Kashmir Cooking Oil recently launched their new communication campaign, the highlight of which was a TVC featuring the Teefa in Trouble stars Ali Zafar and Maya Ali. The campaign was supported by a complete rebranding effort, including a revamped logo and a new corporate identity, positioning Kashmir as a premium edible oil brand.
Pakistan has more than 70 ghee/cooking oil brands, yet the unregulated and unpackaged cooking oil category accounts for about 80% of total sales. Pakistan has more than 150 ghee/cooking oil manufacturing units and a total consumption of about four million tons per year, 86% of which is catered by imported oils/oilseeds. With a growing population and rising income levels, this consumption is expected to rise by three to five percent a year, making it an increasingly attractive market for local and foreign players.
This strong potential for growth is the reason behind Kashmir Cooking Oil’s new campaign, says Mian Shahzad Khalid, Group Marketing Director, Kashmir Cooking Oil.
“We are almost doubling our capacity with the installation of a new refinery, which is a big thing. We are breaking boundaries and gaining ground in new cities. We decided to do a new communication that promoted a change in our corporate branding as well as a packaging revamp.”
Kashmir’s campaign, especially the TVC, represents a new direction towards inspirational advertising in contrast to previous TVCs that were largely functional, aiming solely at promoting a healthy lifestyle with close-up, stylised shots of various vegetables being cooked.
According to Zareen Rathor, Creative Director, RED Communication Arts (Kashmir’s creative agency), given that Kashmir is a 56-year-old brand with well-established product attributes, the need was to move away from functionality and go for a bigger purpose.
For Kashmir, ‘young’ is a state of mind and not just the age of a person. “We are targeting anyone and everyone who is young at heart and has an experimental chef in them. We didn’t define our market demographically; we created psychographic division.”
The big idea is Khaana To Bahana Hai focusing on the fact that food is not only essential for survival; in Pakistani society, “food is just an excuse to get together and Kashmir acts as an enabler in bringing people together,” affirms Khalid.
In Rathor’s opinion, brand equity is developed when the communication resonates with people at a deeper level and this is only possible when the brand has something meaningful to say that can capture a share of people’s hearts. “And this is what we did. It wasn’t a hard sell. We weren’t telling people about the product attributes; we were trying to connect with them.”
Although the campaign did evoke some criticism that it was a lazy effort to win over Millennials by using a tried and tested formula of throwing celebrities into a kitchen family setting, Rathor counters this by saying that “the stories the other ads tell are not about real homes. They lack the warmth and lived-in feel of a home. We have shown something that everyone can relate to. We made it a youth-oriented ad because the majority of the population is young. When a newly married couple moves to a separate home, they have to choose the right oil and although they are usually open to change, they will only do so in favour of something they believe is better and that they can relate to.”
Rathor adds that Kashmir has a different definition of the word ‘young’. For Kashmir, ‘young’ is a state of mind and not just the age of a person. “We are targeting anyone and everyone who is young at heart and has an experimental chef in them. We didn’t define our market demographically; we created psychographic division.”
In keeping with the objective, the new packaging features bold colours signalling a departure from their decades’ old scheme of yellow and green. The question is: Will customers be able to recognise the brand on the shelf?
According to Ahmreen Basit, GM Marketing, Kashmir Cooking Oil, “a few years ago, changing the packaging, especially in a category where packaging is not changed frequently, was a big risk. But trends have changed. The young prefer something different and we had to revamp the packaging accordingly.”
When it comes to market share, the company says it has grown significantly in new markets and they have doubled their orders compared to the previous year; even in parts of the country where Kashmir did not have a presence in the past.
“When the government nationalised the edible oil category in 1973, brands could only market in the region they were based in and even after the category was de-nationalised, most brands stuck to their region. In the areas where we are strong, we sell our product at a much higher price compared to Dalda and Sufi – and they do not even figure as competition in Faisalabad, Sargodha or Jhang. However, expanding to new markets is always a major challenge and we have overcome this.”
Kashmir’s current market share stands at approximately two percent. The goal is to overtake Dalda’s (which Kashmir considers their major competitor) eight percent share.
Khalid believes that such challenges have helped Kashmir Oil grow stronger. “Wherever there is a challenge, there is an opportunity. For example when the food authorities imposed strict hygiene standards, it was an opportunity for us because we maintain the highest standards of food safety. Now the government has decided to ban the manufacturing and sale of banaspati ghee by 2020 (banaspati still accounts for an 80% share of the total oil category) and when this happens, these consumers will shift to oil and this will be a huge opportunity to expand and grow our market share.”
Kashmir’s current market share stands at approximately two percent. The goal is to overtake Dalda’s (which Kashmir considers their major competitor) eight percent share. Whether they succeed in this endeavour or not through the adoption of their new positioning, one thing is certain; the brand is determined to stay open to change and evolve, just like their target market.