Sunday, April 27, 2008

Brand Update : Ceat

The rebranding bug has caught Ceat too. The brand is now sporting a new logo. The saddest part is that Ceat has done away with the famous mascot ( Rhino) and the golden tagline " Born Tough".

The Rhino mascot has been with Ceat for almost 50 years. The tagline was also deeply etched in the mind of the public. According to Harsh Goenka , the reason for changing the mascot is that there is a general perception that Rhinos are getting extinct and is a sloth. ( Source : Financial Express). Hence the brand wants to change into something modern. I think it is one of the most unconvincing reasons for changing such a blockbuster mascot .
Currently the brand is promoting the new logo. The new logo is being promoted in the same way as Vodafone. Both TVC and print campaigns scream " Change is inevitable" and " Change is here ". No wonder the agency is O&M which handled the Hutch - Vodafone rebranding. The current campaign is a cut-copy-paste of the " Change is Good " campaign for Vodafone.

The brand also denounced its tagline " Born Tough ". The current re-branding campaign is only talking about the logo and the new tagline is not revealed.
The question now remains as to why a brand would want to change a mascot and slogan which is deeply embedded in the consumer's mind. It has to be noted that Ceat has never invested in the brand. Except for some occasional bursts of campaigns, Ceat never invested in the brand. If people still remember the brand, its because of the power of the mascot and the slogan and not because of any sustained campaigns. By denouncing the most powerful brand elements, Ceat has taken a big risk.
I think the current rebranding exercise is not going to be sustained over time. After the rebranding, the brand will again go in for a silent mode and also may be forgotten by the consumers.

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