Saif Sayed, allaboutoutdoor.com
"Shubh Bhojan ki Shubh Shuruwat" is the latest campaign by Tata Salt executed by The Brand Brewery. The leading salt brand of the country generated a lot of buzz in the Kumbh Mela along with many brands participating in the Mela in Ujjain this year. The Kumbh comes about once in 12 years, making it a much-awaited event. Needless to say, there are hundreds of big and small brands that view for branding opportunities and visibility in this large mass congregation of religious, spiritual folk. Tata Salt approached with an interesting challenge - construct and execute a branding idea and activity that stands out in the crowd.
The brands interaction with the consumer was done in a very personal way. Shifting the idea of Salt from just an ingredient in food and an auspicious food by itself! Tata Salt branded Thaalis fed lacs of devotees through multiple Akharas (places where food is served to worshippers), and the first thing that was served on these plates was a pinch of Tata salt to start the auspicious meal, bringing salt's age-old glory to the masses! Amongst the people served with these thaalis, majority learnt a new thing about salt during their time at the Kumbh Mela.
"We had to create a relevant connect between the Kumbh and Tata Salt for the message to stick. This was a puzzler, because in general, we don't think much about salt. We don't really care, as long as our food is well-salted to our tastes. But we had to move beyond these associations and find deeper meaning to the ingredient. Hence, we started digging into our rich cultural history, rather than create new myths about the ingredient", explained Pradyumn Tandon, Founder & Director, The Brand Brewery.
The thaali innovation was supported by a larger initiative - wherein 35 tons of Tata Salt was distributed to various akharas to be used in preparation of the auspicious meals, and also to be served at the beginning of the meal. In sum total approximately 50 lac pilgrims were fed - not only their stomachs as well as their minds and thus creating new perception of salt.
"We understood that most of ancient Indian wisdom has gotten lost with modernization of the masses. Our team travelled to Ujjain and spoke with people running Akhara kitches, priests and other spiritual folk who would participate in the Kumbh this year. This is where we hit the jackpot - we found that some priests and devotees still follow the long-forgotten practice of starting an auspicious meal with a pinch of salt, during their 'auspicious' occasions - they combine ancient knowledge about Salt, its health benefits & its 'divinity' to complete their spiritual experience of worship. With this discovery, everything came together. This gave us the ammunition we needed - we introduced a simple yet robust innovation - giving Salt its rightful place on the Indian thaali by creating an additional slot for salt on the thaali. In doing so, we not only hoped to honor the devotees and priests who follow this forgotten practice, we also aimed to unearth a new story, a unique behavior around Salt. And for them, Salt would no longer just be an ingredient, it would sit on its own throne, it would be re-instated as the rightful beginning of an auspicious meal", Pradyuman added.