Pooja Ahuja Nagpal
Jul 01, 2013

‘Every child who goes to school and writes with a pen is our target audience’: Karan Kumar

Q&A with Karan Kumar, marketing manager, ITC Classmate, on the marketing strategy, ad spend, media mix and more.

‘Every child who goes to school and writes with a pen is our target audience’: Karan Kumar

Education and stationery brand ITC Classmate has launched a multi-media campaign to promote its writing instruments business. Campaign India caught up with Karan Kumar, marketing manager, ITC Classmate, to find out more about this campaign, its TG, the media mix and the marketing budget.

What  was the objective of the communication?

We have a campaign 'Because you are one of a kind', which has the idea of celebrating the uniqueness of an individual. The idea was to take this brand proposition forward in the context of one of the key business categories of writing instruments/pens. So we thought of how we can celebrate a child's uniqueness in the pens category. The understanding is that every child has a unique character, and how he or she writes their name/ signature is the outward manifestation of the inner self of the child. And writing your name or signature gels very well with  the writing instruments category. From our interaction with customers, we learnt that there is a point of time when children in class four or five are allowed to use pens instead of pencils: this itself is a sense of empowerment. And then in this pursuit of figuring out their own individual identities, the first thing they want to do is write their own name as this is what they see their fathers and mothers do when they sign cheques or papers. Signature is a very important part of self identity demarcation and hence becomes a natural instrument of empowerment. And a signature being as unique as the child himself, is obviously a natural extension of the brand thought, which is - celebrating the individuality of the child. This is how the brand thought led to the creative with this particular communication.

We decided to stay away from speaking of the functionality of the product which everyone does. Instead, we have a communication with a promise that is a slightly more evolved one .

How different is this communication from the previous one ?

The previous commercial was stronger, trying to push adults out of their inertia. This communication is more child-targeted and friendly in a manner of speaking, and the tonality is different. Our attempt has been to take the conflict of identity into the outside manifestation of one’s self which is the signature.

What is the TG for the campaign?

Our TG for both the communications remain the same, which is students pan India and across segments. Every single child that goes to school and writes with a pen is our audience. So we are looking at children studying in class four onwards going up to  class 10 or 11. Of course, for any communication which targets student as primary audience , there is a secondary target audience which are the influencers in their lives. The key influencers normally are teachers and parents and hence they become the secondary audience.

What is the media mix for the campaign?

Digital has been a critical part of our over all marketing mix for the whole of last year. We have dedicated programmes and marketing calendars that operate on digital and social media marketing. A communication like this will obviously be extended to the digital medium as well. So you will see a lot of television happening but outside of that you will also see a lot of buzz and teasers happening on Facebook and Twitter. Then going on much beyond that we will cover the other digital platforms such as search engines, education/gaming sites etc. There will be a lot of print coverage as well. We do the back covers of the note-books that we sell (we sell 36 crore note-books a year). We also plan to take this campaign to schools.

What is the size of the marketing campaign?

The digital spends account for nearly 10 to 15 per cent of the marketing budget. Our primary spends would be on TV as it will be the mass medium of communication. Typically we spend in the range of Rs 15 to 20 crores on the television medium for all our campaigns. This is our lead campaign for the year but there will be smaller campaigns in the categories of art and stationery, pencils, notebooks etc. So being a lead campaign, it will get the lion’s share of the budget.

Also read: ITC Classmate sings a ‘signature’ tune to celebrate individuality

Campaign India

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