One Indian brand that has been consistent and successful in its cause marketing effort is Tata Tea with its Jaago Re platform. It is a perfect example of how a brand can take up a cause which aligns perfectly with the core of the brand and works well for the cause itself. Vikram Grover, VP & Head Marketing – India & South Asia, Tata Global Beverages Ltd (TGBL) points out that for cause marketing to be successful it is essential to find that sweet spot that will work well for the society as well as for the brand. This is only possible if the messaging remains true to the core of the brand and does not appear schizophrenic where the brand is preaching something and stands for something completely opposite.

Tea is something that is perceived to be a stimulant and Tata Tea has used this concept of `awakening’ by taking the crucial issue of exercising your mandate to vote. It’s on a mission to awaken the society and hit an ace in terms of its communication. Jaago Re has taken issues that have been around but been not given popular voice. But with their communication these issues have found a voice and probed the minds of many Indians. As Vikram aptly puts, for cause marketing it is about being at the cusp of doing well as well as doing good- integrate the brand message with the social message.

Vikram in this interview with Tuhina Anand of Paul Writer takes us through the journey of Jaago Re and sheds light on the current campaign- Power of 49.

Jaago Re as a platform has worked well for Tata Tea, how has this association helped the brand?

Tata Tea Jaago Re has over the years awakened millions of people by addressing serious issues like voting, corruption and positivity. This campaign, which highlighted social issues like corruption and voting long before they became topics of conversation, has made the Tata Tea brand youthful and edgy.

The past Jaago Re campaigns have had a tremendous impact – the campaign which kick started in the year 2007 has most recently taken on the task of addressing deep rooted mindsets and biases against women in the country.

•  For instance the voting campaign done around the 2009 elections, struck a chord with the country’s youth and led to over six lakh registrations on

•Then the Jaago Re campaign moved out to a different theme which was corruption, much before the same became the talk of the entire nation. During this time, the team decided to take on a campaign that saw two lakh people pledging never to bribe again

Most importantly, over the last few years TGBL has achieved, in addition to volume and thought leadership, value leadership in the country.

What led to the current campaign on power of 49 and how is it being supported in various forms of media?

To take the thought forward on Power of 49, we believe, like all our Jaago Re campaigns have done, we need to awaken women to the power they have to make a change they wish to see. Towards this, a simple statistic translated into a powerful thought. Women constitute 49% of the voter base in India but often do not get their due as they are not yet seen as a determining factor in elections. This campaign seeks to awaken women to this ‘Power of 49’ and encourages them to exercise their right to vote at the upcoming general elections.

The spontaneous response to the concept from various influencers, including celebrities at IIFA and industry leaders at various forums, has been compelling – which only shows that

people resonate with this powerful thought and believe in it. The campaign has also been mentioned as a reference for the internal employee communication program undertaken by Infosys. We are hoping that we see this momentum sustained till the elections.

The campaign is supported through TV communication, digital engagement and other forms of media.

What is Tata Tea’s stance on cause marketing and how can it be a sustainable activity and not an afterthought?

One needs to be consistent to sustain and whenever Tata Tea has come up with a new campaign, it has seen people’s participation that has brought the change in the society. Whether it’s the voting campaign done around the 2009 elections or the latest ‘Power of

49’ campaign, Tata Tea-Jaago Re has been instrumental in identifying subjects which are relevant to the country’s current situation and has maintained sustainability.

Jaago Re becomes relevant during elections, what happens when the elections are not around the corner, how do you maintain the buzz?

Over the years, Jaago Re as a social platform strives to address critical civic issues prevailing in the society, be it voter turnout, corruption or women issues. This year we have emphasized on women’s equality appealing our citizens to treat women as equals. The message came out strongly when SRK himself committed to put the heroine’s name ahead of the hero in his films. With the elections coming, we felt it was time to address women’s issue on a larger platform by enabling them as voters to change the society. The social platform has taken several initiatives between 2008 and 2013 elections and will continue to be the catalyst of change.

 Please share a bit on the genesis of Jaago Re

Jaago Re Campaign was started in the year 2007, with an objective to reposition the role of a humble cup of tea from a “wake-up” drink to a medium of “social awakening” in every

consumer’s life. The campaign was visualized as a societal good while achieving business objectives which is in the DNA of the Tata group. Jaago Re campaigns have not only won various awards but truly awakened individuals and inspired them to be the change they wish to see around them.

This article appeared in Marketing Booster magazine


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