Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Airwick : Its Good To Be Home

Brand : Airwick
Company : Reckitt & Benckiser
Agency : Euro RSCG ( Malaysia)

Brand Analysis Count : 315

Airwick is the latest entrant into the Indian Home Air Freshener market. The size of the market is very small and agencyfaqs estimates the size to be around Rs 75 crore. The market is dominated by players like Godrej Sara Lee which extended its car- freshener brand Ambipur into this category.

Airwick is a global brand which made its debut in USA in 1944. Ever since the brand has grown to become world's largest home freshener brand with an estimated brand size of Rs 6000 crore. The entry of this brand is expected to increase the penetration of this product category.

Airwick in a way has imported its entire global branding strategy into this market. The entire brand elements are being launched in the Indian market.

Airwick has been launched in India in three different format :
-Electrical Diffuser which looks similar to the mosquito liquidator . The diffuser is priced at Rs 125
-Aerosols priced at Rs 99
- Freshmatic Automatic Spray priced at Rs 799.

The brand is focusing on two major benefits : Odor elimination and Premium fragrance. The brand is targeting the SEC A ,A+ segments.
According to a report in Agencyfaqs, the brand has identified five consumer insights that shaped its entry strategy in India. The insights are that
Indian homes are
- smaller ,
-have attached toilets,
-Inadequate ventilation,
-No sunlight penetration
-Lack outdoor spaces to dry clothes.
These factors cause build up odors which also affect the mood of people living in those houses. The brand is being promoted on a basic premise that pleasant fragrance create pleasant Moods. The brand is taking the tagline " Its Good to be Home " . Globally also the brand has the same slogan.
What is more interesting about the brand is the promotion. The brand uses animated cartoon character in their campaigns.

The main heroes of campaigns running in India are
Mrs Octopus
Mrs raccoon
Mrs Kangaroo.

The ads are created by Euro RSCG Malaysia and only the language is made Indian. I have my own reservations about importing foreign campaigns to India but some how I liked the Big Idea of using animated characters to promote a adult - product.

From my experience , I observed two things about the ad :
a. Its clutter breaking . Because its different, you tend to notice the ad and also the brand.
b. If you have small kids, they will force you to watch this ad.

The characters are lively and has given the company lot of room for the creatives to work on especially on point of purchase materials and packaging. It can also develop unique sales promotion schemes taking advantage of these animated characters.

The ads have given instant brand recall but the campaign is not without disadvantages.

The major disadvantage is the the market for air-fresheners for home is nascent in India. Infact most of us are unaware of this product category. Infact the ad does not explain the category much and assumes that the customers are familiar with the products (while Indian consumers are not ). Frankly I first mistook it for mosquito repellent.

Having said that, the brand has lot of strengths. The brand can leverage the distribution strength of Reckitt & Benckiser and the changing demographics aswellas lifestyle has thrown up immense opportunities for products like Room Fresheners. Infact I foresee that the commercial customers like Hotels, restaurants, offices , retail etc will be the major takers for these products initially.

The challenge for this brand is to penetrate the middleclass where it will be fighting the good old incense sticks, and perfumed floor cleaners. The cost is also little prohibitive but the strategy that will be adopted will be to price the Diffuser low to increase the penetration of this product category. The major task will be to change the customer's perception about odor. I think that Indian consumers take the odor inside rooms for granted (except for bathrooms) . Infact we never think about it unless it is too much stingy. We also associate cleanliness and fragrance together so we may have never thought of room fresheners.

But the fact is that we like our homes to have pleasant fragrance. So the slogan rightly captures the idea " Its good to be home "