Comstrat 2012: "Some of the ideas are definitely actionable," says Coca-Cola India's Ajay Konale

SIMSR wins Comstrat 2012 with 'Turbocharge your passion'

Draftfcb-Ulka’s Comstrat, the  communication strategy competition, crowned the team from SIMSR (KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research) as the winners of its 2012 edition. The team, comprising of Shivani Desai, Varun Punjabi and Vinit Suri presented the communication strategy for this year's live case on energy drink Burn from the Coca-Cola stable (case below).

In its seventeenth year, Comstrat attracted participation from over 50 teams. The four other teams shortlisted to present at the finale were from IIM Indore, JBIMS (Bajaj), MICA and SIBM.

On his experience of judging the event, Ajay Konale, senior manager - brands, Coca-Cola India, said, "What I am most impressed, is by the fact that students knew very little about the segment, and through the process have understood the category, the consumer and the market reality, and have made suggestions which I believe are quite definitely actionable. I am personally quite impressed and inspired by it. We have been in the business (with Burn) for a number of years across the globe, and while we have learnings from those markets too, this really builds conviction on what really works for the brand."

Another jury member, Kinjal Medh, chief operating officer, Cogito Consulting, added, "There were some very good thoughts in the presentations; considering that it is coming from a team that has worked on it for 20 days, without in-depth knowledge about the market situation and the competition, it is a job well done."

Commenting on what swung the jury's verdict in SIMSR's favour, Konale explained, "The way they strung together the story around one message, which was very relevant for the brand and the category. The central thought of ‘Turbocharge your passion’ was quite bang on. Their strategy of how it was positioned and how it will be activated was quite relevant, structured and presented very well."

Growth of Comstrat


Comstrat is a property owned by Draftfcb-Ulka, organised in association with KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research.

On the growth of the property, Nagesh Alai, Executive Director - India Operations, Draftfcb Ulka Group, said, "This is the 17th year of the association with the institute for the property, and it has been well received by all the stakeholders. Over the years, we have grown it by having a wide range of clients and product categories brought in for the competition. We have had some of the largest brands including Tata Motors, Nokia and Bru in the past. I think it is a great initiative from our end to give back to the community at large."

Asked about the changes witnessed over the years at Comstrat, Medh said, "Today, we see a dramatic shift in the communication channels and they are reflected in these presentations. Students have picked it up as they have not got stuck with the grammar of advertising alone, and have gone deeper into understanding how they can come up with ideas to engage with more audiences across platforms."

Winning case from SIMSR

Riding on the central thought of 'Turbocharge your passion', the team presented a strategy to increase off trade sales of the energy drink Burn from Rs.4.9 crores currently to Rs. 29.9 crores (estimated) in a year, thereby increasing the overall market share from the current 2.6 per cent to 10 per cent. Along with it, the objective was also to increase brand awareness, consumer loyalty and satisfaction.

Following primary research involving a dipstick with 40 consumers, the team realised that most of the attributes of each brand in the category were similar, while lack of awareness and availability were the two key deterrents for purchase of Burn. Identifying the 'Burn' consumer as either students or young professionals in the SEC A/A+ categories, the team highlighted that 'socialising with drinking friends' and 'staying awake during exams or work' were two of the major reasons of purchase of energy drinks and restaurants topped the preferred location of consumption, followed by homes.

Based on the analysis, the team recommended increase in marketing tie ups with retail outlets like Subway, Cafe Coffee Day, Dominos Pizza and Cinemax, and also introduce Coke Burn Sample Shots in the market as price seemed to be a barrier for sampling. Looking at a mostly experiential marketing route, the team suggested event tie ups and also looked at amplifying the associations through social media.

In line with the 'Turbocharge your passion' motto, the team suggested that Coca-Cola India should associate with six key properties: in restaurants with 'Be A Burn Bartender', engaging dance enthusiasts with 'Burn The Dance Floor' contests, college students with 'Turbocharge your Passion Contests', health enthusiasts with partnerships with Mumbai and Bengaluru marathons, and motor sports fans with a month-long bike trip 'Burning Rubber' and a nationwide GoKarting championship 'Lotus F1 - IRace'.

The team mooted the creation of an online platform where all these marketing initiatives were highlighted and brought under one roof. They also suggested the usage of twitter hashtag '#burn365' to promote the brand across all days of the year. The team observed that Red Bull's official channel has 65 times more followers as compared to Burn.

The winning team recommended the introduction of Burn dispensers connected to social media, wherein consumers will have to connect using their Facebook profiles or Twitter handles to receive a complimentary bottle of Burn shots. An adver-game, which tied in the brand’s core attributes was also suggested along with a set of college festivals that the brand could partner.

On the cost of all these recommendations, the team noted that the marketing spends (estimated at Rs. 68,70,000) was less than 10 per cent of the target sales. With the communication expected to reach 2.48 crore target consumers annually, assuming a conversion rate of 2 per cent, the brand would add 4.96 lakh customers annually, the team reasoned. The team further assumed that even if the consumption was one can in three months, the company would sell 19.87 lakh additional cans, resulting in additional sales of Rs. 18.88 crores.

Campaign India

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