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How Shaktiman boosted Parle G sales from 50 tons to 2,000 tons a month

How Shaktiman boosted Parle G sales from 50 tons to 2,000 tons a month

The character of Shaktiman, which was also the name of the television show that ran from 1997 to 2005, was played by Mukesh Khanna - who had become a household name due to his massive popularity among children.

 Mudnaney says that they decided to take Shaktiman (Mukesh Khanna) to Chennai to meet the children. Mudnaney says that they decided to take Shaktiman (Mukesh Khanna) to Chennai to meet the children.

Shaktiman, the famous Indian superhero, boosted the sale of Parle G biscuits from 50 tons a month to over 2,000 tons in the late 1990s. The character of Shaktiman, which was also the name of the television show that ran from 1997 to 2005, was played by Mukesh Khanna - who had become a household name due to his massive popularity among children.

A marketing strategist, Sanjay Mudnaney, has now revealed how one promotional experiment with Mukesh Khanna helped Parle G conquer the most challenging market for the company at that time - Tamil Nadu.

Mudnaney, who had just built the first integrated marketing company and Parle G was his client, says that over 25 years ago, Pravin Kulkarni the then head of marketing at Parle Products briefed him about the challenge of the Tamil Nadu market.

The brief was - the market is dominated by Milk biscuits, and Brittania Milk Bikis was the leader, the strategist writes. Parle G, which was a glucose biscuit and had no presence in the market, wanted to grab the market share in the southern part.

"We decided to do an experiment. Shaktiman - the superhero - was very popular with children in Tamil Nadu. He was also a national brand ambassador for Parle G. The character matched all that Parle G stood for -  energy, stamina, strength, and good values," he adds.  

Mudnaney says that they decided to take Shaktiman (Mukesh Khanna) to Chennai to meet the children. For this, a ground was booked, and two empty Parle G wrappers per person were the entry ticket. His team did promotions in schools and ran newspaper ads.

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The strategist says that the team expected a few thousand children with parents to turn up, but what happened there was crazy. "In the morning there was no crowd. A few children walked in with their parents. I have a worried look, Shaktiman is waiting on stage. Then a few school buses trickle in, then a few more, then we have chaos. This goes on till 6 pm, we had over a lakh people show up to meet Shaktiman. Everyone in the crowd wanted to touch their hero as if some energy got transferred," he writes.

Mudnaney said that his team had also activated its PR, and the next day 'Shaktiman comes to Chennai' was a front-page story across newspapers. "The result - the sale of Parle G biscuits went from 50 tons a month to over 2,000 tons. What we had created was one of the finest innovative marketing case studies in times of no internet. What we had demonstrated is consumers don’t just buy products they buy the story behind the products," he says.

The marketing veteran further says that by getting the children to meet their hero Shaktiman and his association with Parle G biscuits, his team had got them (children) to become a part of the story. "Every time Parle G biscuit was being consumed it would trigger the story of Shaktiman. And stories are never forgotten, none of the children or their parents who were there would have forgotten this experience till today," he writes.

Mudnaney underlines that the stories cut through communication clutter when they connect with the hearts of the target audience. "Don't sell, tell a story. Don’t sell features, create an experience to remember," he writes in his post. "We did the Shaktiman marketing campaign in times of no internet, imagine the possibilities today and metaverse in the future," Mudnaney says.

Also read: Sony Pictures to bring Shaktimaan to cinemas; watch teaser here

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