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So, Pulse Needs a TVC After All, Here's Why
AdAge, 13 April, 2017

Giving a candy to the consumers instead of change is a widespread tradition that Indian shopkeepers have been following since ages. At times customers even get the privilege of picking the candy of their choice. And it was back in 2015, when maximum number of consumers started to prefer Pulse Candy over any other brand, making the brand clock Rs. 100 crore sales within 8 months of the launch.

What surprised the industry was the fact that DS Group, the parent company of Pulse Candy, achieved the mark without any advertising. However, the brand has now launched its first campaign for television. ‘Pran jaaye par Pulse na jaaye', the campaign is crafted by J. Walter Thompson.

The less than a minute video opens with a protagonist sleeping in the house. Suddenly, his house mates wake him up, screaming that the house if on fire. The protagonist, in a blurred sleepy state on seeing smoke and sparks, actually assumes that the house is on fire, as he sees his friends running to collect their precious belongings. This is when our guy springs to action, rushing to save his hidden Pulse Candies; from inside a remote, the one hidden in a DVD drive, to some, hidden in a trumpet.

Once he has managed to get his hand on the stash, he rushes out. That's when the plot unravels, a well-crafted ploy that has his friends creating the fire and smoke, amongst others. At the end, the plot succeeds and he has to give up his hidden stash of candies, but not until he manages to keep one for himself. The commercial ends with the tag line that says - ‘Pran jaaye par Pulse na jaaye'.

The brand plans to take a 360 degree approach for the campaign by releasing the advertisement in popular national as well as regional media with supporting the same on digital, BTL, events and other promotional platforms. Pulse enjoys a market share of close to 13-14% in the hard boiled candy segment.

Why now?

Television is one of the biggest platforms for mass communication. Brands also spend heftily on television in order to reach out to the maximum number of consumers. Pulse Candy, which is over two years old now, took a while to come onto the platform. Anyone would wonder why?

"We believe this was the right time to launch the TVC as now we are at a situation when we are catering to the demand of the markets across India. The TVC now will help us in reaching out to more consumers," narrates Shashank Surana, VP, New Product Development, DS Group.

Surana states, "When the product was launched, there was a supply and demand gap. The product was an instant hit and consumers loved it. It took us some time to meet the demand of the markets. We did not do aggressive ATL marketing then however, the launch was supported by BTL activities like, In-shop display, exclusive merchandise promotion and focussed sampling through various consumer contact activities to gather visibility and reach. While in-brand building process, we used digital media effectively not only to promote the brand but also to connect with consumers."

Not only Pulse, but in the recent times, we came across several brands that took a while to launch their first television campaign. Leading fashion brands like BIBA, Max Fashion and Firstcry are some of those brands who strategically figured out a ‘right time' for their debut TVC. All of these brands reached a milestone before they rolled out their first campaign on Television. And Pulse Candy is no exception here.

What next?

DS Group, the parent company of Pulse Candy had a turnover of Rs. 7,700 crore in FY 2015-16 and Pulse Candy's turnover in FY 2016-17 was over Rs. 300 crore. Pulse plans to spend close to 6-7% of its annual turnover on advertising this year.

When asked about the brand's plan further, Surana says, "The new Pulse Pineapple has already hit the market, and we will launch 2-3 new variants of Pulse candies in the current year."

While commenting on the brand's plans into beverage segment, he says, "We now plan to extend our presence in the beverage category with our mango drink, Pulse Mango, Masala Maar Ke. We have test marketed the drink and the response has been encouraging. We are now launching it in Delhi and some parts of Punjab in the first phase and slowly go pan India."

Pulse has been playing around the tangy flavour of the candy. The brand added two new variants –

Orange and Guava – into its portfolio lately but Kachha Aam remains the most loved flavour among all three.