Friday, March 09, 2007

Center Shock : Hilake Rakh De

Brand : Center Shock
Company: Perfetti Vanmelle
Agency: O&M

Brand Count:207

Center Shock is an interesting brand or rather it is a disruptive brand in the sense that the brand just makes all marketing theories look funny. Conventional marketing wisdom says that the product should deliver a promise ,satisfy a need and blah blah . Here is a confectionery brand that tasted sour making itself a market leader in less than 6 months time.

Center Shock was launched in 2001 and at that time, the chewing gum market was at cross roads. The market lifecycle was at the decline stage. Although the market was worth Rs 300 crore, it was declining at a faster rate at 25-30%. Perfetti then decided to break the category degrowth and make this category more exciting to the customers.

It still baffles me how a product like Center Shock become successful in the market. This peculiar gum gave a distinct fruit filled acidic taste to the customer which really gave the customer a shock. The TG for this brand was SEC ABC and age 10-19.The brand was an extension of the highly popular Center Fresh known for its Fruit Gel Center. Center Shock came in two flavors : Peach and Apple.
Center Shock broke into picture through two clutter breaking ads crafted by O&M . The first ad of the barber ( View Here) created a huge impact in the market. The ads won lot of accolades for O&M. According to reports, the brand became market leader within no time with a share of over 35% beating Center Fresh from the same company.The first tvc was followed by the second one featuring a dude visiting his girlfriend's home to meet the parents ( View Here) .According to Agencyfaqs, the creative brief for Center Shock was simple :break the clutter and make it funny and distinct and really shocking and the ads just did that.

I have no clue how and why the brand became successful. I was tricked into taking a Center Shock by my friend and I swear I have not taken product again. I think the company also doesn't have any dreams about repeat customers. But the brand done the trick with the market. There was a rejuvenation of the category which grew from 1000 tonnes to 3500 tonnes . The lack of excitement in the category was corrected by this outrageous product. The brand adopted one of the most funniest and best taglines " Hilake Rakh De " which translates to " Will Shake you UP". The brand was positioned as a fun brand and customers liked the change. The brand had virtually shaken the market. During those days most of the chewing gum brand were sold on sales promotions and seldom marketers invested any thing more on ads . Center Shock brought back the trust on advertising in the category players.

To sustain a brand like Center Shock for longer period of time is a difficult proposition. After launching the product in 2001, the last ad was aired in December 2002 and for one year the brand went into silent mode. In 2004 the company. In 2003 the brand launched a variant Center Shock Mirchi with another outrageous commercial. But the variant bombed since the novelty was lost for this brand.The brand had a funny tagline " Pilake Rakh De".After this launch , Center Shock faded from the scene.Its long time since I saw any promotion of this brand.
Although this brand had a very short PLC, the brand showed us the power of advertising. A good advertising can make people eat a sour candy and be happy about it . Hats Off to Perfetti for taking such bold and outrageous step .

source: O&M,businessline,perfetti website