The significance of experiential- Saurabh Gupta, Marketing Head, Vanesa Care


Vanesa Group, which came into existence in 1983, is amongst the leaders of aerosol manufacturing in India. The brand currently valued at 350 Croreand under the Denver India umbrella aims to further expand its wings in the experiential domain with its key products Denver and Envy 1000 deodorants.

In conversation with Saurabh Gupta, Marketing Head, Vanesa Care we gain insight on the brand’s marketing roadmap and the importance of experiential.

Q-How important is experiential marketing for Denver?

A-Experiential is extremely important for any brand but it is rather critical for us due to the nature of our product which will not sell unless and until experienced by a prospective consumer. We at Denver realize this and as a trade practice we send in a lot of testers with our products. Any retailer who buys as little as 6 units from us is given 1 tester for people to try.

Even in an ice-cream shop today flavors are experienced before making a decision on what to purchase, so experiential is clearly important and we at Denver have made it the crux of our marketing strategy. We understand the fact that it is only when a consumer likes the experience it is only then when he will buy the product.

Q- Denver’s experiential initiatives are largely targeted towardsthe college goingdemography- a sub segment of the youth age bracket. Any specific reasons behind this?

A-It is not true that we are catering only to the college going audiences. Yes, our past experiential initiatives and associations might be targeted towards that direction but if you look closely to the overall campaign you will realize that the story is different.

Our latest communication campaign for Denver deodorants is the one, where Saif Ali Khan is playing Golf in his office is very aspirational and is relatable to everyone in the youth bracket that aspires to be successful. As depicted in the advertisement that when Saif hits the shot the ball goes towards various directions but finally enters the cup so with this communication we have tried to symbolize is that the entire youth bracket who goes through a series of hurdles and struggles like the golf ball before finally achieving success.

At Denver our aim is to create an aspirational product. In this pursuit, apart from the college going audiences we are also trying to focus on the prospective customers who have just started their professional career.

Q-Your competitors in the deodorant segment, Axe and Wildstone, have done a fair amount of experiential while Denver feels to be venturing into it now. Why so late?

A- I do not agree to this as the birth of Denver as a brand happened at India International Trade Fair which was an experiential event itself. Also we have been doing our bit in experiential also but as one of the most important parameters of such initiatives is the budget and target audiences and thus our experiential initiatives have been limited in that sense of reach.

We have done experiential campaigns such as branding of the BMW car during Formula 1 race and also we have been the sponsors of the French open for the past 3 years. So yes experiential has pretty much always been an integral part of a marketing plan but it has so far been only executed in pockets.

Q- A mainline productthat’s put your brand on the map is the Denver Beer Shampoo. What defines its marketing strategy?

A-Through the beer shampoo we have tried to penetrate into a niche segment that is conscious about vanity and personal care. The benefits of beer for hair is known to a few people only but through this product we are trying to create that awareness and establish ourselves in the minds of an elite target group. We also do understand that people will be hesitant to experiment with a new product for their hair and hence we have launched 7Ml sachet for the product as well so that people can try on the shampoo first and then after they are satisfied with its inherent qualities they can purchase the product.

Experiential is the going to be an integral aspect here as well so we are in the process of launching the first round of the Denver Hair Spa Session, wherein we will be calling bloggers, journalists, and writers to experience the shampoo. In the second round, we will be reaching out to various press clubs in numerous states and the third round will be executed in malls and colleges.

Q- Is there a separate budget for the experiential marketing initiatives of Denver?

A-That is right. Usually out of our entire revenue we take out 2%-3% of the amount as an experiential marketing budget. So if our company is making 200 Crore then 6 Crore of the amount is segregated for experiential. The amount is not small however a challenge is covering the entire country with it.

Q-Is there a pre-defined method to allocate the money from the experiential budget to different regions?

A-Yes, every year we have a key market and a focus market in place which is derived after a careful scrutiny of the sales report and figures. As an example for this year our focus market is West Bengal accordingly and hence we will be designing our experiential marketing initiatives accordingly to cater the same target market. Also the Indian calendar for the year is already set in terms of festival dates and this is something that also determines our experiential marketing budget allocation.

Q-Are there any fixed elements that you wish to incorporate in your experiential initiatives?

A-It all depends on the mandate at the end of the day. If we have a new product launch then the campaign is designed around it. As an example our campaign running currently ‘the real scent of success’ will be the message all our experiential ventures will carry. Our main aim at the end of the day is to develop an integrated marketing campaign where all media channels display the same message but in their own way.

Q-What are the upcoming experiential campaign that Denver looks forward to executing in the near future?

A- Currently we are in the process of executing activations at malls and also we have tied up with an American licensing agency who have a good experiential connect with brands partnering with them we look forward to executing a lot of high street experiential initiatives. Also currently we are in talks with Warner Brothers as we want to collaborate with them and then carry forward a full-fledged product launch and then an experiential campaign.

We are also working on mobile campaigns in form of organizing road shows and exhibitions and in the future we will be branding some exotic cars and then take them to different locations. We are expecting that people will be taking a lot of selfies with these cars and hence the brand imagery will be leveraged through these experiential initiatives.

(The story has been extracted from BW APPLAUSE)

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