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Last year in September, Mother Dairy launched its campaign ‘Paneer packed hai to safe hai’. It brought on board actor Neena Gupta to endorse the campaign, which was divided into three phases, which includes leveraging radio, digital-led RJ advocacy, print, OTT and social to sustain it across all mediums. Recently, to keep the momentum going, the brand collaborated with influencers, who in their own creative ways promoted the use of Mother Dairy’s packaged paneer.

Shedding more light on the brand’s influencer marketing strategy, Sanjay Sharma, Business Head, Dairy Products, Mother Dairy, said, “The influencer-led route was best suited for our campaign because the influencers are also consumers and operate within the social eco-system of a common consumer like me or you. Also, any important communication leading to a change in a particular behaviour, say purchasing behaviour, needs trust. Everyone considers recommendations if it comes from someone they know. Recommendations coming from credible individuals add weightage to the message. The influencer marketing route leads to a strong engagement, relatability, and the possibility of tailor-made campaigns elicit strong levels of memory encoding for the consumers.”

The campaign is conceptualised and executed by Wavemaker India. According to the data provided by content marketing agency Sheeko, the influencer-driven campaign has reached over 2.5 million people in a media value pegged around Rs 25-30 lakh.

Sheeko Brandscore graph of the brand’s performance on Instagram over one year:

Talking about the insight of the campaign, Karthik Nagarajan, Chief Content Officer, Wavemaker India, said, “Loose paneer in India has a big market and seemingly perceived to be fresh by the consumers, but in reality, in general, found to be contaminated with coliform bacteria. Loose paneer is wrapped in paper and put in plastic and sold in an unhygienic condition which is not recommended. And the need for ‘precaution’ in the time of pandemic is more than ever. Packaged paneer like Mother Dairy Paneer is crafted with naturally sourced food protectant and hygienically packaged.”

These days, influencer marketing has become a crucial aspect of any brand communication. But to create differentiation in any influencer-driven campaign isn’t that easy. Even while the brand has taken the tried and tested line of communication, where mothers show trust in packed paneer, it has onboarded an interesting mix of creators. Some are mothers, some have mother characters in their content; some talk about their mothers/fathers. The key ingredient of this influencer marketing activity is the kind of influencers the brand has associated with. These influencers talk to the mothers and fathers of today’s day and age and are known to create content across a variety of genres. They are modern and yet are able to advocate for the brand in a highly used context of ‘mothers and fathers’ trust’. Mother Dairy’s campaign stands out as it involves a varied mix of influencers, yet keeping the motherly communication central to the content. If one doesn’t get the mix of influencers right, it can lead to a lot of spillage on digital platforms.

For example, Sameera is a mother with modern-day values. She even brings her kid into the video.

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A post shared by Sameera Reddy (@reddysameera)

Dolly has a popular mother character in many of her content.

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A post shared by Dolly Singh (@dollysingh)

Mandira Bedi is a mother and also a fitness enthusiast.

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A post shared by Mandira Bedi (@mandirabedi)

Pooja Dhingra is a celebrity chef and turns out to be the most apt advocate for cooking-related products. Her post also features her father.

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A post shared by Pooja Dhingra (@poojadhingra)

Neena Gupta’s post:

While most of the influencers in this campaign are women, and mostly mothers, understandably to show that the paneer is approved by mothers, the brand also collaborated with Aparshakti Khurana.

Aparshakti’s post:

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A post shared by Aparshakti Khurana (@aparshakti_khurana)

Nagarajan told BuzzInContent that the agency has carefully selected the influencers keeping in mind the varied TG of the brand. He said, “The idea was to reach maximum TG through diversified content creators and their genre. Neena Gupta relates/represent mother figure in the household whereas influencers such as Sameera Reddy represent the new-age women. We had Mandira Bedi who is a fitness enthusiast and Aparshakti Khurana and Dolly Singh to relate with the younger generation in a fun yet influential manner. Apart from this, there were some content amplifiers that we did initially to build upon the campaign.” 

Giving the reason behind using Aparshakti as the only male influencer among all the female lot in the campaign, Sharma said, “The idea of having a mix of influencers is to amplify content that is relatable across varied age-groups and genre. It is true that women – mostly mothers – have been the long-time decision-makers. However, decision-making has also seen a shift and distribution in new-age families or nuclear families or single living individuals, irrespective of gender. In order to reach out to a larger consumer base covering our entire target audience, various influencers have been taken on board.”

In each of the influencer’s post, the brand has ensured that they do mention the hygiene factor, which is one important aspect that the brands are banking on these days given the current scenario.

Sharma added, “The approach was to be different from the clutter and yet not generic. We felt there was a need to be updated with the most relevant messaging according to our environment stimuli, especially when there’s a phenomenon that is affecting the entire world. Today, consumers would only notice you when you talk in the current context.”

He said, “Through the campaign #PaneerPackedHaiTohSafeHai, we intend to create awareness among the consumers about packaged paneer being hygienic. It is pertinent to note that the nutritious values of any food product are derivative of the food safety and hygiene measures being taken during its preparation and manufacturing. Mother Dairy Paneer is produced with naturally sourced food protectant and is hygienically packaged using Reduced Oxygen Packaging (vacuum packed) to keep natural aroma, freshness and micronutrients.”

Traditionally, paneer ads have focused on product attributes such as quality or taste. But Mother Dairy choose to focus on the packaging aspect of its campaign.

Sharma explained, “It is true that earlier campaigns on a category like paneer largely talked about the product attributes revolving around superior taste experience. In today’s times, we understand that there is a growing preference for packaged food. Such a shift has been seen across food categories like atta, oil, dahi, etc., which were consumed in a loose format, and are now being consumed in packaged format. This transition has happened over the last 10-20 years and packaged options of these categories are being preferred, especially in urban markets. Such an immense transformation for a category like paneer was out of place in the market.”

He said, “Being one of the leading players in this category, we understood the potential as well as the need to re-look at the overall consumer awareness and sentiments towards the paneer category. Hence, we came up with the distinguished communication narrative of #PaneerPackedHaiTohSafeHai – taking the focus on the packaging aspect and educating our consumers about the benefits, hygiene and safety facets associated with packaged paneer. Packaged paneer has its own set of benefits and safety associated with it that are many-a-times compromised in a loose avatar.”

It is interesting to see a legacy brand like Mother Dairy, which has in the past always relied on traditional media like TV and newspaper, do content with Instagram influencers to engage with the younger mass.

Recently, the brand has set a standard with a couple of highly successful campaigns. On Raksha Bandhan, Mother Dairy associated with actor and social media influencer Jannat Zubair for its sweets range. In the video, Jannat and her brother Ayaan played the ‘Balloon Laughter Challenge’, adhering to the brand positioning of #RishtonKaSwadBadhaye.

On Mother’s Day, Mother Dairy had collaborated with stand-up comedian and writer Zakir Khan, who recited the poem, 'Maa ke haath ka khaana' for Mother Dairy Fresh Delights.