many tiny classified ads.

Allow me to show you how a normal classifieds page looks like and how different Nutri’s dedicated classifieds page looked like, from the newspaper El Mercurio, on June 12, 2020, for you to fully appreciate the effort that truly deserves the ‘One More Page’ title! On the left is the normal classifieds page (called Clasificados). On the right is the special ‘One More Page’, Nutri Clasificados! It almost looks like a full-page ad by Nutri where they have generously let small businesses and services to advertise!

What Nutri did was to use its size (based on media budgets) and partner with leading newspapers like El Universo and El Mercurio to offer a dedicated page for the effort. 400 local shops and services were able to feature their services and contact details on the dedicated page for which Nutri picked up the tab, with a note at the bottom, explaining the cause and the reason.

Nutri did not advertise its own products on this page – it merely took on the role of an enabler and simply added its logo with a small explanation. Because it was a dedicated page for this effort, the collective effort and page gains extra visibility, much more than a standard classifieds ads section.

The simplicity of this idea is amazing. This is something that any Indian brand could pull off very easily by tying up with a local newspaper!

Incidentally, Nutri has also been sharing such classifieds on their online properties too.

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