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Shift Integrated Sri Lanka challenges social norms via new Sunshine Consumer campaign – togetherbe

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The tea market in Sri Lanka is extremely competitive with, with both local and foreign brands vying for attention. From premium blends to ‘loose’ tea scraped from factory remnants, consumers are bombarded with choices. Aiming to stand out Ran Kahata teamed up with Sri Lankan independent agency, Shift Integrated, to create this new campaign.


The campaign kicked off with three films featuring popular TV host and media personality Dhananjaya Siriwardena as a voice of reason who shares his “contrarian opinion” in four different social situations. Powered by a cup of Ran Kahata, he makes people see an alternative to socially accepted mores and assumptions.

“Ran Kahata was launched to convert unbranded tea consumers towards branded tea. The proposition therefore was to drive value for money. It fast became indistinguishable as others rushed to copy the tactical benefits leaving the brand with no option but to reposition. Given the majority bottom of the pyramid users the brand was targeting, the brand positioning was recrafted where we wanted it to strike an emotional connect with the consumers. Once the strategy was done, all we needed was a fame driven campaign to break through the clutter and the introduction of a male protagonist has delivered on that beyond measure,” Kavi Rajapaksha, Chief Marketing Officer at Sunshine Consumer.

“In an industry saturated with conventional advertising tactics, mainly using songs and dancing, we sought to elevate the brand’s approach, aiming to connect with consumers on a deeper, more meaningful level,” said Sandun Lakmal, Group Vice President and Chief Creative Officer at Shift Integrated.

Gashi Kodithuwakku, Brand Manager, Ran Kahata, said: “Creating brand equity is essential to keeping customers with your brand in an ever-changing world. With many tea brands in the market, getting that little space in the consumer’s mind for a particular brand and thereby driving equity has become challenging. As a brand that serves Sri Lankans at grassroots levels whose lives are filled with numerous challenges, we wanted to be a brand that understands and empathizes with them. Through this campaign, we took a U-turn from traditional tactical tea advertising and moved into emotional storytelling, helping Ran Kahata stay close to them and drive brand equity.”

In each case, the protagonist, using a mix of wit and sarcasm makes people see the error in their ways of thinking. In the first instance, it is a mother, with the patriarchal belief that household chores are the responsibility of females. In the second video, it is about societal pressure on young couples to have children. And in the third, it is about how society expects women to dress. The fourth video was released during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year with a different message for the festive season. Each film becomes a sharp but empathetic critique of society’s and individual’s assumptions and problematic norms.

“This is the first step in us creating a distinctive advertising style or tone of voice for the brand. And we have managed to start building specific distinctive assets for Ran Kahata through this campaign. The initial challenge meant we had to relook at what is the role of the product, almost question what is tea for Sri Lankans and see if we can reframe it in a way they have never been told before,” said Ikram Mohideen, Chief Strategy Officer at Shift Integrated.

Selonica Perumal, Chief Executive Officer at Shift Integrated, added: “The campaign has received an unexpected level of support and love from everyone. From social activists to journalists, have commented positively about the message and have shared and amplified the films. I need to thank the client team at Sunshine Consumer Lanka for this opportunity to create something unique that has started resonating with Sri Lankans and hopefully place the brand in the country’s cultural fabric.”

The campaign was ideated and created by Shift Integrated, while the mainstream media rollout was handled by Media Factory. This is the first campaign by Shift Integrated for Ran Kahata, after the agency was appointed as Agency on Record for the brand.

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Miranda Cosgrove

My Miranda cosgrove is an accomplished article writer with a flair for crafting engaging and informative content. With a deep curiosity for various subjects and a dedication to thorough research, Miranda cosgrove brings a unique blend of creativity and accuracy to every piece.

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