Nestle India Ltd has published a series of videos on Maggi noodles, even as it continues to fight for a clean chit from legal and regulatory authorities, in what brand experts said could be a prelude to a comeback for the popular snack.
In the past 24 hours, the Indian arm of the Swiss packaged-food multinational firm has released three short videos on its official YouTube channel Meri Maggi. The videos have been shared on Twitter with the hashtag #WeMissYouToo, as Nestle India tries to keep the brand alive in consumers’ minds, while it remains off the shelves.
On 13 August, the Bombay high court set aside a ban imposed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on sale of Maggi noodles and asked for retesting at three laboratories certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories in Pune, Hyderabad and Punjab. Nestle had moved the high court following the FSSAI order on 5 June asking the firm to immediately withdraw all nine variants of Maggi noodles, calling them “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption.
“Of course, it’s their comeback campaign. But there are larger issues to be managed. While the video tugs at your heartstrings, as long as the legal and quality control issues remain unresolved, it may not open your purse strings,” said Kiran Khalap, co-founder, Chlorophyll Brand and Communications Consultancy.
Earlier this month, Nestle India managing director Suresh Narayanan said bringing Maggi noodles back to retail shelves was his priority. Narayanan, who has been sent to India as the firm’s face in its efforts to tackle the issue, said it will be spending “more on advertising, marketing and promotions across categories to counter impact on sales caused by the Maggi ban”.
He did not say how much Nestle plans to spend. Typically, Nestle India is a low spender on advertising, with just about 4-5% of revenue allocated for advertising and promotions since 2010, according to its annual reports.
Now, it could increase advertising and promotions spending to about 7%, according to Sunita Sachdev, an analyst at UBS Securities India.
“These short films reflect the spontaneity and affection between the consumers and Maggi. We are making efforts to get Maggi Noodles back on the shelves and have been overwhelmed by the messages of love and support that we receive each day. Such messages strengthen our resolve to be back with our beloved consumers. We want to share the warmth of our relationship through these films,” said a Nestle India spokersperson in an emailed statement.
“While advertising agency, Publicis India is the official creative agency for Maggi Noodles in India, we have been working with McCann WorldGroup India for some corporate projects. This is one such project,” the spokesperson added.
The first video has registered more than 100,000 views since being released on Monday night.
All the three videos show bachelors, seeking to portray their association with Maggi.
One narrates how he never cared about the home delivery leaflets as long as he had Maggi (youtu.be/wjYA6V9tdbI); another says because of Maggi he did not have to wake up his mother at midnight (youtu.be/FKvoZyz23y4); and the third talks about how he never needed to connect with his neighbours because of Maggi (youtu.be/1w1myYavVsE).
In the minimalistic and simple advertisements, all three protagonists articulate their longing with the key message: “kab wapas aayega yaar? (When will it be back, mate?)”.
The videos from Nestle’s stable with the hashtag #WeMissYouToo is in response to Maggi’s fans who have released numerous short videos with hashtags such as #MaggiInaSoup, #MaggiKeSideEffects, #WeMissYouMaggi. Through its Twitter handle @MaggiIndia, Nestle India told fans of Maggi noodles: “We are touched by your love and all we want to say is #WeMissYouToo Share this & keep spreading the MAGGI love!