Rasna became extremely popular in the early 80s especially after the Rasna Girl and ‘I Love You Rasna’ advertisment
If you are the 70s/80s kid, you grew up with Rasna.
Rasna used to be a part of the household monthly shopping basket. Bottles of juice concentrates were kept handy, to help kids make refreshing drinks easily and ice lollies too.
Rasna was economical, convenient and easy to use. It was welcomed by many households eating in the squash market. A huge plus was that children could whip up several glasses unaided.
The brand was initially called Jaffe. But for its pan-India launch in 1979, their erstwhile agency O&M, suggested Pioma (parent company) go with something more Indian-sounding and hence the name Rasna, was selected.
Rasna became extremely popular in the early 80s when they partnered with Mudra to launch an advertising campaign taking on the established carbonated drinks. Rasna had gone pan India in its distribution. Pioma approached Mudra, which was Ahmedabad based like Pioma but it was the in-house agency Reliance Industries. The CEO AG Krishnamurthy spoke to Dhirubhai Ambani and he agreed to let Mudra take external clients. Pioma/ Rasna became its first outside brand.
The brief was to position Rasna as a drink among children in a way the brand could be the drink of the country.
Mudra studied the carbonated and non-carbonated drinks market and learnt that homemade drinks like lime juice, kokum sharbat, homemade juices etc. occupied the maximum share in at-home consumption. Kissan squashes and Rooh Afza were also brand leaders.
Mudra developed a 32-glass print campaign. It depicted a mother and her son sipping from those glasses while sitting next to each other. Rasna was advertised as having 32 glasses of juice in a pack in the graphic format.
It was decided to go with television commercials. Kids were seen preparing Rasna based drinks and the mother was serving them to the guests. A few scratches were prepared. When Mudra tested those scratches through market research, the response from the mothers was very good. AG Krishnamurthy decided to use these scratches for telecast rather than make a new film.
The Pioma Mudra partnership later gave us the ‘Rasna Girl’ & Ankita Javeri saying ‘I Love You Rasna,’ as the brand wanted to create an emotional connection.
The original idea was that a little girl would be playing with dolls and pretending to give them Rasna. Since none of them could drink it, she drank it instead and told the camera that she loves Rasna.
Ankita was chosen because she was cute and also because Rasna sounded like a girl’s name (not a boy).
Targeted at adults and children, the TVCs had an air of innocence and a family setting was preferred. The film was centred on simplicity and innocence and conveyed that the product would appeal to both children and adults. It would rely on the pester power which the kids had, one of the few brands to do so.
It also deftly skirted the label of ” the cheapest drink,” instead of emphasizing the economy of its purchase, rather than competition, in terms of how much could be made at once.
Rasna sponsored around three serials on Doordarshan, and it was the show’s main sponsor for Spiderman. Rasna became a household name in India after the release of the ad film. Second, the market for soft drink concentrates also grew.
Especially in summer, kids would pester their parents for Rasna primarily in summer. Soon Rasna had a 50% market share, especially during summers.
The ‘I love you, Rasna’; tagline went on to become an iconic one, and Rasna soon became a market leader