Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Slice : Aamsutra

Brand : Slice
Company : Pepsico
Agency : JWT

Brand Analysis Count : 388

Slice is the fruit drink brand from the Pepsi stable. Slice was launched in India in 1994. But even after 15 years, the brand has not been able to make a mark in the Indian market. The product was good, had the backing of world's best marketing company but could not become the market leader in the segment.

Slice was a neglected brand in Pepsi's portfolio. These Cola majors are too centered on their flagship cola brands that they fail to cash in on the opportunities for other brands. Indian consumers love mango drinks but Pepsi was too engrossed with Pepsi Cola that they forgot to put their resources behind this brand.

Slice was originally launched as a mango drink. But over time, the brand lost its focus and introduced many flavors. In 2002, Slice was launched in multiple flavors. This extensions cost the brand dearly. While the competitors Maaza and Frooti concentrated on the mango flavor, Slice tried to become an umbrella brand for all fruit based drink in the Pepsi's portfolio.

It could have become an umbrella brand had Pepsi invested in the brand. But the promotional investment behind the brand was never consistent.According to Afaqs, there was no ad support for the brand from 2002 to 2006. The brand went into obscurity during these period.

It was in 2006 that Pepsi began to seriously look at Slice. But by that time Maaza had established itself in the market along with the market leader Frooti.

Slice never had a proper consistent positioning. While Frooti and Maaza positioned itself on the Real Mango Flavor platform, Slice was a confused brand. In 2006, the brand took the positioning of a provider of simple joy platform. The tagline was " Simple Joy ka Raas " . But there also the brand did not catch the imagination of the consumer.

Slice was relaunched in 2008 in a new avataar. Atlast, Slice anchored itself as a mango drink. The brand launched a very smart campaign - Aamsutra .
The campaign was a real clutter breaker. The brand wanted to position itself on the basis of exprience or pleasure of having a mango drink. The brand took the attribute of Pleasure, Sensuality and Indulgence as the core brand attribute that delivers that Experience.

Slice also roped in the Bollywood Diva Katrina Kaif as the brand ambassador. The brand launched its first Aamsutra campaign during the summer of 2008

Watch the TVC here : Slice Aamsutra 1

I think that the Aamsutra campaign shook the brand from its inertia. There was lot of noise about the campaign and I think the brand sales also benefitted from the noise.
This summer of 2009 saw Slice launching the next edition of the Aamsutra campaign.

Watch the 2009 campaign here : Slice Aamsutra 2

The Slice story shows the power of the Big Idea. A brand will thrive when it gets that " Aha " or the " Wow" factor. Aamsutra is a definite WOW factor for this brand .

It is also interesting to see that this summer all the mango drinks marketer has chosen to target the younger generation ( 25 + ) rather than kids. Maaza in particular chose to put a much older character in their recent advertisement. Frooti also is now focusing on the youth. This may open the door for a brand to target specifically Kids while other brands fight it out for the younger gen.

Personally speaking , I liked the Aamsutra concept and also the way it was executed. The ad was able to completely use the brand ambassador's charm and looks . The only doubt is whether the brand is looking at a more mature audience rather than a younger segment.

Aamsutra as the name suggests has a very sensual connotation. The brand will be moving in a thin line between sensuality and sexuality. Too much sensuality makes the ads less veiwable while too less becomes a bore. But the current campaign effectively manages to deliver the right kind of message. It is also a significantly different positioning from its competitors hence manages to get and hold eyeballs. It will be interesting to see how Slice will be able to extend its new found formula.....