Above: PSI Tanzania’s new Kuwa Original campaign teaser, promoting their sponsorship of the popular reality TV show “Bongo Star Search.”
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with PSI Tanzania’s Head of Marketing, Twebese Rukandema-Mugisha, to learn more about their exciting new campaign to help breathe new life into the Salama Condom brand.
Q: Hey Twebese, thanks for taking the time to sit with me and talk about the new campaign from PSI Tanzania for the Salama Condom brand. Well, where do we begin – a historic brand that is growing year on year, and yet…you launched a new campaign, that feels like a major shift for Salama. Why change things now?
A: Salama sales have actually plateaued over the last few years and we felt it time to refresh the brand and breathe new life into it to kick start some new growth. We had some qualitative research that showed a lack of affinity for the brand amongst our target audience. As much as the word “Salama” had become synonymous with “condoms” as a result of our leadership in the market over the years, it was now starting to work against us. Salama had become this amorphous brand that meant nothing in particular to anyone in particular. So it was time to fix that.
Q: What made you focus on the youth for this new effort and not all segments of the population?
We did this for a number of reasons. From an epidemiological perspective, 26% of new infections are among youth. Also, while condom use is going up for older age segments, it’s actually declining among 15-24 year olds at risky sex. Youth have also been prioritized nationally, with the government setting a target of 70% condom use reported at last sex by 15-24yrs olds, by 2018. That’s an increase of over 10% from where it currently is.
That said, the direction we have taken with our campaign, and the aspirational messaging it portrays, we feel will also appeal to age groups outside of youth.
Q: How did you arrive at the final positioning?
We did both quantitative and qualitative as well as anecdotal insight generation with our target audience to land the final idea. We conducted our first Needscope in 2013. This helped us uncover the need states within the condom category in Tanzania and identify which space to go after that was both lucrative in terms of its size, but also one in which we had the most credible “right to compete”. As a result, with our new positioning, we want the Salama brand to own the “Carefree” need state.
Our tagline “Kuwa Original, Chagua Original” (be original, choose original) is actually a play on a number of things. Not only does it embrace carefree individuality and the sense of rebellion that appeals to youth universally, it’s also a response to developments in the Tanzanian condom market as well. At the time that we were developing the campaign, DKT were working on launching a competing condom brand in Tanzania. In recognition of the power that novelty has in this market, we decided to emphasize and celebrate our long history on the Tanzanian market and turn it into a source of credibility rather being perceived as an aging brand that couldn’t compete with a newer, fresher entrant. Choosing the original was therefore promoted as a sign of being original.
Q: How are you planning on bringing it to life so that you get the best media ROI you can?
We realize that for most of our target audience, Salama was an older man’s condom, possibly even their dads! We couldn’t necessarily change this perception by simply saying we’re younger—we needed to show it. The decision was then made to leverage existing media properties that both aligned with our key message and positioning, and more importantly had the established credibility with our target audience that we were looking to gain ourselves.
Our brand repositioning’s “coming out party” was therefore executed through the sponsorship of Tanzania’s biggest talent show “Bongo Star Search”. We launched at the end of June 2015 in partnership with the show, which offers young people a shot a being a star. This year, the show urges contestants to be original and has integrated our tagline into theirs. Past contestants who have made it big, serve as living examples of how breaking free from the mold and being original saw them plucked from obscurity to the fame they are now enjoying.
Social media is also new for the brand but a key channel. Smart phone penetration is quickly growing in Tanzania as cheap Chinese brands flood the market, and as a result, so too is access to Social Media.
Lastly, below the line has also played a big part in rolling out the campaign. We’re using experiential marketing activations to extend the reach of the show, allowing those who missed the opportunity to audition to do so and have the opportunity to be entered in the “wild card” round.
Q: Any results you can share to date since the launch (past month?) on sales or awareness numbers?
Too early I’m afraid especially to link to this campaign. But results should be ready to share in Q4 2015 and we suspect they will definitely move the dial in the direction we are aiming for.