New Delhi: Snack and beverage makers are increasingly resorting to quirky packaging, with words printed in local languages, to stand out from the crowd and connect better with regional markets.

Mars Inc.’s India unit, which has the tagline, “You’re not you when you’re hungry", has tweaked the packaging of its brand Snickers, replacing its logo with words in three Indian languages—Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil. A variety of words like nautanki, princess and junglee printed on the limited edition of chocolates are being promoted across media platforms.

Pepsico India’s cola brand Pepsi’s summer Moments campaign , launched in April 2017, saw the brand using colloquial pop-culture words in eight regional languages on its cans and PET bottles. Words like swag, bajao, gethu (awesome in Tamil), jeetbo (win in Bengali) and dookudu (aggression in Telugu) were used on the cans and bottles to connect with millennials.

Brands across food and beverage categories are innovating and localizing not just their campaigns but their packaging as well, making them suitable for social media shares and appealing to young consumers.

“The packaging connects with the consumer at point of sale (PoS) as it has an immediate ‘pick me up’ value," said Rajiv Dingra, founder and chief executive, WAT Consult, a digital and social media agency of Dentsu Aegis Network.

With attention spans getting shorter, brands are devising innovative ways to package and market their products to young consumers. According to Dingra, such packaging-driven campaigns not only create buzz around a product, they also gets shared on social media platforms.

“Consumers are looking for closer connection with the brands. They want products as well as branded content which is share-worthy. They are also looking for social currency which allows them to connect with friends and family," said Andrew Leakey, general manager, India and Indian sub-continent, Mars Chocolate Ltd.

Snickers, which has replaced its logo for a limited period with words which represent hunger symptoms like cranky or moody on its packaging, is selling these chocolate bars in more than 100 cities. The company is also running a multi-media campaign across television, digital, outdoor (OOH) and print as well as in-store promotions.

“This year, we took our philosophy of living in the moment a step further through the Pepsi Moments campaign; as a way to celebrate the country’s millennial as well as Pepsi’s strongest asset—our packaging. This was a one-of-its-kind packaging innovation where every pack spoke to consumers, in a language that was both contextual and relevant in that region," said Raj Rishi Singh, director marketing—Pepsi, PepsiCo India.

Pepsi has created multiple versions of the ongoing Moments campaign, which also includes creating packaging for festivals like Onam, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Durga Puja and Diwali.

Localised packaging also helps brands tackle counterfeits, said Anjana Ghosh, director, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd.

“A large number of consumers in our country are not comfortable with English. Bisleri bottles will carry the brand name in both English and local language to ensure that the end consumer gets Bisleri when he asks for it and does not mistake any other brand for Bisleri," she said.

Like Pepsi and Snickers, chocolate-hazelnut spread Nutella, which targets families with children in the age group of 5-14 years, also relaunched ‘My Nutella Jar’ in January last year, under which a personalised label with the customer’s name is printed on the spot at the store. “Customizations, by giving an opportunity to the consumer to have his/her name on a Nutella jar itself, has helped the consumer build a personal connect with the brand, wherein they take on the role of a brand ambassador for Nutella," said a spokesperson from Italian confectionery firm Ferrero, which owns Nutella.

According to brand expert Sanjay Sarma, co-founder and chief executive at Design Worldwide, such packaging-led campaign does help curate shared moments, but the brand doesn’t gain significantly in terms of sales and revenues from such occasional purchases.

“An innovation in packaging has to bring about transformational change in appearance, usage and convenience. Paperboat is one brand which has championed packaging innovation. What these brands are doing are at best a marketing campaign innovation where the product has been integrated. It has seasonal appeal and is not a long-term strategy either," he said.

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