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From Syrup to Production House: A Story of Marjan Cinematic Universe

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As the home of the biggest Muslim population in the world, Ramadhan is the biggest religious event anticipated in Indonesia. The entire country celebrates Ramadhan in all aspects, including contributing one major marketing event within the country.

Aside from being the holy month, Ramadhan is also a month of parades for businesses and brands. So many brands centered their entire marketing activities, such as campaigns, promo, and ads, around the holy theme. 

Among the many traditions that mark this special time, breaking the fast with something sweet is the most prominent one. Hence, the familiar sight of Marjan syrup gracing dining tables during Iftar is a recurring thing that runs deep for each Ramadhan in Indonesia. After all, what deliciously sweet drink would be perfect other than the beloved local syrup brand, Marjan?

The connection between Marjan and Ramadhan runs deep, intertwining the brand’s journey with the cultural fabric of Indonesia. The brand is so strongly associated with Ramadhan that there’s even a saying that goes “When you see Marjan ads, Ramadhan must be coming soon.”.

To further understand why and how that saying was able to develop in Indonesia, we’ll take a closer look at Marjan’s incredible marketing strategy and how they gained the epithet ‘Marjan Cinematic Universe’.


The Marketing Strategy that Makes Marjan the Top-of-Mind Brand during Ramadhan

Being the top-of-mind brand means becoming the first and foremost brand for the audience, and in the realm of marketing, Marjan has undoubtedly reached the top-of-mind awareness funnel. Marjan has consistently proven itself as a powerhouse, particularly during the Ramadhan season. 

However, this level of awareness can only be obtained after a painstakingly long period of innovation and brand marketing development. Marjan’s branding strategy incorporates numerous creative ads, one of the most iconic ones falls into the TV advertising category. 

Their first TV advertising launched back in 2003 when their ads weren’t notoriously known as foreshadowing Ramadhan month. Their ads haven’t been meticulously crafted to resonate with the hearts of Indonesians. 

The iconic Marjan we’ve come to love nowadays is the fruit of their change of marketing direction in 2010. Instead of resuming burning their marketing budget for regular TV broadcasts like in their early days, Marjan decided to pursue a new strategy, namely seasonal marketing strategy.

Seasonal marketing utilizes specific points of time to create momentum, in this case, Ramadhan. It requires massive and strategically consistent moves to be able to nail seasonal marketing. As a result, the brand will gain a new brand position that heavily correlates with a specific time.

Marjan started to massively broadcast their ads strictly around Ramadhan. This decision isn’t a baseless move from the marketing department. Marjan aligned themselves with the popular Indonesian saying—’break the fast with something sweet’. This saying goes hand-in-hand with common Indonesian behavior, thus skyrocketing the Marjan syrup sales during Ramadhan.


The Evolution of Marjan’s TV Advertising from Emotional to ‘Superhero Themed’

Marjan is also not merely about selling a product; it’s about weaving a narrative that taps into the emotional part of the customers. Marjan’s marketing team understands the significance of Ramadhan in Indonesian culture, then immediately alters their product branding to something that revolves around unity in Ramadhan.

Recognizing this, Marjan’s campaigns often revolve around themes of unity, love, and tradition. Their heartwarming commercials depict scenes of families bonding over delicious meals, with Marjan syrup at the center of these cherished moments. 

However, after almost 10 years of perfect portrayals of touching narratives in family moments through their TV commercials, Marjan chose to venture into uncharted territory. Since 2019, Marjan has taken a bold turn into a whole new domain—Indonesian folklore and traditional cultures.

Despite the new theme, it continued to adopt the same pattern from the previous years; making several parts to broadcast throughout the entire month of Ramadhan. The sudden change of theme is also followed by the growing quality of each commercial video, earning both curiosity and excitement from audiences.

To set them apart even more, Marjan has taken TV advertisements to a whole new level with the use of Hollywood-level CGI in their 2023 commercials. It also marked the beginning of the term ‘Marjan Cinematic Universe’, as the brand seemed eager to dive into the elements of fantasy and Superheroes.

Marjan tapped into the spirit of heroism that resides in every Indonesian. Viewers were captivated by the tales of bravery, sacrifice, and triumph, all while subtly highlighting the role of Marjan syrup in these mythical quests. These changes only serve to heighten the brand position as the number 1 local syrup in Indonesia.


To Be The ‘It’ Brand

Again and again, Marjan has continued to reiterate the importance of branding for business. Their evolution of creative TV advertising isn’t merely a change in strategy, but also showcases great involvement and understanding with their audience. Achieving the top-of-mind awareness is no easy feat for brands. It takes rigorous work and resources, yet will undoubtedly be rewarding for the brand’s growth. If you’re unsure of the many steps it takes for good branding, Avond Studio will be your right hand that brings high-quality branding on a silver platter to you. 

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