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The popular Star Plus daily soap ‘Anupama’ is ruling almost every household TV screen across India. The show has been topping the BARC ratings every week. The ad rates to advertise during the show are more than any other general entertainment shows.

While many brands are ready to pay a premium to be visible in ad breaks during Anupama’s air time, one company thought to bank on the show’s popularity, not through ads, but content, i.e Parag Milk Foods. 

We have heard about brand placements quite often, but in one of the biggest brand integrations on TV shows, two weeks ago in episode 803 of Anupama, the lead couple Anupama (Rupali Ganguly), Anuj Kapadia (Gaurav Khanna) and their daughter Chhoti Anu were seen visiting the Parag Milk Foods cheese brand Go Cheese’s factory during a trip. 

The 8-minute long integration was facilitated by Madison Media and was completed in 15 days time. 

Akshali Shah

Akshali Shah, Executive Director of Parag Milk Foods, told BuzzInContent that the company wanted to do brand integration in the show for a very long time, but was waiting for the right opportunity where the company’s brand could be seamlessly integrated. 

As part of the integration, Anuj, Anupama, Anu visited the factory during a trip and learnt how cheese is made. 

Shah commented, “It is one of the nicest integrations, to be honest. A lot of people are unaware of how cheese is made. People go abroad and visit the cheese and chocolate factories of the world, but we have something like this in India. Even Star Plus was very open and excited about this.”

Talking about the brand’s objective behind the integration, Shah shared, “The entire objective was to show that we are a completely integrated company. We have a farm full of 5,000 cows. We have our own procurement and manufacturing unit. The objective was to show that the company has complete control from procurement to manufacturing and distribution. In fact, we also grow our own food for the cows.” 

She added, “On top of that, the kind of viewership and rating Anupama has made the most sense for us to collaborate with Star Plus.” 

Shah also pointed out that the characters of the show, Anupama and her daughter, are very relatable to the Go Cheese target audience. Hence, it further made sense for them to do brand integration in the show. 

“Through the integration, we got to inform viewers that we have our farms, grow food for the cows, we have our distribution channels and variety of cheese to offer. We collaborated with Star Plus’ Anupama because of the characters. We wanted to show this mother-child bonding, which is similar to our TG”, said Shah. 

When asked if Parag Milk Foods would be doing more such integrations across other shows, Shah answered, “I don’t know if we’ll be doing more such integrations but would like to showcase our strength: our manufacturing, farms, the kind of work we do to make our products come to life. We would like to educate people about cheese. Although people are getting more aware of cheese and including it in their diet, it’s still limited to Pizza and Pasta. We want people to use cheese beyond it.” 

Along with the 8-minute of Go Cheese integration into the show, the channel along with the brand also did some build-up around the integration through social media. The lead actors Rupali and Gaurav themselves posted about the integration on their social media handles and much more. 

The show’s promo to promote the Go Cheese integration:

Gaurav Khanna’s post:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Gaurav Khanna (@gauravkhannaofficial)


Rupali Ganguly’s post:

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A post shared by Rups (@rupaliganguly)

Not just Go Cheese, but Anupama (Rupali) also promoted Parag Milk Foods’ Govardhan Ghee and Pride of Cows in the show before this massive integration for Go Cheese. In the show, she was shown cooking using Govardhan Ghee. 

Talking about the growing importance of content marketing, Shah said that content marketing is more impactful than normal advertising. “Nowadays, people want to consume content in ad-free spaces. Therefore, content marketing is becoming very important and crucial as people are avoiding ads.” 

While content marketing is becoming more popular, the right approach towards how one integrates the brand into the content is of high importance. Shah pointed out that we must ensure that the brand’s product is not shown every now and then in the content, disrupting the consumer’s content consumption experience. 

“Even in Anupama, we did not show our product pack every two seconds. We ensured that the integration looked very natural, part of the plot and seamless,” added Shah.

Shah went on to share that Parag Milk Foods has taken a conscious decision to shift from regular media buying to doing more content marketing. Now the company invests 80% of its media budget into content marketing. “We have been building the brand for the last 10 years, but now we have consciously taken a call to do more show integrations seamlessly,” she said.

According to her, the biggest challenge in the route of content marketing is to ensure seamless integration of the brand into the content. “We need to think out of the box and do innovations. A lot of time goes into strategy and planning when you think of content marketing. But as long as you have the viewers' eyeballs and attention, it’s fine. Even in Anupama, we had to ensure that the brand fits the storyline and not suddenly crop up.” she added.