You don’t need a huge budget to build a brand: Amul’s RS Sodhi

Five best of advertisers and marketers were conferred with the first ever ‘Champions of Excellence’ award at the recently concluded Goafest 2017. This award has been conceived and curated by the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and The Advertising Club for acknowledging and saluting visionary advertisers who have taken the leap of faith and invested resources, ensuring that “Great ideas transform into Great advertising”. 

RS Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Co-Operative Milk Marketing Federation (Amul) was among the first recipients of this new industry award for his role in inspiring great advertising.

Speaking to Adgully on the sidelines of Goafest, RS Sodhi spoke about why the media spends on Brand Amul has been minuscule, the importance of being consistent in communicating the brand message, outdoor and digital advertising plans and more. 

“Media and marketing spends for Amul have been constant for years,” said Sodhi, when asked about how Amul is looking at optimising media spends in a highly fragmented media market. 

He further said, “Right from the beginning our budget has not been more than 1 per cent, in fact since the last 6-7 years, it has been around 0.8 per cent. I don’t think to build a brand or the required positioning, you need a huge budget. If you take our 50-year old campaign for Amul Butter, our spends on that are peanuts. Out of the 0.8 per cent of our total budget, only 5 per cent is spent on Amul Butter.” 

According to Sodhi, it is not about the money, but how creative the advertiser is with the campaign and how consistent they are in communicating the brand message. “If you want to change your positioning and campaign every year or two, you will definitely require a huge budget otherwise consumers will not be able to recall it,” he added. 

Speaking about Amul, Sodhi said, “Our positioning for Amul Butter – ‘Utterly Butterly Delicious’ – is 50 years old. The ‘Taste of India’ positioning has been there for the last 27 years. ‘Amul Doodh Peeta Hain India’ has been there for the last 15 years. They are working well with very minuscule budget.”

Amul has been spending extensively on outdoors, especially for Amul Butter, and in the last few years, the brand has also been using digital in its marketing plans. When asked to share his views on gauging the efficacy of outdoor and digital campaigns, given that there are no industry measurement currencies in place currently for the two mediums, Sodhi remarked, “I think outdoor is mostly measured by the direct feedback from the consumers and also people in the field who tell us how effective outdoor is. Our budget for outdoor is 3-4 per cent of the total budget. In digital, the measurement is in terms of the views, likes and dislikes. Because most of the youngsters are on digital today, it has become mandatory for marketers to do something or the other on that front.” 

Meanwhile, speaking about his Goafest experience, Sodhi said, “This is the second time that I am attending Goafest. When I see the speakers, the people who come and talk here and discuss topics from across sectors, the talks are very inspiring and insightful. People come here to get the feedback about the work that they do in their fields. It is also a place to know what the market wants.”



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