Saturday, March 14, 2009

Nilon's Pickles : Taste that Lingers

Brand : Nilon's Pickles
Company : Nilon's Enterprises Pvt Ltd
Agency : Mudra

Brand Analysis Count : 387

Nilon's Pickles is making waves in the ad world. The brand is a classic example which shows the power of good creative execution.Nilon's pickles is from the company Nilon's Enterprises Pvt Ltd which has been in this business since 1962. The company claims to be the largest manufacturer of pickles and tooty-frooty in India.

Nilon's Pickles caught the attention of advertising world because of its new commercial which is making rounds across channels in India

Watch the TVC here : Nilon's Pickles

The ad created by Mudra takes a leaf out of Kentucky Fried Chicken's Finger Licking Good positioning. ( frankly Mudra has taken the whole Tree rather than a leaf !!!).

The campaign revolves around a young chap's unusually long index finger. The plot reveals that the guy had been an addict of Nilon's pickles from childhood itself and the constant licking of the finger made it unusually long.

The advertising fraternity is on two sides regarding this campaign. One set argues this as a copycat while another set sees no harm in " Adapting " the idea.

Afaqs has an interesting piece on this campaign. Read it here

The ad has a strong resemblance to KFC ads - there is no doubt about that.

But what was interesting to me was the basic strategy behind this campaign. It is highly appreciative for a company like Nilon's to attempt to create a national brand in this category. Not many brands have succeeded in creating a national foothold in this category. Brands like Maggi is trying hard to create one.

According to Afaqs , the pickles market in India is worth around Rs 1500 crore of which organized market is around Rs 400 crore. The market is highly fragmented and is dominated by local players.

The major challenge with creating a national brand for pickles is to manage varied taste preference of consumers across markets. If you take the South Indian market, the taste preference for pickles are entirely different to that of North . Even in South India, the taste preference varies across different states. Even for a mango pickle, taste preferences vary across states.

So it is almost an impossible task for a marketer to have a common product that satisfies all consumers. This is where the local players have an advantage. They can afford to create specific product that cater to the specific consumer group they serve.

Another challenge for marketers is the consumer behavior for this category. Usually consumers are hooked to a particular brand of pickles because of the taste . Once the consumer likes the taste, he continues with a particular brand till he come across a better taste. Hence the challenge for any new marketer for pickles is to make the consumer " try out " the brand first.

Most of the local marketers use samples to hook the consumer. Home makers happily serve the sample packs of pickles that come with magazines and once the family gives a vote, the brand purchase is made.

Retailers also play a significant role in promoting brands. Since this is a low involvement product, consumers will try out new pickles if prompted by retailers and advertisements. Local players pamper the retailers with margins and thus gain more retailer space and push.

Pickles also have the seasonality issue for pickles made of seasonal fruits/vegetables. Hence managing the seasonality and inventory also creates a headache for the marketers. The growing health concerns regarding the oily nature of this category also is a threat to marketers.

It is in this context that Nilon's brand building efforts looks interesting. The brand has rightly took taste as the key positioning platform. And although a copy, Finger Licking sounds a too good proposition to ignore. The brand has taken up the tagline " Juba se dil me uthar jaye " which translates to " taste that will sink from tougue to heart"

Another interesting strategy adopted by Nilon's is the focus on the younger generation for this category. I have seldom seen a traditional product like Pickle using Gen Next as the main character in the ads. I don't think that the new generation will stop using pickles. The habit of using pickles will move through mothers to kids and so on. But trying to make this category " cool " among the new generation is a very good marketing move. The shift also provides a refreshing feeling about the category.

Having a nice catchy advertisement is not a panacea for all marketing problems. Nilon's has been working on distribution strength across various markets. The new campaign will definitely give the brand a fair share of consumer trials. The success will ultimately depend on whether the brand keeps the promise of finger licking taste...