The Fall and Rise of Maggi!

What does Maggi mean to us?

A quick snack, a symbolic taste which we all have loved since our childhood, a lifelong companionship for the 90s born generation and a trusted food substitute for all the mothers in India. Maggi is not just a brand, but a staple food for millions of Indians since the past 3 decades. This sentiment is made stronger from the fact that Maggi is sold in over 3.9 million retail outlets in India, the highest for any snack.

This love is what gave Maggi lovers a jolt when the snack faced a nationwide ban last year in June, blemishing the iconic brand. Strong on brand promise all these years, media and critics did not waste time lashing out at Nestle for causing a dent to this promise. A huge furor that rose after this resulted in 60% quarterly loss for the brand for the first time in 15 years. But, before you start judging this narrative as a litany of their downtimes, I would beg to differ. This is a story of how Maggi returned back to its fans with the same promise and love that it has harbored for so long.

Nestle brought back the favorite masala Maggi with equal dignity through very well thought out communications strategy that were executed in phases. This comeback of Nestle’s Maggi will make its way into management case studies for years to come.

Remembrance ad series – #WeMissYouToo

While tones of Maggi packets were called back from the shelves to the lab, the absence pinched diehard fans like us. Competitor brands started scuttling together to fight for that numero UNO position which Maggi wore like a crown for decades. But little did they know. Nestle did not waste time. The damage control team was having a field day and the promotion team stepped in and a did a great job at reminding the fans that Maggi is being missed – at hostel rooms, on midnight snack stalls and in our breakfast and evening snack menus. The #WeMissYouToo ad series where Maggi lovers expressed the nostalgia, was an intelligent move to remind consumers that Maggi is not yet out of the race and will be back soon.

The Maggi Mom

A mother would always want the best for their children and Maggi was launched with a focus on making daily cooking easy, for working mothers. Nestle showcased launch ads back in 1983 where mothers were the protagonists to validate the nutritive value of Maggi. The current setback, sort of created a chink in that confidence, but when the test results came out with flying colours, Maggi mom was brought back to the scene after the #WeMissYouToo series featuring single individuals and kids. This time, young mothers were also a part of the campaign who have grown up having Maggi made by their mothers. The ads which were shot in both Tamil and Hindi, featured mothers who expressed their concern on whether they were promoting and feeding unhealthy food all this time. But as the test results had come out with flying colors, the same Maggi moms testified the safety and confidence in welcoming Maggi back into their lives.

While this strategy was being implemented, many advertising gurus were asked for their opinion on whether it would work. KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, SapientNitro pointed out that it was a fabulous strategy to restore the confidence of people. “Bringing mothers to the forefront strengthens the belief and develops deeper affinity with the brand. These ads are not about selling Maggi but the thoughts which people had in mind about the brand. The advertising has brought it out very nicely,” he opines.

Did this work?

Well, it more than worked! The local arm of the Swiss packaged foods company said it has sold 45 million packs of the popular snack within two weeks of its relaunch. Although Maggi could have gone solo, they teamed up with Snapdeal for a flash sale of specially designed pack of 12 packets of the2-minute noodles, loaded with small gift items like Calendar for year 2016, refrigerator magnet sticker for online sales. As per the news reports, approximately 60,000 packs of special welcome back box were sold out in 5 minutes!!

Key Takeaways from Their Comeback Campaign

  • Transparency Generally if a brand faces such kind of a controversy, they tend to chicken out, disappear from the scene and comeback with fresh promotions and claims of being safe with a painful lull in the midst. Nestle, on the other hand has been transparent right from the beginning with the entire testing process, going about it legally and bringing out every test result in the open. That boosted the Brand Trust
  • Use of Right Media Nestle harnessed the viral nature of social media to step back into the game by doing promotions on various channels like Facebook and You Tube to reach out to their customers. It’s facebook page currently boasts of over 14M ardent followers.
  • Innovative Communications Approach With innovative communications and creative promotion, Maggi nailed its comeback strategy boosting confidence and trust back into its loyal fans.https://www.facebook.com/MeriMaggiIndia/videos/990510364336207/

Conclusion

All through these years, Nestle never banked on the physical aspects of the noodles – size, shape, texture etc (which a certain brand that nearly sounds like “SomeFeast” 😉 ) did over and over again to grab that trust from Maggi lovers. You know that’s what makes Apni Maggi different. It has always been about that sentiment, that love and that belongingness which no other food snack provides. From kids, to moms and to the seniors, the taste exudes that love which no other brand can bring out. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Nestle’s Maggi 2-minute noodles rose like a glowing phoenix from its own ashes ☺

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