Friday, September 01, 2006

Fair &Lovely Menz Active : Change Your Story

Brand : FAL Menz Active
Company: HLL
Agency: Lowe

Brand Count : 120

2006 saw the launch of Fair And Lovely’s brand extension Menz Active in the Indian market. Menz Active is HLL’s reply to the much hyped and much discussed launch of Fair And Handsome by Emami Limited.

In 2005 when Emami launched India’s first fairness cream for men, I thought it was a joke on the famous Fair and Lovely brand. Later I found out that it is a serious affair and a not bad idea at all. As I discussed before in one of my blogs, Indian fairness cream market is worth around Rs 1000 crores. But why fairness cream for men? Research suggests that 28 % of all fairness cream users are men. That makes sense for a serious brand in that segment isn’t it?

Fair and Handsome made noise in the market for two reasons First it was a shock Secondly the ads were lousy. Lousy and ridiculous: I must say. But it served the purpose. It became the talk of the town. This year’s launch of FAL Menz Active proves that Emami ‘s brand made business sense.

HLL is using its most famous brand to endorse the new brand. FAL is being used as an endorser to create a positive impression on the potential users. I foresee that once the volume is achieved, the FAL endorsement will go.

But in both these product, the execution of the message is some thing that is not FAIR.
It is true that men like to look good, fair and handsome. I feel that contrary to popular belief modern (or otherwise) men are not shy about trying to look good. It is a fact that marketers seldom looked into men’s shaving kit. Marketing myopia made them believe that it contained and will contain only shaving products. Hence no products for men and it became a self fulfilled prophecy.

Since there are no face creams for men, we started using products meant for ladies. My argument is that since men uses soap, shampoo, powder, deo, perfumes, moisturizers, shaving cream, hair gel, after-shave, paste etc, how can one think that he cannot and will not use face creams?

Now with the launch of Menz Active, this market for men’s face creams is going to witness lot of activity. But the sad part is that both these products failed to grasp the essence of men’s psychology. Men’s product cannot be marketed using lousy marketing campaigns. It had to be Macho (Pulsar) or emotional (Raymond) or Sexy (Axe). But a successful marketer like HLL has messed with Menz Active by putting it in the same league as Fair and Handsome.

It would have created more impact if Menz Active used subtle message to promote this product. Given a choice, men prefer a macho and sexy product. If Gillette extends it to face creams, Menz Active will have tough time. Competition is already in the form of Garnier. Menz Active is positioned along the same line as FAL when it was launched. Menz uses the Statement “ Change Your Story”. The ad features a stuntman succeeding to become the model after using the brand. It is a typical “Before & After” kind of stuff. Rather than the message of “ using and then becoming successful” “successful and using the product” appeals more to men.

This is a segment that is worth watching. Will Menz Active Change the story?

Source : agencyfaqs,businessline,bbc website,estrategicmarketing,