Polycrol: Consumer connect with QR code in seven days

Innovative festive packaging was at the centre of the marketing campaign that placed Piramal's 50-year-old brand Polycrol on the consumers’ radar, Rushikesh Aravkar finds out

24 Apr 2019 | By Rushikesh Aravkar

Durga Puja, one of the most anticipated celebrations in the Eastern states of India, is also marked by the rich tapestry of street food among other things. In between the fasting and feasting that stretches over ten days, people tend to use antacids to ensure that acidity doesn’t spoil the celebrations.

Piramal Enterprises’ legacy brand in the liquid antacids category, Polycrol dominates the East Indian region in India’s antacid market, which is pegged at more than Rs 6,000-crore.
In this functional segment, most of the healthcare products have been positioned as a solution to the problem of indigestion for a long time. For Polycrol, the relationship between food and the brand has always been there as part of consumer communication.

In 2018, when the company decided to blend its traditional marketing strategy with digital marketing opportunities, Polycrol was an obvious choice in order to build a strong connect with the consumer during the forthcoming Durga Puja festival.

Debojyoti Srimani, manager marketing - consumer products at Piramal Enterprises, who spearheaded the campaign, says, “We wanted to position Polycrol differently. The idea was to portray Polycrol as a companion that allows the consumer to be a foodie. Therefore, during the Durga Puja, the entire thought was about celebrating food along with Polycrol. At the core of the campaign was the idea of consumer connect. We wanted to boost brand visibility on all fronts during the festival of Durga Puja.”

The packaging development team at Piramal Enterprises

Making an impression
The idea was to make the brand visible on all fronts – outdoor media including airports, pandal branding, film association, and activities with the brand ambassador – during the five days of the festival.

“At the centre of this 360-degree campaign was the Polycrol’s Durga Puja festive pack. We wanted unique and innovative packaging that could attract high visibility on the retailer shelf,” adds Srimani.

The packaging development team of Raju Kalgutkar, Rajan Kundu, and Johnson Samuel initiated the project and proposed the use of digital printing. In collaboration with its digital print partner Trigon, the brand marketing team and packaging teams 20 unique designs with variable QR code were finalised.

The Polycrol festive pack was designed keeping in mind the festival of Durga Puja. The design had elements which are intrinsic to Bengal and the Goddess Durga. 

The company deployed digital printing to achieve 20 design variations enabling a colourful display on the retail shelf – in line with the festive mood in the region.

Srimani explains, “The objective was to have a clutter breaking pack design in a category which is very functional in design thereby helping grab consumer attention, re-gain lapsed consumers and bring in new consumers for the brand during the occasion where consumption of the category becomes very relevant. And every consumer feels that they have got a unique bottle with elements of Durga Puja and a picture of Goddess Durga. That’s instant gratification.”

In collaboration with its digital print partner, Mumbai-based Trigon, it was decided that a unique QR code would be used, which could be scanned by any smartphone thereby enabling the brand to engage with consumers through Polycrol Foodie Champ Contest hosted at the backend. “The unique QR code meant that individual pack buyers’ engagement with the brand could be tracked and gratified,” says Srimani.

In order to leverage the opportunity, the company decided to switch from the existing pressure sensitive label to shrink sleeve format, which provides larger space for the brand on the package. The sleeves were printed on Trigon’s HP Indigo digital printing press.

The challenge, according to Srimani, was the time constraint and newness of the technology.

Building brand equity - Debojyoti Srimani

Digital printing technology makes a lot of things easier. One, for me as a brand manager, I’m able to experiment with small volumes for specialised campaigns. It also allows me to make small dynamic changes to the artwork, which is an enabler when you are trying to revise or modernise a brand. So, the flexibility that the technology offers makes one rethink the cost-benefit of the proposition. So, from our output point of view, while it may look prohibitive, I think the kind of benefits and opportunities that it offers for brands makes it a worthy proposition. I think digital printing for innovative packaging is viable where there is a larger thought of driving the brand. At the end of the day, if you want to be relevant to your consumers, investing in digital printing-enabled campaigns is the way to go. And it's fair because every campaign like this one leads to building brand equity.

“We were working with digital printing for the first time. Moreover, it had dynamic creative with 20 variations and the use of QR code meant certain levels of data handling capabilities. However, our packaging development team and Trigon with its robust capabilities were able to execute the campaign without any flaw,” says Srimani.

“One must understand that campaigns like these are time-bound. If you are not able to create a bang in the market at the right time, it is a lost opportunity on several fronts. So for a time-bound campaign, which had an innovation like digital printing, it took the packaging team to lead from the front to achieve the target.”

The campaign was executed in seven days from the time the artworks were supplied to the print partner to the final finished product getting packed and filled in the sleeved bottles.
“For this Durga Puja special festive pack, the geography targeted was West Bengal, Orissa and North East states where the brand has its stronghold. With 20 design variations, 1.1-lakh shrink sleeved bottles were launched in the market,” adds Srimani.

This festive pack led the brand communication. The consumers who visited the microsite using the QR code on the pack were gratified with goodies such as mobile phones and vouchers.

According to Srimani, the success of the campaign can be judged by the amount of consumer engagement created during a span of ten days of Durga Puja. The brand received over 35,000 Likes and Shares and 3,000 user comments on social media. “We received a total of 95,000 clicks and 4,000+ users participated in the Polycrol Foodie Champ Contest. Moreover, our official Foodies On Road Durga Puja video received 17-lakh views on Facebook and YouTube.”

Srimani concluded, “The realisation that this 50-year old brand continues to innovate, has boosted the confidence of our trade partners.”