The packaged water category, pegged at about ₹14,000 crore and estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 percent, is highly unorganised, and littered with ‘one litre’ bottles of Bisleri lookalikes. About 65 percent of the market is infested by over 3,000 local labels, most of which try to ape the leader. Sample this: Birseli, Beesleri, Bisleeri, Bislleri…the fake or me-too avatars of Bisleri are several. What they have in common is the signature green label, similar font and price. The biggest difference, though, is the name, and quality, as the fake names try to piggy-back on the popularity of the leader.
Finding itself in hot water, Bisleri rolled out dual-language labels in local languages across different pack sizes two years ago. The idea was simple: Regional languages would help build emotional connect with the consumers. While it helps them read and understand the language they are most comfortable with, Ghosh reckons it will also help them spot the difference between fakes and look-alike.
Armed with this insight, Bisleri launched a brand campaign in October that proclaimed, “Har paani ki bottle Bisleri nahi” (every bottle of water is not a Bisleri). Camels, interestingly, were selected as protagonist to drive home the message. Depicted as consumers, camels turned the tables on a wily shopkeeper who tries to pass off some other brand of bottled water as Bisleri. The objective, Ghosh underlines, was to make consumers aware that not every bottled water is Bisleri or as pure and safe as Bisleri.
Cut to April 2019. Buoyed by the success of the previous campaign, Bisleri has rolled out a sequel of the camel commercial.
This time, the story revolves around a mother and her baby camel, where the former does not settle for any other source of water for her baby except Bisleri. In another commercial, the brand uses a caravan of camel-dacoits who hold up and loot a Bisleri truck. The campaign, says Ghosh, will not only address the counterfeit product issues, but also translate into annual sales growth. The latest campaign, pushed heavily through above-the-line (ATL) and digital mediums, is backed by supporting point of sale materials planted at the retailers and modern trade outlets. The idea still remains the same: Reminding consumers that every bottled water is not Bisleri.
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