Monday, January 10, 2011

Parle ropes in Ravi Kishan as brand ambassadors



India's top biscuit maker, Parle Products, is going regional with its marketing strategy. The maker of Monaco, Parle-G and Hide & Seek biscuits has roped in Bhojpuri super star Ravi Kishan for endorsing Monaco salty biscuits.
The company has decided not to have a national-level brand ambassador and did not renew its endorsement contract with Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan that ended in mid-2010, a top official said.
"We are putting a regional focus on Monaco now, which is why we did not feel the need to sign a national-level star," Parle Products group brand manager Shalin Desai said.
Parle's decision to rope in regional brand ambassadors reflects marketers' increasing focus on rural markets. Anirban Das Blah, MD of celebrity management firm Kwan, said, "Getting regional celebrities for endorsements works out very cost-effective for brands, and helps them to establish a huge connect with regional audiences." Parle's Desai said the company's decision not to extend Aamir's contract was based purely on the brand's new regional strategy and to connect better with regional audiences.
"Aamir's contract was for a two-year period and we achieved our targets on a national level in those two years," Desai added.
While Bhojpuri super star Ravi Kishan will promote Monaco in the Hindi belts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Besides featuring in television commercials, the regional stars will be seen in a series of below-the-line promotions and brand activations for Monaco biscuits.
Late last year, packaged consumer goods maker Dabur signed Ravi Kishan to endorse its Chyawanprash brand exclusively for localised below-the-line activities such as interactions with consumers, dealers and stockists.