“An emotion, a companion supported by convenience” that’s how Ajit Kumar, Senior Vice President – Sales and Marketing at Saregama Carvaan describes this iconic brand and product. Well, I personally am a huge fan of this beautiful product and I was delighted to speak to Ajiton the brand’s performance during the lockdown and the campaign they launched with their agency Womb, Ghar Le Aayein.
If you had to define the brand Saregama Carvaan in say less than 100 words… How would you do that?
Saregama Carvaan is an emotion, nostalgia, a companion supported by convenience. The fact that it became overnight rage is not because of just the music it offers but because if offered it in a way nothing else did. It is really moving to see how users hold Carvaan so close to them, it’s part of their life like any other family member.
Absolutely Carvaan is no less than a family member… Ajit, tell me about your journey and experience of working with this iconic brand that cuts across all age groups?
The brand has something to offer to everyone. Its vast catalogue stands true and valid for all generations and TGs.
I love working with the brand, in times where everyone is selling products, we get to offer nostalgia. This is extremely unique and fulfilling. India’s demography gives a lot of opportunity to work towards segments and come up with something for everyone. While younger ones are gifting Carvaan to elderly, Carvaan Mini, Carvaan Go is bought by users for themselves. Carvaan 2.0 with its podcast feature is very well accepted as a family product offering something for everyone.
Well, your journey truly has been fulfilling… so how Saregama Carvaan been coping up with Covid-19? How is the business shaping up and what’s been the impact of Covid-19?
Covid-19 has certainly changed a lot of things around business environment. In the beginning, it did impact as suddenly the markets were closed. But as the time is passing by, things are gradually coming back on track. Though offline sales are slow due to people not stepping out, some shops being closed but at the same time online has picked up. There is a steep change in consumer behaviour also. We are very positive that as we proceed towards the festive season, things should improve.
Tell us about the evolution of Saregama Carvaan to Saregama Carvaan 2.0? How has that performed and what surge have you seen in Podcasts?
Carvaan is evolving into a platform from a product with the launch of Carvaan 2.0, keeping all the originality and convenience of Carvaan intact. Apart from pre-loaded songs, Carvaan 2.0 offers rhymes, bedtime stories for children, parenting tips , travel stories, Lifestyle, Bollywood movie reviews and stories and hundreds of many more such podcasts. There is something for everyone in the family. New and interesting podcasts across the genres are being added every day.
Lately, there has been a great surge in the audio content consumption and people are getting comfortable with the concept of podcasts. Our endeavour is also to keep up with the market and offer what the consumers are looking for. We have been constantly collaborating with leading names to make our podcast offering richer and relevant.
…And in the lockdown did Saregama Carvaan see a spike in sales? I mean only after the E-commerce deliveries were allowed as a part of the relaxation of the lockdown…
This has been an eye opener for us. We had personally gotten so many requests to deliver Carvaan during lockdown. This very clearly directed towards the fact that there are only limited means of entertainment available. The elderly generation which is not very tech savvy feels the void even more. During lockdown, people who owned Carvaan shared a lot of stories with us and even on social media, telling how Carvaan was their best companion during such times. As soon as the deliveries through e-commerce opened, our sales were higher than regular days.
Wow! My next questions is about the campaign, Ghar Le Aayein? What was the brief given to your agency The Womb? What were the objectives of the campaign and did you successfully achieve them?
Our campaign was created keeping in mind the current times. Though the unlock phase has begun, there is a fear of the unprecedented impact of the virus, especially on the elderly. And they may not be able to move out of their homes for many months to come. To ensure that they don’t feel alone at home while life returns to normalcy for some of us, we conceived the idea of this campaign.
Through this campaign, we aimed to position Saregama Carvaan as a companion to the elderly who are home bound for a longer time than we ever expected. The product will serve to fulfill their need for entertainment and take them back to their good old days. And this was precisely the brief given to the agency. After the campaign, we also took a step further by donating Carvaan to old age homes to spread smiles amongst the elderly, to help them find solace and companionship in these challenging times.
How are you innovating on this beautiful product?
As a brand, we want to constantly evolve and offer a vast portfolio to the consumers. We launched Carvaan 2.0 last year and we are working on many other consumer insights currently. We are determined to come up with many more such path breaking products in future keeping convenient offering at the core.
So what’s next for Saregama Carvaan?
The pandemic has resulted in a shift of advertising budget from traditional marketing like print, and ATL-outdoor activities to digital and mobile marketing, with the end-users being indoors, and preferring to consume content primarily on their mobile phones or TV.
For the coming quarters, our marketing strategy would be more digital-driven and our communication would be more cause-based, emotional, attempting to bring more happiness to families, and as well as the elderly. In the post-COVID-19 world, brands need to think beyond and explore innovative tactics to reach out to their audiences.
The global pandemic has left a long-lasting effect on every aspect of our lives. But at the same time it was interesting to observe how the world very quickly adapted to the new challenges. I just want to wish everyone a great and positive times ahead.