Etika dares to push creative boundaries to create impactful campaigns


  • Business
  • Saturday, 24 Feb 2018

Strong talents: Etika marketing vice-president Santharuban T. Sundaram (sixth from the left) with the company’s team.

PUSHING creative boundaries to interest consumers has been one of the hallmarks for beverage company Etika Sdn Bhd as it strives to promote its brands locally and regionally.

With over 18 renowned brands in the market, the franchise holder of PepsiCo in Malaysia and distributor of the said franchise brands in Singapore is set to leverage on consumer research via a pool of strong talents to create impactful campaigns to stay ahead of competition.

Some of the recent ad campaigns that have created an impact on consumers include Mountain Dew neon and Dairy Champ.

Elaborating on this initiatives, Etika marketing vice-president Santharuban T. Sundaram tells StarBizWeek: “At Etika, we are all about pushing creative boundaries to interest our consumers. Through our consumer research, we know what’s the latest topics of conversation, buzz trends and interest spheres of consumers, which enables us to create impactful campaigns that will resonate and are relatable.

“In 2015, Etika created a unique and attractive campaign with The Star for the Mountain Dew neon campaign. The said campaign propelled Mountain Dew to its all-time high. We also had another campaign with The Star in which we gave consumers a ‘height chart’ which was wrapped around the copy of the publication for the launch of Goodday Milk.”

Then in 2017, Etika developed the famed 2017 Dairy Champ advertisements that featured Datuk David Arumugam and Datuk Seri Vida as the brand ambassadors. The Dairy Champ ads caught the attention of many passing drivers the minute it went on billboards nationwide. The ads made a huge impact on social media and became the talk of the town.

Santharuban attributes the company’s impactful campaigns to strong products that meet the needs of consumers. “We simply utilise the power of branding and marketing to further boost our product positioning. Such ads and promotions, like the ones for Dairy Champ, have brought a significant increase in sales and brand awareness,” he says.

One of Etika’s formula for success as a leading and prominent marketer, he adds, is the company’s talent pool. The marketing team, he says, comprises diverse individuals whose background range from media agency, creative agency, media owners, telco and even forestry.

“Some of them were not originally marketers in their previous role even. So everyone in the team has a mindset to learn, push boundaries and rewrite the rules,’’ he explains.

On its competitive strength over other players, Santharuban says it is the people and the mindset. “While we have achieved numerous milestones over the years, we do not allow ourselves to be comfortable. We pride ourselves with the brands that we carry and the innovations we have brought into the market, as all our products are thoroughly researched to ensure that we serve our consumers based on their demand,’’ he stresses.

Etika’s brands have currently expanded to 30 countries including Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, the Philippines and Indonesia. Highlighting on another important element, he says that having a common goal is extremely crucial in every business.

He adds: “We have one thing in mind and that is to ensure we deliver ‘Happiness Made Simple’ to our own team and our consumers. In all of our campaigns, the under­pinning motivation to put consu­mers’ needs first never changes.”

Etika recently bagged the number one spot for the Top 10 Most Awarded Marketers 2017 by Marketing Magazine. Santharuban credited the win to the team and the willingness to try the “untested”.

“Something creative and innovative would in most instance be something that is not tried or done before and executing such campaigns will carry some risk, calculated risk. Etika has time and time again been bold and this has proven to be a successful formula for us,’’ he says. — By DALJIT DHESI

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