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The other side of a cup of coffee - story of a couple from Bangalore

Sometimes small observations can lead to big business ideas. It started with Deepak's small observation in his office that turned into a promising advertising concept. Here's the story of a couple that discovered the other side of a cup of coffee.

Devleena and Deepak Bansal, the husband-wife duo has brought forth ‘The other side’ of a cup of coffee. A coffee lover would often wonder what goes behind the irresistible aroma a cup of coffee exudes. But this duo’s foresight leverages what goes after a person gets a Cup a Joe in hand. It is with this concept that they started up GingerCup.

Deepak, an occupant in IT sector and Devleena, a denizen of Marketing and HR have been working in their particular fields for 8 years and 5 years respectively. While working little did they know that one day they would come up with a breakthrough phenomenon of advertising on paper cups in India.

The Big Bang Discovery

It all started with Deepak’s subtle observation in his office. He noticed that during tea/coffee breaks, people brew a lot of discussions and spend time gossiping about random things and the things they see around. One day, while a bunch of people in his office were having coffee in their coffee break; he noticed a loud and exciting discussion shooting on Coca Cola as the cups had a Coca Cola logo printed on them.

Deepak decided to delve into his observation. So, he probed it further and discovered that mostly plain paper cups are used to serve water, tea/coffee and other beverages in offices and other places like college canteens, food joints, tea stalls, etc. Deepak thought if a monotonous paper cup having just a small sized logo could make people have an exciting discussion about it, how they would react if they get the same drink in a beautifully designed colorful paper cup having a couple of words written on it about a brand no matter established or a startup.That was the big moment when he nailed the concept of branding on paper cups in India which was hitherto popular in countries like Australia and The United States.

Findings of the Creative Union
Deepak’s ‘discovery’ got wings when he discussed it with Devleena and she supported it with the same zeal. Devleena took the idea further and the duo got engaged in an extensive marketing research. They found paper cup advertising much better than other offline advertising techniques such as pamphlets, flyers and catalogues. What makes cup advertising better is its power to engage the user and get the ad noticed. “Technically, a paper cup bears a crisp message and essential details to convey across. The ease of reading lesser quantum of text fitted in striking graphics ensures its retention by the cup user. On the other hand, other mediums have lesser creativity and more amount of text, which bores the reader and gets the print material unnoticed”, says Devleena.

She adds, “It is natural for anyone to spend time consuming their drink be it coffee or other beverages, which is enough for the ad to get noticed and strike a chord with the users’ mind which isn’t the case with a pamphlet and other offline advert medium”.

These findings finally made this creative union decide to take the idea further with their first experiment on paper cup advertising in Bangalore. 

The Big-inning
The duo distributed a few thousand cups to various tea vendors in Bangalore and waited for people to come in during their breaks. People walked in and the couple observed them only to find astounding results. It was found that approximately 80% people could recall the name of the advertised brand and 50% of them could recall even the company code. The figures were way better than what thousands of pamphlets or flyers could achieve.

The success of their first experiment injected a rare enthusiasm in them so they decided to take on their next ad campaign towards colleges and IT companies. Accordingly, 500 cups were distributed at Jyoti Niwas College and NIFT, Bangalore. This time again, the response was overwhelming. The brand recall was even better.

Easy on the pocket

With more and more companies spending oodles of funds on advertising, promotions on paper cups in India turns out to be a boon in this era. “It comes with the perk of cost-saving in comparison with other offline marketing techniques”, says Deepak. On an average, there is not much difference between the cost of a paper cup and a pamphlet. Deepak adds that “Paper cups ensure better user engagement, more brand recall with people’s proclivity to respond to the call-to-action provided on them”. Cup advertising has the potential to breed visible results even with a medium budget.

This form of advertising also runs abreast the online marketing techniques. The cost per impression of an ad even on social networking websites turns out to be more or less the same as the cost of a cup. In many cases, paper cup cost may fall short of that. In this digital age, this advertising concept is a pleasant surprise!

Committed to quality
Here’s what GingerCup co-founder Devleena has to say about quality of paper cups. “Quality matters and we are committed to it. We only use use 185 GSM branded cup grade. Our cups are made of food grade paper and are printed with food grade ink.” It is to ensure that people’s well-being is aptly taken care of while carrying out the ad campaigns. 

Gaining the momentum
Taking the initial stream of success along, Deepak and Devleena went on to work for different companies and have a significant number of successful ad campaigns under their belt. The advertisers invested in GingerCup’s phenomenal ad model and have benefited from it. GingerCup not only had successful ad campaigns for those advertisers but also formed a lifetime bond with them. Apart from that, a lot of other business owners are ready to partner with the creative couple.

In the pipeline
Whilst playing a successful innings in Bangalore, the duo is planning to utilize the untapped potential for paper cup advertising in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Noida.

Thus, the duo opens a promising vista of advertising on paper cups in India giving start ups a chance to benefit the most.


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