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How James Datta Showed Power Of Proper Advertising Branding And So Did The Punjas Roti Man

How James Datta Showed Power Of Proper  Advertising Branding And So Did The Punjas Roti Man
Media strategy and planning is also a dark art and properly done can save a significant amount of money and improve effectiveness.
December 08
10:09 2018

About 10 years ago there was a thriving professional advertising business sector in Fiji. But, for a number of reasons, the number of practitioners has fallen away and the number of full service providers has significantly diminished.

There are a significant number of graphic designers who claim to provide an advertising service and several television production facilities who also offer advertising services.

But only a really limited number of companies who offer a full advertising service including strategy planning, media planning, evaluation and placement and promotional support.

Most people think that advertising is not difficult and they are probably right.

However, creating advertising that is effective and helps to look after all the requirements of a brand requires a lot more than just production capability.

There is certainly a need for a full service advertising consultancy, especially where a brand is concerned, but many marketing companies in Fiji are not prepared to pay the additional cost, often to the brands detriment.

Media strategy and planning is also a dark art and properly done can save a significant amount of money and improve effectiveness.


The main task of advertising should be to protect and grow the brand

What is a brand?

For a great many people it is a name that identifies one product in a product category and is important because they believe it has appeal to consumers.

But is that true? One of the world’s best known brands is Colgate.

But in Fiji Colgate is not a Brand, it is the category of tooth cleaning paste.

People are asked to go and buy Colgate and come home with a tube of toothpaste under another name.

If a brand is going to be of value it has to be more than just a name. Consumers have to have some emotional relationship with the brand.

It has to give the consumer more than just the service it is to perform.

The best way to explain this is with some examples.

When I first came to Fiji there was no disposable nappy market and the general wisdom was that it was too expensive for Fiji, where all babies wore reusable nappies.

But it was worth a try so a product called Huggies was launched.

The brand concept was that the brand attributes were so beneficial that every baby deserved them and that by sticking with the old ways the mothers were not giving the baby all the love they deserved.

The communications focus was that with Huggies the baby was able to enjoy a comfortable, active and healthy life, all wrapped up in the line “Thanks for my dry bum, mum”.

When was the last time you saw a cloth nappy?

Another great branding campaign was for Punjas Flour, where the talent was a 101-year-old  man who always ate Roti for breakfast and led an active healthy life.

It was backed up with some truly memorable music.

This was more than just any ordinary roti, you believed in the health and goodness of the brand and were happy for the old man and this made a brand of the most basic commodity stand out.

Carpenters Fiji Limited represents almost all sectors with wholesale, retail, hardware, automotive, IT, finance, water bottling, shipping, and industrial and marine engineering industries.

In retail, they sold the same fridges, washing machines and stoves as everyone else and basically the only differentiation was in the pricing such that the cheapest price won.

This was no way to retail.

We knew that many people were nervous of making the wrong decision when they purchased when they purchased home wares because it represented a major cash outlay to them and they were inexperienced in the category.

They needed to feel reassured.


About James Dutta

So James Dutta was created. James was a good man.

A fair man and a man who understood the needs of his customers and advertising was developed that gave James the platform to show that the shoppers could rely on him to help them make the right decision.

And he  would stand by them if something went wrong.

James became the brand, he was the difference and he formed an emotional bond with every customer, whether they had ever met him or not.

His apprentice is now doing the same thing, and he is doing it well.

In any product category the brand that the consumers have emotional ties with will always be the market leader.

This is true in almost every product category, in spite of the belief in the grocery retail business that price is critical.

In almost every category the biggest seller is not the cheapest on shelf but is close to the top price.

Just look at the market leaders in categories such as margarine, toilet soap, coffee, milk, and soap powder, lamb sausages, frozen chicken.

In each category there is one brand that offers more emotional attachment for a customer and they will pay for that.

Brand attachment applies to nearly every category of goods. Cars have huge emotional relationship for the consumer, as do airlines.

Frozen chickens are a very basic commodity yet one brand has developed a relationship based on the good times shared with family and managed to embed that concept into their brand.

With people believing that the brand has been a part of their emotional relationship with their family, price takes a back seat.

The important thing about these brands is that almost all of the emotional attachments were not there.

They were created by well-structured and nicely executed advertising that reached some emotive string in the consumer.

In some product categories the brand benefit is not emotional and these issues need to be identified and communicated.

One example of this is petrol, where convenience is the critical issue, but to some extent it is possible to enhance this.

In this category habit also plays an important part and wherever habit is a factor strategies need to be used to break that habit.

Research shows that to break a habit the consumer needs to perform the new action at least ten times.

For example, in petrol retailing the consumer has to be attracted to use a different brand over a period of time.

One very effective way of achieving a habit change in retailing is an attractive promotion but to achieve a lasting brand shift the ten times number needs to be obtained and this dictates long lasting promotion periods.

Advertising is a critical component of the tools to achieve strong attached branding and advertising.

It must also use all the emotive techniques at its disposal, but once a switch is achieved the rewards are long term.




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"I support it 200 percent, I am with FRU, the country and the people of Fiji. We want to bid to get one of the HSBC stops in Fiji."
Waisale Serevi
Sevens Legend
December 2018
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