Saturday, September 11, 2010

Brand Update : Can Katrina Boost Yardley's Fortunes ?

In November 2009, Wipro acquired the rights for marketing Yardley in Asia , Middle East, Australasia and parts of Africa. That was an important turning point for this 240 year old heritage brand.

The acquisition of a brand like Yardley makes sense for Wipro whose personal care portfolio is having only one major brand - Santoor. Yardley range of personal care products gives Wipro an instant access to the premium segment of the personal care market.

Yardley , though a brand with high recall and recognition, was languishing in the Indian market because of the lack of marketing support. There was seldom any campaign for the brand neither it was promoted at the store level. The new owner in Wipro has a very successful marketing history demonstrated by the success of the brand Santoor.

Wipro has made its first major initiative for Yardley by roping in the current Bollywood Diva Katrina Kaif as the brand ambassador for Yardley. The brand expects to ride in the current sensation's popularity to make a comeback in the Indian personal care market.

The brand is currently running a campaign featuring Katrina
Watch the ad here : Yardley

Before going into the quality of the campaign, its important to understand the tactical significance of such a move. Yardley wants to move fast in terms of reinforcing its brand credentials. It want to announce its resurgence fast and make an impact. For that celebrity endorsement offers a reasonable strategic sense.

But as usual , the execution failed the brand strategy. The ad was poorly made in the sense that there was no creative spark in it. The theme, execution, message everything was so cliche that the ad never made any impact (in me !). At best it reminded about the brand nothing more nothing less. The ad give Yardley a new tagline " My Yardley, My Fragrance ".

The ad wanted to give the message of heritage , London Connection, Signature fragrance , attributes of Yardley.But although these messages were conveyed, the ad failed to create a premium image for the brand.

As an immediate tactical move, the current campaign does achieve its purpose but like Santoor, Wipro needs to find a sustainable positioning platform for Yardley. It should push the creatives working for the brand to do another Santoor.

Lets hope that Yardley achieves its true potential under Wipro.

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