Iconic Ads: Bagpiper – Khoob Jamega Rang

The use of film stars gave a contemporary and ‘starry’ personality as the target audience were in awe of them.

Bagpiper Whisky was launched by Herbertsons in 1976. Bagpiper entered the market intending to build a brand, rather than being simply one more whisky. Even now, the brand is defined by the evening entertainment segment.

In the early 80s, Bagpiper did a great deal to change the rules of the alcohol market. The focus was on consumer pull rather than distributor push. But it was not permitted to advertise and Herbertsons found the answer in sports.

It sponsored the player prizes in One Day matches like Man of the series etc. Actually Bagpiper created the sports event marketing business, not intentionally though. Doordarshan decided that if the sponsor is a liquor brand, then the camera cannot zero in on the products in the stadium.

Herbertson’s found a great solution. It decided to launch a club soda and extend the Bagpiper brand. Advertising whisky was prohibited but not advertising a product of the same name. Every time the club soda was advertised, it had a strong rub-off effect on the whisky. (this has become an indispensable part of liquor advertising in India)

To the head honcho at Herbertson’s, Rajesh Srivastava, (who doesn’t drink whiskey) goes a huge part in the success of Bagpiper. He wanted to communicate to the masses that alcohol isn’t a sin, but entertainment.

To market Bagpiper, targeted at the lower end of the market, he agreed to the line—’All the makings of a Great Occasion/ Evening’ from the Everest Advertising team.

They got a host of stars like Dharmendra, Shatrughan Sinha, Jackie Shroff, Sunny Deol, Akshay Kumar, Shahrukh Khan, Ajay Devgan and their ilk to endorse Bagpiper Club Soda. This, gave a contemporary and ‘starry’ personality as the target audience were in awe of film stars.

The campaign continues with no change in layout and execution, except for the change of film stars.

Interestingly in the film, there is a different line, the now-famous “Khoob jamega rang, jab mil baithenge teen yaar, Aap, main aur Bagpiper written by Iqbal Khwaja (Raj) at Everest. As a follow-up, audio cassettes of songs in different moods-romantic, sad, fun – picturized on the endorsing stars were given as gifts.

Starry Eyes

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