Brandtone worked with Hindustan Unilever to deliver a mobile marketing campaign that engaged with its target audiences with the aim of increasing sales of its Bru coffee brand.

As India’s number one coffee brand, Bru had become a staple in many households across India and was committed to bringing new and improved variations to consumers each year; using better packaging solutions and innovative product formats. However, with key competitors entering the market in the past few years, the brand felt the time was right to reengage their existing customer base and reward loyal consumers for their purchases.

The Brief

Unilever asked Brandtone to design a campaign that would reward existing customers, while also building relationships and managing brand perceptions across India. An aim of the campaign was to get a better understanding of the customer in order to develop a representative and permissioned database.

The focus was not just on consumers though. Bru also identified the need to engage independent traders. With over 10 million retail outlets across India, connecting with those who were not already being distributed to directly would have a huge impact on Bru’s growth.

The Campaign

Working with Brandtone, Bru was able to offer both consumers and independent traders free airtime via mobile redemption of codes printed within the product packaging – regardless of their handset or mobile network.

Using this approach, Brandtone was able to develop an extensive database of Unilever’s target audience; offering a deep insight and understanding of these key markets for the first time.

The campaign approach and execution had to be targeted to each audience in order to best meet their needs. While both involved a mutually beneficial engagement via their mobile device, the mechanism was slightly different for each.


The campaign entailed traders buying Bru instant bundles, which contained post-card size coded coupons with scratch cards, with a ‘call to action’ for the trader to dial a missed called number which appears on the pack.


Consumers were targeted by communication through on-pack messages at retail outlets, and with a similar incentive to traders, were offered free airtime, but for each packet of Bru purchased.

The brand also used social media to engage with its younger audience more directly. This 360 approach was vital to the success of the campaign and ensured that all relevant people were targeted.

The Results

As a result of the campaign, Bru has regained the market lead in India in both value and volume and has seen a double digit increase in sales. They have now moved to an always-on format to sustain this growth into the future:

  • Over 10 million completed entries
  • Regained market lead
  • 3 new SKUs promoted nationwide
  • Permission rate of over 50%


MMA Smarties - 2015

  • Lead Generation – Silver Winner APAC
  • Relationship Building – Shortlisted Global
Regained Market Lead.
10 Million Entries
2.5 Million Permissioned Profiles