Earlier this year, in January-February, Mondeléz Pakistan introduced a ‘new and improved’ Tang via an advertising campaign that was primarily visible on TV and in the digital space.
According to Rashna Abdi, Chief Creative Officer, IAL Saatchi & Saatchi, “the objective was to launch the new Tang formulation and packaging and clearly communicate that Tang’s new taste is better than ever.”
The TVC centres on young children and their mothers; according to Abdi, although young children are the core target, their mothers are the decision-makers. Another objective was to communicate the exact number of tablespoons required to make a perfect jug or glass of Tang.
Tang has been manufactured and distributed by Mondeléz Pakistan since 2012; prior to this, the brand was part of the Lakson Group’s portfolio. In addition to Tang, Mondeléz Pakistan distribute brands such as Cadbury’s and Trident. According to Arij Awais, Senior Brand Manager – Gum, Candy & Beverages, Mondeléz Pakistan, one of the reasons why a new formulation was introduced was because Mondeléz realised that a significant proportion of their audience preferred imported Tang because in their opinion, it tasted better. This feedback resulted in a change in the raw materials and recipe and led to the introduction of the ‘New Tang’.
For Abdi, the biggest challenge in the campaign was to communicate a “rather delicate and challenging message – formulation change. This had to be done in a way that was acceptable and within the brand’s equity parameters.” She adds that this was IAL’s first campaign for Tang and that despite the challenges it posed, the agency is “super happy with the execution.”
Awais adds that Tang is consumed mainly at home and not on the go like other drinks; it is made by mothers for their children at home and this forms the 'DNA' of Tang.
Tang’s positioning has also changed slightly. While it is still associated with children, their mothers and fun, it is now branded as a “refreshing summer drink,” rather than a drink advertised only during special occasions such as Ramzan or sporting events.
Tang is available in five flavours – apple, lemon and pepper, mosambi, orange and pineapple – and in five SKUs: a sachet (25 grams), a jug pack (125 grams), a pouch (375 grams), a small tub (750 grams) and a large tub (2.5 kilograms). The weight of these SKUs has increased following the launch of the new Tang formula. The large tubs and the jug pack have registered the highest increases – 290 and 75 grams respectively – while the sachets, pouches and small tubs have increased by 17, 35 and 30 grams.
As a result, the prices of the sachet, jug pack and small tub have increased by five rupees, Rs 20 and 72 respectively; the prices of the pouch and large tub remain the same. What this means is that prior to the launch of the new formulation, prices ranged between Rs 1.6 and 1.8 per gram; following the change in formulation, they range between two rupees and 2.5. The reason for this increase, says Awais, is because the ingredients required for the new formulation are more expensive.
Awais maintains that given the fact that 11 teaspoons are required to make a litre of Tang (a message communicated in the campaign), it remains more economical compared to other RTD (ready-to-drink) beverages, such as juices or colas. “The single glass sachet, costs Rs 10 and it is more economical than other players in the market.”
With regard to the competition, Awais says that Tang is the market leader in the powdered beverage category. Given the fact that Hilal’s Sunsip Limo Pani would logically be assumed to be the only other competing powdered beverage (which is priced on similar lines), one could assume Tang did not face many challenges on that front. Not so, because Tang also competes with concentrates, squashes, juices and colas.
In the recent past, Mondeléz Pakistan have used various mediums to promote Tang. Last year, they sponsored Islamabad United who won the PSL; later, they used two of their players, Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan for digital content. Similarly, they have collaborated with cricketer Shoaib Akhtar for on-ground activities. More notable though, is an initiative that began two years ago; videos of Tang recipes (produced in collaboration with Masala TV chefs) were published on Facebook and YouTube. As a result of their popularity, Karachi Chefs at Home, a popular Facebook group, started to share Tang’s recipes and they were eventually published in their MasterChef booklet.
Following on this success, Tang have started to set up carts in malls and universities in Karachi. Tang representatives engage with consumers there and show them how Tang can be used to make drinks such as piña coladas and snacks such as chaat. Given the positive response this activity garnered, carts will now be set up at similar venues in Islamabad and Lahore.
With regard to future plans for the brand, Awais says that they have a number of initiatives that will take place this year. “This year has been a big one for Tang. Going forward, we have a lot of innovations planned.”