Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Crezendo : Passport to Republic of Pleasure

Brand : Crezendo
Company : Hindustan Latex Ltd


Brand Analysis Count : 265

Crezendo was all over the news for all the wrong ( right ? ) reasons. This is the new brand of condoms launched by the public sector Hindustan Latex ltd who also markets the popular brand Moods.
Crezendo is more than just condoms. The pack of Crezendo contains a battery operated ring which also acts as a vibrator enhancing the pleasure during the intercourse. It is this feature that put this brand into controversy.
The brand was launched with much expectations by the company. Crezendo was a result of a market research by HLL on the reasons for the recent decline in the usage and popularity of condoms. The reason was obvious. Condoms were considered to " restricting pleasure " by men . Another alarming finding was that most of the condoms supplied through the Social marketing schemes were wasted because of non usage. The company was hoping to bring back the customers by adding a pleasure enhancer with the condoms.
Crezendo faced controversy in Madhyapradesh ( MP) when on of the ministers pointed out that the Crezendo ring is a Sex Toy rather than a condom and is against Law. Indian law do not permit the sales of Sex toys. The controversy was then taken over by the So called " Moral Police " which forced HLL to think about withdrawing this brand from the market.

There was a mistake on the company's part too which created the controversy. There was a message in the pack that said " the vibrating ring can be used without a condom for self -pleasure ". Since such toys are banned in India, one cannot blame the hypocritic moral police to stir up a controversy.
But that controversy had a big positive for this brand. It got tremendous publicity across media. As we know controversy is the cheapest and most effective marketing tool for any brand. The sale of the brand zoomed to around 50,000 packs within two months with MP contributing more than 15 % of the sale.
Crezendo was positioned as a bold product. The wordings in the pack referred it as a passport to the Republic of Pleasure. The idea was to reposition the category of condoms from Family Planning Tool to Pleasure enhancement tool. But those bold wordings landed it into trouble. The funniest part is that this matter was taken up in the Parliament and even some request have gone to the Prime Minister's office.

The controversy may have put the brand on a backfoot. Since the launch in June, the brand had not endeavored any sort of promotion. My personal feeling is that Crezendo will be successful as a niche brand because of its adventurous feature. The lack of promotion or the over caution can stifle the growth of this brand. HLL was hoping that this brand will act as a catalyst for the future growth of this product category but the controversies played spoilsport. This brand is an example of how environment can act as a major factor in marketing of a product.