How do you tell if nostalgia for the past is strong enough to drive sales of an iconic biscuit brand?
For The Hindu in Chennai, the solution was simple: take readers back in time.
In an INMA blog, brand solutions content specialist Lavanya Rangarajan tells the story of Britannia Milk Bikis, launched in 1978 and one of the iconic brands of Tamil Nadu. “Consumers have grown up eating Britannia Milk Bikis and have a huge emotional connection with the brand,” she says.
But Milk Bikis underwent a change in packaging and form in 2007, and ideas of bringing the earlier Milk Bikis back gained momentum during the pandemic, when a ‘40 years of Milk Bikis’ TV commercial was unveiled. Showing two childhood friends sharing the last Milk Bikis equally, the advertisement led to a tidal wave of people saying they wanted the old Milk Bikis back.
Old Milk Bikis moulds were brought back and kept ready, but a discussion with The Hindu – itself a 143-year-old brand – preceded the launch campaign. The result was a nostalgia platform with an integrated voting campaign to maximise votes for the relaunch of the Britannia Milk Bikis Classic.
“We got more than a million responses of people who wanted to bring Milk Bikis Classic back,” says Rangarajan. “This convinced Britannia to re-launch the brand.”
Objective was to drive conversations about the relaunch of the classic pack in Tamil Nadu and deliver 500,000 votes over a period of seven days.
“We wanted to take people on a trip down memory lane and bring alive the journey of Milk Bikis over the last 40 years by recreating simpler days,” she says.
“The focus was to bring back the markers of childhood for the ’80s and ’90s kids.”
In print, the campaign was launched with a black-and-white front-page ad that transported the readers to an older, simpler era, and headed ‘An ode to simpler times’. An article accompanied by black-and-white images, mentioned the leitmotifs that were part and parcel of life in Tamil Nadu during that era.
The retro jacket in The Hindu captured attention with people soon sharing it and #BringBackMilkBikisClassic soon started trending on social.
Social posts, stories, videos and polls used the same pictures from print ads and other keywords, with interactive voting banners were published on digital platforms.
Topical, mass-appeal influencers born in the ’80s and ’90s were also roped in to drive voting, sharing their childhood images and connections, leading to spike in voting.
“The consumer response was overwhelming,” says Rangarajan. “We received more than a million votes in seven days, with consumers demanding the relaunch of Milk Bikis Classic. The campaign’s reach in print, social media, and digital was tremendous.”
When Britannia announced the relaunch of the Milk Bikis Classic Pack on August 8, 2021, there was a massive increase in post-launch social media chatter for Britannia Milk Bikis as consumers profusely thanked Britannia for letting them have their favourite biscuit back.