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Interviews

SAMIR SULTAN BRAND MANAGER KNORR

Talks to Brands Magazine about Knorr’s delicious noodles
Samir Sultan has to stay connected to a diverse set of audiences. With a portfolio covering Soups, Ketchups, Cooking Aids, and Noodles, there are many different tastes to cater to, and a large target market to stay in tune with. However, the most challenging proposition is to keep pace with the kids of today: the primary audience for Knorr Noodles.

Kids are always searching for something new and exciting, so how does Samir make sure that Knorr Noodles continues to resonate with kids while simultaneously staying true to the essence of the brand? We sat down with him to get an idea of how Knorr Noodles manages to walk this tightrope.

BM: Ask any child today what his favorite noodles are, and the probability is high that the answer is Knorr Noodles. What has the brand done that brought about this recall?
SS: Knorr Noodles has been building on a very strong insight over the past few years. Kids have shorter attention spans and find most things boring. It was very difficult to find a platform that would stick with them over a sustained period, since they would get bored with it after a while. This was something we used to our advantage. We personified the boredom that kids feel everyday by creating the “Boriyat ki Ghanti”, the main antagonist of the Noodles Gang. By giving kids, and our Noodles Mascots, a common enemy to rally against, Knorr got the kids on its side, and Knorr Noodles became a hit.

BM: Two new flavors were launched this year, Achari Masti and Lemon Twist. This seems like a trend. What is the thinking behind this?
SS: We keep launching new flavors periodically to keep our audience excited. Flavor wear-out is a concern with young kids, so there’s always a focus on giving them something new to try before the existing flavors lose their novelty. Lemon twist and Achari Masti are something kids have never tried before, but at the same time, they are flavors that appeal to them. This, coupled with colorful and dynamic mascots for each flavor that are added to the Noodles Gang, keeps kids engaged with the brand.

BM:Knorr Noodles has remained a largely urban phenomenon. Are there any plans to take Knorr Noodles to a wider audience?
SS: Our eventual goal is to make Knorr Noodles the most preferred snack for Pakistani kids. Knorr Noodles has started taking its message directly to kids and mothers across the country. With kids, we are focusing on bringing the fun and exciting world of Knorr Noodles to life, and with mothers, we are talking about the nutritional benefits of eating Knorr Noodles as compared to traditional snacking options. We are expanding the footprint slowly but surely, and hopefully, Knorr Noodles will have a much wider reach in the years to come.

BM: How did you differentiate this year’s launch with what you’ve done before?
SS: Normally, the new Noodle gang mascots are the ones fighting against our antagonist “Boriyat ki Ghanti”, freeing kids from boredom. The big idea this year was to have kids lead the fight against Boriyat, while making the new characters, Limcoo and Misti, as accomplices. Knorr went big on ATL this year with the new communication, and the bright and colorful outdoor campaign was something that caught the eye of even the most disinterested of kids.

All our BTL activities involved putting kids front and center to personally fight off the “Boriyat ki Ghanti”. We took this concept to malls, schools, stores, digital, basically everywhere kids are. Children have absolutely loved interacting with the characters and putting down the evil Ghanti.

BM: Where does Knorr Noodles go from here?
SS: We want to break out of the shackles of the instant noodles category and be thought of as a snack. To that end, Knorr Noodles is changing its competitive set to take on traditional snacks like chips and biscuits head-on, so let’s see where this path takes us.

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