GSK's Horlicks: Instant Chocolate Flavor Launch



Client: GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited
Product: Horlicks
Category: Food, Beverage, Tobacco
Agency: Mindshare India
Country: India
Year: 2015


Campaign Summary

Horlicks, a 100-year-old, popular malted milk beverage in India, wanted to launch a new chocolate flavor. Mindshare was tasked with creating a mobile campaign to support the launch.


Objective and Context

Tradition is a godsend for marketers, but it can also curb growth. In the case of Horlicks, a favorite for Indians at home and on the road, tradition had been great for growth. Visit a traditional Indian family, and you are likely to be offered Horlicks mixed with warm milk or water. The powdered, vitamin-fortified, grain-based drink is sold in stalls alongside tea and coffee at airports, train stations, and in almost every corner of the country and is considered a treat in its biggest market.

Yet with this rich tradition came the pressure to move with the times, to evolve, and to encapsulate positive influences from technology and lifestyle in the modernizing India -- so the brand introduced Instant Chocolate Horlicks.  

While people from all walks of life love drinking Horlicks, Mindshare wanted to target mothers between 25 and 44, along with children. These mothers are the face of modern India. They are future-looking but they are traditional in that ensuring a nutritious diet for their children is among their top priorities.

Like many others, they love smartphones, which also inevitably end up in kids’ hands to keep them occupied and entertained while their mother is busy. It was through this insight that the brand discovered a solution to how it could modernize and make Horlicks the drink of the future.


Creative Strategy

TV and digital dominated the spend, while mobile was less than one percent of the total budget. Mindshare created the “Mix Chocolate Horlicks in just one shake” ad that allowed targeted consumers to experience the product on their smartphones in a fun and engaging way. The interactive rich-media ad, built with HTML5, highlighted the fact that Horlicks mixes instantly with milk while also providing a demo of how this works.

Leveraging the accelerometer function of the smartphone, consumers could “add milk in container” by tapping on the phone, and “mix Horlicks in one shake” by shaking the phone. While adults were wowed by this functionality, young kids absolutely fell in love with the ad. Mindshare also gave ad users a download of new Chocolate Horlicks recipes, helping the moms make full use of the product and diversifying choices for their kids.

Mindshare bought 100 percent share of voice for a week on Ben 10 and Prince of Persia, the most popular game apps among Indian kids. It utilized app wrapper technology to place and optimize the ad at the start and end of these apps.

People who interacted with the app were also directed to a YouTube page to watch the product video, or to Horlicks’ social pages.



The health food drink segment is 65 to 70 percent of GlaxoSmithKlne’s revenue in India so engagement with the new product was essential. Of the total impressions served, 39.16 percent engaged with the “shake to mix Instant Chocolate Horlicks” feature.

The engagement rate for the “shake to get recipe” feature was between 2.3 and 5 percent, while the number of clicks leading to the landing page was about 47.2 percent of the total clicks.

The entire campaign saw a click-through rate of 8.02 percent and an engagement of 11.34 percent, with more than 1,000 recipes downloaded by users. All this was achieved with less than one percent of the total investment in mobile.

Overall, the sales increased by six percent as a result of the repositioning efforts.





Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: | Awards:

Add This To Your Own
Case Study Hub
Member Log In

Not an MMA Member?
Join the MMA to build your case study hub and share with your team.
More Related Case Studies