Product / ServiceCANOLA OIL
CategoryB12. Brand Voice & Strategic Storytelling
EntrantEDELMAN Mumbai, INDIA
Idea Creation EDELMAN Mumbai, INDIA


Name Company Position
Ambereen Ali Shah Edelman India Sector Lead, Healthcare

The Campaign

Our research showed that Indians had a traditional attitude towards cooking, but were willing to experiment and were increasing their focus on healthy eating. Our research also established that there were regional differences in the usage and preferences of oil. These insights guided our campaign that was themed: PUTTING CANOLA OIL IN EVERY INDIAN KITCHEN. Through this campaign, we used credible voices that our consumers were listening to, to tell the health story of canola oil and establish that canola oil was good for all Indian cuisines and any type of cooking. We turned canola oil's neutral taste into an advantage instead of a drawback by showcasing how it allowed the flavours of the ingredients and spices in the dish to shine through. This case tells the story of our efforts that helped canola oil find a visible space on Indian kitchen shelves, thanks to its nutrition profile and versatility.


We used earned/owned/paid platforms • Partnered with celebrity Chef Jolly who created over 60 recipes with canola oil; placed recipes in media • Created/placed content by health experts • Shared results from a scientific study on canola oil and belly fat with media; converted this into creative comic strips for social • Worked with food photographer Amrita Diwanji to create compelling narrative steeped in India’s culinary heritage to change perception that canola oil was only suitable for “foreign” dishes • Associated with television channel “FoodFood” for six episodes of healthy recipes for their show “Mummy ka Magic”-Mom’s Magic • Partnered with Facebook page “Awesome Sauce India” to put a twist on traditional Indian snacks • Organized a “Lighting Up Diwali” party where 80 media persons engaged with Chef Jolly • Worked with Instagrammer Shivesh Bhatia to position canola oil as perfect for baking • Managed the Canola India Facebook page

Media output: Through our outreach, we generated 128 stories (66 print and 62 online) between July 1, 2016 and July 31, 2018. These included recipe placements, bylined articles, industry stories and news features, highlighting the health and culinary benefits of canola oil. We secured a 100% success rate in placing our key messages and getting positive tonality for canola oil. Influencers across print, online and social media have covered canola oil’s health and culinary benefits extensively. Traffic to the international canola oil website (https://www.canolainfo.org/) from India tripled in May 2017 from April 2017 following the partnerships with Shivesh Bhatia and Awesome Sauce. Target audience outcomes: Our efforts have contributed to an increased awareness of canola oil. An independent research conducted in September 2016 showed an increase in awareness levels of canola oil from 12% to 15% in the last two years and that consumers have now started associating canola oil with its properties of high monounsaturated fat (“good fat”) content, presence of omega-3 fat and its low saturated fat (“bad fat”) content. Moreover, between July 2016 and June, 2017, we grew the CanolaIndia Facebook community by 88.5% and engaged with our followers over 275,000 times. Business outcomes: Direct Canadian canola oil exports to India which were 1,200 tonnes in 2014, increased to 6,000 tonnes in 2015, and 35,000 tonnes in 2016, a jump of over 2800%.

The Situation

Faced with entrenched consumer mindsets and stiff competition, canola oil made a late entry into India's crowded edible oil market. We were asked to promote its use and acceptance in a market where many brands clamoured for consumer attention and staked their claim as a “healthy oil”. Through compelling content, innovative experientials and fun demonstrations, we used a strategic mix of owned, earned and paid media activities to effectively deliver our messages. Bottom line: our efforts contributed to better consumer awareness about canola oil and a 2800% increase in direct Canadian canola oil exports to India, between 2014 and 2016.

The Strategy

Our primary target group included 25 to 45-year olds, middle/upper middle/upper class, residing in metro cities; experimental yet traditional, health conscious, global citizens, netizens, looking for time-saving options, having access to and the ability to afford canola oil To put canola oil in every Indian kitchen, we targeted the health and wellness media across print, television and new media with a three-step approach: KNOW IT: Wrote and placed compelling content by health experts and created a visual narrative with food photography to introduce consumers to the health/culinary benefits of canola oil. TASTE IT: Conducted innovative experientials where digital and social media influencers “tasted the difference” with canola oil to spread the word about its versatility. USE IT: Teamed up with a celebrity chef and social media influencers to showcase recipes made with canola oil that were shared in print, broadcast and social media to encourage consumers to use canola oil.


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