Thursday, December 08, 2005

Onida : The Devil is Back

Brand : Onida
Company: Mirc Electronics
Agency Rediffusion

I am celebrating the Return of the devil, still wondering why it was taken away in the first place. I was in my teens when they launched the TV with a " devil" . The marketers predicted doom for the brand but the devil clicked.

The Devil was originally created by Mr gopi Kukde of Avenues in 1982. It was a welcome break from the boring TV industry. If I remember correctly, Onida was the first brand to advertise in Television, ie TVC about TV in TV.

The brand had a wonderful time and was in the top three brands in marketshare behind BPL and Videocon. Then the Koreans came and rest is (Became) history. Onida had a fair chance to succeed when the koreans came to the Indian market. Onida was perceived to be a vibrant brand with technological superiority.

Then Mirc electronics decided the switch the agency to O&M.The creative hotshots there convinced Mirc that Devil is outdated. Hence the company changed from the famous " neighbours envy, owners pride" to some thing that i dont remember. What a tragedy......

Here is a time tested and successful positioning statement and a mascot that was so wonderful but it was changed for no reason what so ever. Then the newspaper reports quoted the agency telling that people resented the " neighbours envy" part so they have to change it... it was a lie.

O&M used some funny creatives like two elderly women using TV to terrify some young thing walking through the street. It was the death of a brand. The brand never recovered . Its market share dwindled to abysmal 5% in the late 90's.

2001 marked the return of the devil and the account shifted to Rediffusion. The consumer surveys showed high recall of devil even after 2 decades. The devil has to come back and it came in style.

The first devil was acted out by David Whitbread who was a model coordinator. he played devil for 14 years

The new devil is Matrix insprired and sports a contemprory look. Played by actor Rajesh Khera, the devil now is rocking. Onida which has recovered its market share to 12 % is aggressively playing on the marketing game. With a slew of product launches and careful segmentation, the market is opening to the devil. Onida is careful in positioning itself as a technologically superior premium brand although the prices are very competitive. It has launched the Poison brand which is a premium brand and Oxygen , Black and KY for the value for money segment.

In this Rs 10000 crore crowded market ,Onida has struck the right positioning .

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