Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Liril : Bring back the Liril girl

Brand : Liril

Company : HLL

Agency : Lowe

If you are looking for a case of an iconic Brand that is going to be killed by poor marketing strategy , look no further, here is Liril for you.

Launched in 1975, the year I was born, this is a brand that built a segment or should I say category for it self in the Indian market. The brand is also the testimony to the genius of India's Ad man Alyque Padamsee. This is what he says about the Liril Brand

The name Liril had been registered by Hindustan Lever from a list sent to them by Unilever in London. Levers were very keen that the soap have striations, wiggly stripes of different colours running across the tablet. I recommended the tablet be blue - because waterfall is blue with white striations. Hindustan Lever was very excited and produced 1,000 tablets for testing.
At this point Derk Wooller, the Marketing Controller of Hindustan Lever's soaps division, stepped in and suggested we add the freshness of lime to our story. He felt that though the waterfall had tremendous emotional appeal, Liril needed a rational ingredient to clinch the deal. I was not averse to this but suggested that we do an `As marketed' test: Blue Liril versus Green Liril with limes. I was wrong and Wooller was right. The rest is history."
Alyque Padamsee in his book A Double Life.

The brand was a run away success and the Liril girl became the talk of the town. The brand has

beenconsistentt with its communication and the effective use of brand imagery. Further on brand imagery can be found in this article , visit

Liril was positioned on the freshness platform right from its birth. The girl and the waterfall with the unique jingle ensured that the freshness is experienced by the audience. Liril can be called as an experiential brand and the communication perfectly supported that.

Liril did not change its positioning for 25 years although the models changed, the brand communication was consistent. Then some nut in the company or the agency thought that they should change the communication that worked so effectively. The rest as I say it " Liril became history".

Liril has changed the imagery and the jingle in the name of freshness .The new jingle or the ad never had that freshness. That is why Liril had to change the Ads twice with in a span of five years. Mind you Liril never changed its imagery or the Jingle for 25 years...

Reports say that Liril had to change because of its stagnant marketshare. I think there are reasons for declining market share which can be that the brand failed to understand the changing consumer expectations. There was a flurry of brand launches during the past 10 years and Liril was sleeping all the time " may be resting on the laurels" . It should have hold on its positioning of ' freshness " not by changing its communication but by communicating more, developing variants, bringing in flanking brands or variants and thus owning the whole segment for itself.

But it never happened , Liril tried to introduce the Icy mint variant very late and that too with a different jingle and imagery. We knew that the Old Liril had died. HLL could have used the same communication strategy . Then came the horrible experiment of Orange Liril with a stupid Jingle OOFYUMMA.... excuse me what the hell is that?

The product failed. Then came the new campaign involving a couple and a new jingle " La-ira -ela", the ad was good but where is liril ?

Like Onida , Liril has to come back with the old imagery and old jingle that made liril what it Is ( or WAS?) [ It is a prediction].

When it does that consumers will take the brand to their heart .

Laaaaa lalalala laaa ...................