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BY Anjana Naskar

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Q] Tell us about your sponsorship alliance with Chennai Super Kings (CSK). How has the three year-association with the franchise benefited the company till now?
Cricket is like a passion for Indians in general and Tamil Nadu is also equally passionate about cricket. And specifically when it becomes regional like CSK with a popular cricketer, Mahendra Singh Dhoni leading it, there’s a huge amount of interest around the sport as well as the team and people get intimately connected with the team.

Therefore, any brand which is associated with it sees a very positive impact. That has happened for us as well. Tamil Nadu has been our focus market and that is one of the reasons we specifically took up the CSK sponsorship in 2017, when we started off.

And the journey over the last three years has been really good with the franchise. We’ve been able to engage with the fans and our customers, and brought them together for engagement activities like viewing live matches.

Q] What is the media mix used this time around to leverage the association?
We have adopted a multi-platform strategy. We have our on-ground elements that are activated, and we are one of the few companies still working with some amount of Outdoor for the CSK association. We have a special TVC that we shot in Dubai with the team.

There is a huge amount of Digital which is happening across social media. In terms of the mix, the skew towards Digital is slowly increasing obviously, but the bulk of it is still going into traditional media.

We also see that there’s a lot of interest in Hotstar. So, as a regional company, we have very focussed territories where we operate. So, we’re not really spending on cold media like Star Sports, which is extremely expensive. The geographical focus which we get through Hotstar has really helped us. So we do a lot of advertising on Hotstar.

Founded in Japan, Nippon Paint has over 140 years of experience in paint manufacturing. The company produces a wide range of international quality, hi-tech paints for decorative, automotive, and industrial sectors. The company and its subsidiaries are active in 31 countries including Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, China, India, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Germany, Greece and Russia.


Mark Titus is the Director of Marketing at Nippon Paint India. He is known for his disruptive marketing strategies at Nippon. Titus is at the helm of building Nippon Paint’s brand value in India. He brings with him 16 years of experience in brand building, having previously worked with companies like Hindustan Coca-Cola and Sony India.
Q] How are you leveraging IPL to connect with customers? What other sports are you associated with, apart from IPL?
We are very active on digital platforms and we host a lot of contests and other engagement activities on our platforms. That’s one of the key things that we are using to connect with consumers. And we shot a series of around six or seven ads with the players which we are using on the GECs and other channels.

Fortunately, this time IPL is coinciding with the festive season, so we worked out a promotion which brings the two together and we are activating that on ground. We have worked with the CSK team and have developed a shade which we call ‘CSK yellow’.

This is the exact CSK yellow colour, something that we are promoting a lot this season.
We were also there as a partner with the Asia Cup, Tamil Thalaivaas - Pro Kabaddi League. We have a long term partnership with the Bengaluru Bulls. We have had a partnership with Pro Volleyball League as a central sponsor. And to top it off, we are also the official partners of the Indian Olympic Association.

Q] Nippon Paints is very strong in the South, particularly in Tamil Nadu. Are there plans for expansion in other zones?
So we are actually there across the country in terms of presence except East. So we’ve consciously stayed away from the East as of now but the brand is available in the rest of the country.

Tamil Nadu is our core market, it’s our home ground, our factory is here for our decorative division and from 2017 we’ve been treating it as a co-market doing a lot of advertising and brand promotional activities within Tamil Nadu. It’s helped us tremendously.

We have actually started some work in Karnataka as our second focus market. And hopefully we will soon be expanding in terms of media to the other southern states before the North.

Q] What has your approach been this festive season? How have your adapted your marketing strategy?
So, IPL and the entire festive season are getting propped together. We are running a festive campaign that has been activated across retail outlets. So, in addition to the general gifts like consumer electronics items, they also get a chance to participate in a virtual meet and greet event with the CSK team.

Q] Tell us a bit about your association with Bigg Boss Tamil? How is this association helping you to connect with customers?
This is one property we actually took a chance on. We were one of the first sponsors who came on board on Bigg Boss Tamil at a time when they were really struggling to get people on board. And it has really worked for us.

Right from the first season, it is the highest rated programme when it airs. It has had a very positive rub off on the brand in terms of brand recall value. The brand salience that we have today in Tamil Nadu is largely due to these impact properties that we’ve taken, like Bigg Boss Tamil and CSK team, which have helped us to gain traction.

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Tags : interview Anjana Naskar Mark Titus Nippon Paint India (Decorative Division)