MUMBAI: Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali is fighting the foreign FMCGs by adopting a very cost effective media strategy that focuses on using news channels to advertise, using Baba Ramdev’s personal credibility, and by highlighting the natural positioning of its products. Notwithstanding the free publicity that Ramdev gets on various TV channels, in 2016 alone, Patanjali Ayurved inserted as many as 1.14 million advertisements across television channels, as per data from viewership measurement agency BARC India.
Consider this: Patanjali advertisements were displayed on TV channels for 7,221 hours across 161 channels. That translates into an average of 19 hours 43 minutes of advertising time every day.
Interestingly, Patanjali is the fastest growing FMCG company in India. Within two years of its scale up, it has already crossed revenues of Rs 5,000 crore and the company claims it will end the current fiscal with revenues upwards of Rs 10,000 crore.
It’s not only a high voltage media campaign, but media experts credit Patanjali’s success to its marketing strategy as well. “They have a very bold strategy. By its nature, FMCG is not an easy business and requires massive brand building as well as wide distribution. Its distribution is better than what most people thought, and the promoter himself is the biggest brand ambassador, with a huge following,” said Ashish Bhasin, chairman and CEO South Asia at Dentsu Aegis Network.
Experts said that Patanjali has got two insights right, which has helped the brand scale up fast. “First, is the general tendency among the Indian people to go towards natural/herbal products with heritage and Baba Ramdev epitomises that trend. Second, is the rise of nationalistic pride and patriotism, which has definitely helped Patanjali. It is the perfect brand fit,” Bhasin explained.
But Patranjali Ayurved thinks about media differently. “We don’t just advertise, we run informative campaigns,” said SK Tijarawala, spokesperson for Patanjali Ayurved.
Patanjali’s spends on advertising was just 8-10% compared to what FMCG majors spend normally. “We work on three basic principles set by Swami ji (Ramdev) — world class quality, lowest price, and that all profits are to be given away to charity. Even in our campaigns, we don’t spend money on celebrities. Swamiji talks to consumers directly. Our entire advertising and marketing spend is around a mere Rs 300 crore,” Tijarawala said.