Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Breaking the stereotype – one cup of tea at a time

Published in Mar-Apr 2017

Tapal's recent ad campaign aims to break gender stereotypes and celebrate modern, independent women.

With 63% of the population under the age of 25 (source: UNICEF), Pakistan has one of the largest young populations in Asia. Of the 50 million people that fall in the 18 to 25 age bracket, 55% comprise urbanised young people. Furthermore, the rapid urbanisation witnessed in the past few years (40% in 2016 compared with 32% in 2011 according to the Ministry of Finance), along with increased exposure levels, have resulted in significant changes in the urban landscape. Notable among these changes is the percentage of women now in employment and the consequent increase in their purchasing power – and at a deeper level, a gradual change in conventional gender roles.

These changes form the key insight behind Tapal Danedar’s recent campaigns. Tapal is the market leader in Pakistan’s tea industry, accounting for 45% of the market (source: Nielsen); Unilever follows at 24% and Eastern Tea Company at 16%, with the balance coming from smaller regional brands. Of Tapal’s 45% share, Danedar (the company’s premium leaf brand) accounts for approximately 18%, and based on the company’s internal research, has a wider penetration in the urban areas.

To further increase their market share, and keeping in mind the significance of urban penetration for the brand’s growth, in 2014 Tapal realigned its positioning with the objective of drawing in a younger age bracket into their consumer fold. The result was the campaign ‘Tum, Mein Aur Aik Cup Chai’ featuring Fawad Khan and Momal Shaikh released in late 2014, and a follow-up campaign in January 2017, featuring Sanam Saeed and Adeel Hussain.

The 2014 campaign promoted the bond between husbands and wives, but with a gender role reversal theme, by showing the husband helping his wife with household tasks, such as making tea. The current campaign goes a step further and now the husband is not only helping out in the kitchen, he is also taking care of the child.

According to Nida Haider, Managing Partner and Brand Strategy Director, IAL Saatchi & Saatchi (Tapal’s creative agency), changing mindsets have not only resulted in the rise of nuclear families, but also changed the dynamics of young marriages. “There is more connection and friendship between couples now; the woman is not just the daughter-in-law or mother in the family set-up, her opinion as an equal partner carries more weight now.”

Haider says that although tea has many functional drivers (boosts stamina, revitalises energy), an emotional driver is that it builds intimacy and helps people unwind. “We built on this emotional driver and layered it with an insight about acknowledging quiet, relaxed moments between couples.”

“No one talks about the exhaustion new mothers face, yet in those moments, if your husband offers to make you a cup of tea and helps out with the child, it seems like pure bliss!”

Commenting on how the 2017 iteration evolved, Haider adds that “no one talks about the exhaustion new mothers face, yet in those moments, if your husband offers to make you a cup of tea and helps out with the child, it seems like pure bliss!”

The campaign has been released across all media, and although the results will be released at the end of the first quarter, Zulfiqar Ansari, Head of Marketing, Tapal, says that the idea of “gender role reversal has resonated really well with the young, especially on digital. The shares, likes, comments and general feedback suggest that this new approach has been well received.”

Ansari adds that beneath the seemingly simple veneer of a friendly husband-wife relationship lies a social message that Tapal hopes to convey.

“As a brand, rather than promoting wrong stereotypes, it is our responsibility to help shape positive mindsets and attitudes. We need to show more independent modern women and supportive husbands. Not every brand aims to win a Lion or an Effie by communicating the social message in an aggressive way; some just do it softly and subtly.”