Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved splurges on radio ad with swadeshi pitch

Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved ties up with four major radio networks for an aggressive ad campaign that will run for 15 days to keep its MNC competitors at bay

A file photo of yoga guru Baba Ramdev. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
A file photo of yoga guru Baba Ramdev. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

New Delhi: From jingles to interviews and interactive sessions, yoga guru Baba Ramdev has now taken the Swadeshi (domestic) pitch to FM radio stations.

With the punchline Patanjali apnaiye, desh ko arthic aazadi dilaiye (switch to Patanjali, give the country financial freedom), Ramdev has tied up with four major radio networks for a 15-day campaign promoting his Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. In the aggressive campaign, Ramdev exhorts consumers to shun multinational companies and accept his home-grown brand.

Currently, the advertising and promotions are on air on four networks including HT Media Ltd’s Fever 104 FM and Radio Nasha, Entertainment Network India Ltd’s Radio Mirchi, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd’s 92.7 Big FM and Music Broadcast Ltd’s Radio City 91.1. HT Media is the publisher of Mint and Hindustan Times.

The radio campaign for Patanjali Ayurved, a consumer goods and personal care products company, is being run on these radio stations for at least 15-20 minutes a day. It includes commercials and brand integrations like RJ mentions, in which radio jockeys promote brands as part of their conversations.

“It has just started with a small campaign,” said Prashant Pandey, chief executive at ENIL, the radio broadcasting unit of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.

An executive at one of the FM radio companies who did not wish to be identified said that in the 15-day deal, Patanjali will be spending close to Rs.1.5 crore on private FM radio. He also hinted at a full-fledged campaign from next month.

Patanjali officials did not respond to calls and text messages from Mint.

“There have been indications that the brand will start product-related campaigns next month. As of now, the ads are focused on Patanjali as a home-grown brand and not on any specific product,” the official said. Patanjali makes and markets products like shampoo, toothpaste, biscuits, noodles, juices, sweets, rice, wheat, honey and ghee.

The current radio ad blitzkrieg includes promoting the brand through interviews and interactive sessions on various radio channels. For example, in an exclusive Q&A session on Fever 104 and Radio Nasha, Ramdev will answer queries posed by the listeners around yoga and healthy living.

“Baba Ramdev has initiated a new concept which is called Radio Yoga. The sessions are promoting good health on radio,” said Harshad Jain, chief executive, radio and entertainment, HT Media Limited.

Meanwhile, 92.7 Big FM also carried a two-hour interview with Ramdev, in which he spoke about his efforts to popularize Swadeshi products and Satvik food. The interview was aired in Mumbai and Delhi.

Ashish Bhasin, chairman and chief executive, Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia, said Baba Ramdev certainly has an advantage over rival companies in terms of celebrity endorsements.

“It works to the company’s advantage,” he said, adding that this strategy might not be enough. “In any media, content is very important. No media strategy is complete by itself. It has to be a mix of native advertising, content strategies and other things like these interviews,” Bhasin added.

Founded in 2006, Patanjali started advertising on television in November 2015 in an effort to be a part of the country’s Rs.3.2 trillion packaged goods market. Analysts see the company as a challenger to packaged goods giants like Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Nestle India and Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd.

Patanjali posted net sales of Rs.5,000 crore in the year that ended 31 March. According to an IIFL Institutional Equities report, Patanjali sales will increase to Rs.20,000 crore by FY20.

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