Monday, December 08, 2008

Brand Update : Complan

Complan has never been an aggressive player compared to the market leader Horlicks . This explains the reason why such a powerful brand is languishing in a distant position of 15% market share compared to the 60 % share of Horlicks.

While Horlicks has been breaking new grounds with a series of variants aiming at the entire family segment, Complan was lying low all these years. The major happening for this brand in 2008 was the launch of the new flavor Kesari Badam . In the promotional front, the brand was in a low key mode continuing with the extension of its earlier campaign focusing on EXTRA growth.

Today's newspaper had a stunner ad from this brand. It was a front page solus advertisement in the Malayalam Daily with a direct comparative ad targeting Horlicks.

What was striking in that ad was that Complan has put a direct comparison with Horlicks by showing Horlicks brand on the ad and then comparing the various attributes. I have seen such explicit comparative ads in automobile sector . In most of the comparative ads, the name of competing brands will not be directly mentioned to avoid litigation. The ads will either use letters or dummies for comparison.

The ad copy asks the readers to chose between the " low cost health drink " and " Complete Growth " . Then the ad talks about why Complan is better than Horlicks by comparing both in the parameters like
Main Ingredients
Protien Content
protien Quality
Number of nutrients .

The ad also reinforces the new positioning " Grow Twice Faster ".

Complan is also running a TVC around the same theme. The TVC is almost a Cut- Copy of the Horlicks' earlier campaign of " Taller, Sharper, Stronger ". The ad shows the before-after results of two samples and claim that Complan users grow two times more than the non-users.

I was wondering why this sudden provocation. A google search indicated that Horlicks has been running a campaign digging at Complan's main attribute of ' 23 vital nutrients '. I have not seen that ad of Horlicks.

The ad spoke of the high price of Complan and was claiming that Horlicks had more than 23 nutrients but costs less than Complan.

Complan had challenged this in Mumbai High Court but the ruling was not in their favor. Hence the brand has taken the war into the public.

Price always have been the weak point of Complan. Those who has used this brand know that its good but was terribly expensive compared to the other highly advertised brands. More over the brand was a little confused regarding its positioning and communication. However, the current spat has bought some life into this brand. It will be interesting to see how Horlicks reacts to this direct attack.

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