Catch a Bollywood movie with your friends and amid the music, dancing and drama, there’s Tupperware. That Tupperware. Characters in a Bollywood film may be removing flatbread from Tupperware’s “roti keeper,” or cooking with spices from the company’s “masala box.” In a playful festival scene, the characters use Tupperware buckets to dump powder onto a crowd. It’s all part of Tupperware’s latest marketing strategy to reach Indian customers by placing Tupperware products in Bollywood movies. By some statistics, Indians purchase three billion tickets to Bollywood movies every year. But even for those who never see a movie, Tupperware products are strategically placed in television shows. In “Big Boss” a show like CBS “Big Brother,” housemates interact with Tupperware products that were deliberately placed there to be seen by the audience.
At a time when business is slow, Tupperware is gaining much ground in India. Since entering the Indian market in 1996, Tupperware has grown to nearly 100,000 Indian, Tupperware Ladies, and it is the leading seller of kitchenware there. Who would have guessed? Previously, Indian cooks stored their materials in metal boxes. When Tupperware set out to change that, the company adapted its products to fit the local customs. Americans may like the veggie trays, but in India it’s all about the “idli” tray, with perfect holes for steaming the idli batter in the microwave. Beyond advertising and product adaptation, Tupperware has adapted its entire business model and pricing structure in order to compete in India.
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