Monday, April 30, 2007

Parle Musst Bites: Too Tempting

Brand: Musst Bites
Company: Parle

Brand Count:227

Parle has ventured into the new sunrise product line of snack foods. These days the snack food market is seeing lot of action with ITC launching its Bingo range of snacks during the World Cup.
Parle is now put its weight behind its new brand Musst Bites.

Musst Bites is a launched with a series of humorous ads. Watch the TVC here: Musst

Musst Bites is positioned as a tasty snack food too tempting to be part with. Although this positioning is not something new ,the brand is favored by the reasonable execution. The ads are fun to watch and simple. But there is the problem of the brand not able to differentiate itself from the likes of the market leader Lays. In a way, the brand is taking the same positioning as the Lays. But Lays is far too good in terms of positioning.

Parle yet again has failed in its brand communication. Here in this case the brand was not able to find a Big Idea.Although the agency has done a reasonable job with the oft used idea, this will not help the brand in breaking into the bastion of Frito Lays.
Related Brands


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Brand Update : Surf Excel

Surf Excel is currently running two campaigns riding on the popularity of the "Daag Ache Hain" ( Dirt is good) campaign.The new campaign too strikes a chord with the consumers. Continuing with the earlier campaign, the new ad features two kids taking a Puddle fight to distract their fighting parents fighting over a car collision. The voice over says " if some thing good happens because of dirt then Dirt is Good". According to a report in agencyfaqs, the creative team had a tough task in continuing a classic campaign and no doubt they have been very successful.
The second campaign takes a cue from the World cup. The ad features a group of kids preparing for World Cup 2015.
Watch the TVC here: Surf Excel Cricket

Both these ad takes on the spirit of the brand to a higher platform .The ads are also classic way of using kids to promote an adult brand. The " Dirt is Good" campaign is also a classic example of the power of a "Big Idea". The idea has been running for more than 3 years and still has not lost its relevance. The agency also has been able to keep the Idea relevant through smart execution.
Related Brand
Surf Excel

Image source:agencyfaqs,magindia

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bajaj Pulsar : Definitely Male

Brand : Pulsar
Company: Bajaj Auto
Agency ;O&M, Leo Burnett

Brand Count : 226

Pulsar is one of my favorite brands both as a bike rider and as a marketer. This bike has virtually redefined biking in this country. Pulsar launched in 2001 is the market leader in the 150 cc + performance bike segment. More than that , this brand changed the fortune of Bajaj Auto Ltd.

Before the launch of Pulsar, Indian bike market was divided broadly into Economy,Executive and Premium Bikes. In 1999 Hero Honda created a new segment of 150 cc performance segment with its CBZ. But Pulsar came and gave a new life into the Performance segment. Although not a pioneer, Pulsar made the performance segment one of the fastest growing segment in the two wheeler market.

It was not only the bike's performance that triggered the brand becoming an icon, a major part of the success was due to the classic advertising campaign by O&M. According to agencyfaqs, the birth of the "Definitely Male " campaign is interesting. The creative honchos found the new product from Bajaj distinctly different. It was Bajaj's first bike without Kawasaki label. The new bike was an R&D and design marvel.Pulsar was designed by the renowned design house Tokyo R&D. O&M knew that the communication of this brand should also be different.Starting with lot of ideas, O&M stuck upon the Big Idea of India's He-Bike. Although lot of bike take the persona of Macho bikes it was more oriented towards being "sexy". The Big Idea was to position the bike as World's first bike endowed with a Sex ( Gender).Thus born the classic campaign of all times " Definitely Male". The campaign together with the design and performance catapulted the brand into stratospheric sales level.
Bajaj targeted the 18-24 with Pulsar but later found that the brand appealed to a much older audience. This helped Bajaj to change its target audience to 21-35 years.
Unlike its old ways of doing things, Bajaj did not rest with the laurels. It knew that Pulsar is the golden key to control the entire bike market. Hence Pulsar got undivided attention from the company. In 2003 another milestone event happened in the product lifecycle of the brand. Bajaj launched its new technology DTSI. DTSi stands for Digital Twin Spark Ignition which delivered more power and efficiency. The increased performance of the brand took Pulsar to greater heights. 2004 and 2005 saw some cosmetic changes in the brand which excited the customers and thus cementing Pulsar's position in the market.

Pulsar came in two variants : 180 cc and 150 cc where 180 cc excited the performance bikers, 150 cc was for the mileage conscious ones. The 150cc variant took lot of customers away from the executive segment to the performance segment.

The brand had its share of marketing flaws also. According to reports, Bajaj reassigns its media duties to two brands O&M and Leo Burnett, every six months.When DTSI was launched, the creative duty was assigned to Leo Burnett. Leo Burnett did a big mistake on the brand by changing the positioning of " Definitely Male" to "Digital Biking". Although the ads were successful in conveying the technological superiority of DTSI and making that acronym popular, it deleted the most successful tagline from the brand's elements.

After ruling the premium bike segment, Bajaj is taking their brand to another level. Bajaj recently launched Bajaj Pulsar 200 Dtsi to take on the comeptition from Hero Honda and the like. The new Pulsar boasts of spruced up engine, new digital console and new style. Pulsar is definitely getting better.
Pulsar 200 is being launched with a new campaign revolving round the concept of Free Biking. Free Biking ( as defined by the brand Pulsar) is all about tackling obstacles.According to company officials, its about how you ride rather than where you ride. The ads made by O&M is filmed at Hawana Cuba ( expensive). Set to pulsating Arabian music, the ad shows how two Pulsar riders discover new route when their main way is blocked by traffic jam.
One word to describe this ad is HYPERBOLE and too much of it. What I feel is that the Big Idea od Free Biking is good but execution is ordinary. What made Pulsar a super brand was its ability to come out with different disruptive campaigns. But in the case of Pulsar 200, it is a sort of cut copy paste from some Hollywood movie (James Bond). More over, the Big Idea is also not properly communicated through the visuals. Also most of the time I was trying to make out some meaning out of the background song, later to find out that it was Arabic.

See the new Pulsar Ad here: Pulsar 200

Now every one is waiting for the new Bajaj 220 cc DTSFI which will redefine the bike segment again.

Sadly Bajaj is no longer using its blockbuster tagline " Definitely Male" but instead is using the corporate brand tagline " Distinctly Ahead". Bajaj earlier had another corporate tagline " Inspiring Confidence" when it completely redesigned its corporate logo and brand.
I still strongly believe that not using "Definitely Male" is a gross injustice to the brand itself. That tagline and positioning has lot of fire with it and except for the initial two campaigns, Pulsar was not able to build on its Definitely Male Platform.
But what ever I say and what ever the agency communicates through the ads, Pulsar has made itself into a position of strength. It has a brand equity so huge that what ever that comes out of it will be lapped up in no time. The success of Pulsar 200 DTSI is no longer dependent on the quality of ads but on the performance it delivers. This brand shows the power of brand equity where customers buy ,irrespective of lousy ads......
Watch the Old Pulsar ads here: Pulsar Collection

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tibre : Looks Formal Feels Casual

Brand :Tibre
Company:Gangotri Textiles Ltd (GTL)
Agency: Fifth Estate

Brand Count:225

Tibre launched in 1999 was one of the fastest growing apparel brand in India. The brand which was focusing on the trouser segment is an aggressive marketing mode these days. The brand when launched was a low key brand concentrating more on the South India.

GTL after its successful IPO has now put the Tibre brand in the national map. Tibre which was initially a trouser brand has extended itself to men's apparel and has plans to launch women's apparels too.
Tibre is a mid-premium segment brand. The brand is priced a notch lower than the premium brands like Color Plus. Essentially this brand follows the path of Color Plus and is fighting it out in the Smart Casuals category. Tibre has a wide rane of trousers like Chinos , Easy Care, Denim,Indigo Chino etc. Unlike the formal trousers, these type of casual + formals rules the current office wear market. I think that the brand name Tibre is derived from the first part of the family name of the Managing Director Mr Manoj Kumar Tibrewal.
Tibre is positioned as a "Cool" brand and the tagline is " Looks Formal Feel Casual". The brand is trying to focus on the comfort and style as its positoning platform with stess on the former attribute.
Tibre is depending on print ads to convey its brand proposition. The ads are classy and different. The brand has been using various themes for its campaigns. Each series has a theme and a series of ads with a relevant message. For example one theme was about nature and the tagline for that theme was " Naturally Soft" while another theme was about "Cool" and the message was " Refreshingly Cool". These eye catching campaigns took the brand to a scorching growth chart during the last three years.
Although as a consumer, I had a bad experience with this brand, the market has responded positively to Tibre. Targeted at young executives, the brand has lot of potential to grow.But there are areas like Quality and Value for Money factors which are problem areas for this brand. I feel that this brand is too expensive for the quality it delivers. With a little more money, one can afford a premium brand rather than go for Tibre. But the positive factors being the lack of competition in the price range that Tibre offers. Competitors like Live-in are not aggressive these days.
Tibre has the potential to grow but it has some more tuning to make with regard to the product.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mitsubishi Lancer : Always In Control

Brand : Lancer
Company: Mitsubishi/Hindustan Motors

Brand Count:224

Lancer is a super brand in its own right. A surprise winner from the old war horse Hindustan Motors, Lancer has been a major player in the mid size premium segment for over 9 years. Lancer was launched in India in 1998.
When the brand was launched, it was considered a super luxury car for the rich and famous. During those days , there was not much competition and the Lancer redefined the concept of luxury and comfort. Despite being from Hindustan Motors, Lancer was never perceived to be a cousin of Ambassador. The brand was able to build a positive secondary association with the Mitsubishi rather than Ambassador.
Lancer was launched with the Slow Skimming strategy. The brand was priced at a premium and was not backed by aggressive promotion.The company decided to let the brand talk for itself rather than advertisements.
The brand did talked for itself. Lancer is known to be a no nonsense car that delivers which it promises.The car is sturdy,comfortable and stylish. Since the brand was positioned as a super premium car, the car took two attributes : style and driving pleasure as its positioning platform. The car was promoted as the status symbol for those who has already reached the pinnacle of success.The brand touted the tagline " Own the Road" symbolizing the image, size and comfort of the car.The brand had campaigns starting with explaining the benefits of the car then later moving into communicating the pleasures of owning a Lancer.
But later the brand found itself in the middle of an identity crisis. The competition created new segments in the market and Lancer soon found itself not a member of super premium segment. The brand had to reinvent itself. The brand moved from C segment to D segment and the competition was hotting up from Accent and City.
The disruption in the segment forced Lancer to change the Target Segment also. From the successful, the TG has changed to those who is one their way to success.The TG was defined as 30+ who are the Climbers and who needs symbols to motivate them to reach higher.The tagline was changed to " Life in Control" that talks about being in control of the car and the life. To be in control was a significant aspect to the life of the TG. This insight inspired the brand to come out with communications explaining the big idea. I would say that the campaign was inspired by the campaign of BMW 's "Ultimate Driving Machine " campaign.

Despite the competition, Lancer has always been an introvert brand. I do not remember any TVC for the brand or recollect any print campaigns but still I see a lot of Lancer's on road and all owners of this brand swear by the performance and quality.The quality and customer satisfaction was reflected in the surveys and more importantly the car winning lot of Motor Rally.
The brand was smart enough to make changes especially in design/look without disturbing the equity. 2004 saw the brand coming out with a variant Lancer Cedia which was positioned as a sporty Lancer. But there too the brand kept a low profile.
Despite its lack of aggression, Lancer rules the Mid Size premium segment. But competition is becoming too hot for an introvert... Lancer may have to make more noises before it getting lost in the new launches.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Original Choice: Whats Up This Evening ?

Brand : Original Choice Whisky
Company: Paul John Enterprises
Agency: Maithri Advertising

Brand Count ; 223

Original Choice is a leading whisky brand in India especially in the South India in states like Andhra,Karnataka and Kerala. The brand has acquired a whopping 51 % market share in the South India since its launch in 1996. The brand has humbled big names like the UB group and Shaw Wallace in the southern markets.The brand is currently one of the five leading Whisky brands in India.

Original Choice brand was in limelight these days for its guerrilla marketing tactics which surprised both the consumers and marketers alike. The brand is running a high profile campaign featuring the Superstar from Kerala : Mohanlal.

The current campaign is one of the best surrogate advertising campaign I have seen in recent years. All through the state , there are banners that feature the actor asking the question " Vaikittentha Paripadi" meaning " What's Up this evening". This is a very common slang in the state of Kerala. The hoarding also features the brand " Original Choice" banana chips not Whisky. We all know that liquor ads are banned in India and marketers often come out with products like Club Soda ( bagpiper), CD's ( Bacardi) Water (Johnny Walker) etc. Original Choice chose Banana Chips which is a favorite snacks with tipplers.

The campaign also features a TVC where the actor is munching the chips and asking everyone this loaded question in Malayalam " Vaikittentha Paripadi" ( Whats up this evening? ). According to media reports, the distillery has a tie up with the actor's food venture " Mohanlal's Tastebuds" to jointly develop a product line of " evening snacks". But every one knows that this is an excuse for Surrogate advertising.
The latest campaign has angered the moral police and has created a controversy ( more benefit for the brand !). What enraged the civil society is the posters that feature the actor with the chips and bottle of Original Choice which was splashed all across the bars and liquor shops. Original Choice is targeting the economy segment of the liquor market.

The campaign is a terrific hit and according to reports, the sale of this brand has increased after the campaign. The tagline " Vaikittentha paripadi" is on the lips of everyone and sms featuring this line is buzzing everywhere.
Good or Bad, Surrogate or unlawful, this is a marketing success story. If the company is able to take this campaign forward, we can see the birth of an iconic brand.
Watch The TVC here: Original Choice

Vaikittentha Paripadi ?

Source: Agencyfaqs,

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hair O Max : Double Protection : Internal & External

Brand : Hair O Max
Company: Nupal Remedies
Agency: Exodus

Brand Count: 222

Hair O Max is a new product launch from Nupal Remedies which is the owner of the famous Liver Supplement brand Kamilari. The new brand Hair O Max is being promoted heavily by the company through print and visual media. Nupal is a kerala based Ayurvedic Medicine manufacturer which was established in 1960. Their most famous brand is the Kamilari which is a uniquely marketed liver supplement. Buoyed by the success of Kamilari, the company has ventured into hair care segment.

The brand is interesting because of its product properties. Hair O Max is a natural hair fortifying product that comes in two product forms:oil and capsule. Yes.... capsule that should be taken internally. According to the print ads, the brand will prevent dandruff and also give maximum protection to the hair from outside and inside. The brand is being targeted at both men and women.

This brand is being endorsed by Miss India Niharika Singh and the company is spending heavily in the print and visual media. But for the product, I have certain doubts ( academic of course). In theory we talk about Category Points of Parity that talks about the importance of category membership for a new brand/product. Here you have a new product in capsule form that takes the ownership in the category of Hair Care products. We know that 99.99% of the hair care products are to be applied externally and comes in the liquid form. Here we have a capsule trying to make points of parity with that category. Hair O Max has an oil variant but I am referring to the capsule. From the ad, I understand that both capsule and oil has to be used to get the maximum benefit.
So will the consumer be able to accept a capsule form of hair care product.I feel it is very difficult. Remember that problem faced by Amrutanjan cold snap which was a cold remedy that cannot be applied to the nose? There are two issues with regard to this product form:
1.To convince the customer about category membership since the form is entirely different from the existing category products.
2. To convince the customer to consume a capsule.When I asked my wife about the idea of consuming a capsule to have beautiful hair, the response was negative because of the lack of confidence in the product.
The brand is being positioned on the basis of Double Protection: Internal and External.

The issue become more serious because the risk in consuming and the risk in the quality of the product will be there in the mind of the customer. To convince is a very expensive proposition.The brand need to give fast and visible results to get over the confidence hurdle.

Nupal Remedies has a successful history of making the brand Kamilari a success. It has to be seen whether Hair O Max will be successful.
Watch the TVC ( malayalam) : Hair o Max

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Levi's : Orginal Icon

Brand : Levi's
Company: Levis Strauss & Co
Agency : JWT

Brand Count:221

Last week I bought my first Levi's 501 intrigued by the Salesman's pitch that 501 is the fastest moving brand in that store. I was more curious because this jeans has the old (Classic) way of buttoning rather than the zipper. I was surprised to find that 501 holds a special status in the world of jeans brands .( I then realised how ignorant I am about jeans.. )

Levi's has an iconic status across the world.The jeans came into existance in 1873 and since then has remained an icon generations after generations. Levi Strauss a young Bavarian immigrant left Newyork to San Fransico to sell his supply of dry goods. There he found the need for rugged long lasting trousers. Levi patented cotton riveted waist overall which later became the legendary Jeans.
Levi's came to India in 1995. Looking at a huge base of young customers, this brand did not had the classic runaway success it envisaged. The brand made the mistake that many multinationals made during those days: underestimate the Indian consumer and becoming too arrogant about their brands. Levi's thought that Indian consumers will fall for this iconic brand and will buy it at any cost. At the time of launch this brand was prices exorbitantly high at Rs 2950. Indian consumers as usual gave the brand a lukewarm reception. The brand was trying to skim the market but at the cost of market share and volume.
Levi's found that Indian consumers are very price sensitive and the prices were rationalised. Once the prices were made affordable, Levi's began to gain acceptance in the Indian market.
Levi's did not need to make special efforts to promote its brand, the brand had its share of mind among the TG in India thanks to the information revolution.But the brand used some superb creatives to reinforce the brand equity.Notable ones are the Clayman series of 1996 and the award winning Slim Jeans ads and the mind blowing "dangerously low" jeans campaigns. The brand also used film celebrities like Shah Rukh and Bipasha to endorse the brand.
Low waist jeans launched in 2003 was a milestone in this brand's lifecycle. It gave the brand a contemporary look and appealed to the new hip hop generation who was moving away from denims to khakis and other casual wear. Low waist jeans made both the category and the brand back into reckoning.Low waist had some blockbuster campaigns involving 15 supermodels which made the brand a symbol of being" cool".
Levi's also made their product line strong by doing downward stretch. The brand introduced Signature range at the lower end of the price point which opened a big market for the brand. Levi's also took on the casual wear with their Docker's range of casual wears.
Levi's in India is poised for tapping the huge young market. There is no other iconic brands which can match the strength of Levi's. But for that, the brand has to come out of its shell. Levi's is not marketing with aggression. I havn't seen any commercial of Levi's in recent times be it in print or in visual media. The brand is resting on its laurels earned outside the country.

With lot of Indian marketers taking on the aggressive path, Levi's may have to add more punch to its communication. Still lot of customers feel that Levi's is out of their range and most of them are unaware of the range of Levi's product line. In a tough market like India, this is a costly mistake.
Watch the Slim jeans video : Slim Jeans

picture courtsey: superbrandsindia,agencyfaqs

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Marketing Funda : Markonyms

Markonyms is a new word to represent all acronyms that marketers create for the promotion of their brands. ( I take the title of the founder of this word).

Marketers use acronyms to impress the customers and coax them to believe that what marketers says is rocket science. Found extensively in Automobile and Tech related products, Markonyms are becoming more and more useful in consumer products also.
Given below is the first set of commonly used Markonyms with a little explanation.

1. DTSI : Digital Twin Spark Ignition : created by Bajaj for its Pulsar. Even the Pulsar owners doesn't know what it does but however, this markonym has worked wonders for the brand.

2.ZPTO: Zinc Pyrithione : created by Clinic All Clear , this markonym landed the brand into trouble but later the brand won litigations. This ingredient is said to have dandruff eliminating properties

3.MMR: Mosquito Mortality Rate : Created by All Out. Only the brand owners know the exact definition.
4. Hi-fi : Hi-Fidelity : Used by most Music player marketers. It refers to high quality music.

5. HDTV: High Definition Television : Digital Broadcasting system that offers more clarity.

6. LCD : Liquid Crystal Display : Thin Flat display technology uses little energy and also little space.
7.CRDI : Common Rail Direct Fuel Injection : Popularised by Accent. It is too technical for me to understand and explain. It is said to increase efficiency and reduce emission.

8.DICOR: Created by TATA safari : This is same as CRDI . Smart marketing move...

9. ABS: Anti Lock(Skid) Breaking System: Pioneered by luxury car like Accent ;too technical again..
10.24X7: Every one uses it and every one knew what it is .

11.MP: Mega pixel : I have seen lot of my friends going after megapixal cameras ranging from 1-8.. too technical . For more info check out WIKi

12. DHA : Docosahexaenoic Acid: Created by Junior Horlicks: This markonym represent a type of amino acid that is good for increasing brain power.

13. PMPO: Peak Music Power Output: A common markonym used by music system marketers to convey the Sound output of their system. But sound experts say this is just to fool the customers.

14.NFO : New Fund Offer : Created by Mutual Funds when they introduce their new funds. Often investers mistook NFO for IPO of shares where they will get a listing premium. But NFO's are often have below par value when they are open.

15. PSPO: Peak Speed Performance Output: Created by Orient Fans as a differentiator.The company says that this tech gives air to all parts of the room.

16.916: Common markonym created by jewelery marketers. It says that the jewelery is 91.6% gold and rest copper and silver.

More markonyms will follow....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Nycil: Soothing and Cooling

Brand: Nycil
Agency:Rediffusion DY&R

Brand Count :220

Nycil is the market leader in the Rs 100 crore prickly Heat Powder (PHP) market in India. This heritage brand has successfully adapted to the changing trends for more than 35 years.
Nycil was initially a drug manufactured by British Drug House for Foot and Bed sours.But later the brand metamorphosed to India's leading PHP brand. The brand changed hands to Glaxo and then to Heinz in 1995

Prickly Heat Powders are highly seasonal products and to manage a seasonal brand is a Brand Manager's nightmare. The typical season for PHP in India is during April-July.The php category is about 20% of the total talcum powder market.Nycil has a market share of over 40% in the PHP category. ( source: Superbrandsindia,org).
During the eighties and nineties the Nycil was generic to the category. The brand was promoted heavily using the cactus mnemonic and the scorching heat gave the additional push to the brand. The brand was able to capture the need of the market which was moving away from traditional methods of applying turmeric or sandalwood pastes.
The irritation caused by heat is felt heavily on kids .Hence Nycil effectively targeted the mother and the child and the brand was positioned as the most effective Prickly heat powder.The brand talked about prevention soothing and healing to fight Prickly heat. The ads featured mother and child effectively conveyed the message. The product was efficient also since using Nycil bought instant relief ( personal experience).
Nycil's success bought many competitors into this category. Brands like Shower to Shower ( J&J),Dermicool ( Paras)Boroplus(emami) Vaseline ( HLL) all tried their luck in the market but could not make a dent into Nycil's leadership position while it took some market away from Nycil.
Nycil is a brand that constantly evolves according to the changing market. in 1970 the famous mnemonic of Cactus gave way to Bramble. Thebrand came out with different fragrances. Later in 1990's the brand expanded the target market to include adults also. The packaging was changed in parity with the industry trends.The brand also tried to expand its usage by including the attributes of fragrance and antiperspirant. But for a consumer, Nycil remains as the PHP.

My point is that Nycil has never rested on its laurels. The brand kept track of the market and competition and never shied away from experimenting. The category is highly seasonal and the purchase is largely problem/need driven. Sometimes the customer will go for the brand that have the maximum share of mind and voice. For example high profile ads of Dermicool took away some of the market of Nycil .It takes lot of efforts to differentiate such niche brands. I havn't seen any celebrity endorsing prickly heat powders? For a change having a celebrity endorsing Nycil may work for the season ...Will it?I also think that it is the right time for this brand to take on "Freshness" platform in place of soothing because there is more value and moving space in taking on the Freshness platform while keeping the points of parity with PHP category. The brand can also come out with multiple campaigns aimed at different set of segments like Sales Executive, Kids, Working women, College students rather than sticking to one segments. The rationale is that since the brand is a seasonal one, expanding the segments will be a viable option.And since different segments have different consumer behaviour, multiple campaigns make more sense.
Summer is on right now and I am waiting for the ad war....


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Brand Update : SBI

After surprising every one with Surprisingly SBI campaign, the bank has now moved into the second phase of campaign rationally explaing why SBI is better than other banks.
The bank has taken the positioning of Pure Banking emphasizing that SBI does what it does best : Pure banking. Th bank has now took the tagline" Pure Banking , Nothing else" takes a dig at new generation banks that spent lot of time doing non banking financial services.
A new Tvc is also running which shows a young guy getting impressed by the services offered by SBI which is his old parent's bank. The recent print and tvc is aimed at shedding the " old public sector bank" image of SBI and make it more relevant to the young customers. The bank is now running a mix of Rational, Humor and emotional advertisement to promote the bank. Laudable and Surprising.
Watch the hilarious Chiman Lal campaign here: Chiman Lal Charlie

Related Brand

Monday, April 09, 2007

Market Statistics : HLL Market Share Across Categories

According to A C Nielsen, Hll in 2006 maintained its leadership position in the FMCG market. It ruled the following segments : Personal wash,Fabric Wash, Dish wash, skin care, Jams,Tea, powder etc and is a strong number 2 in Toothpaste , instant coffee and Ketchups.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Brand Update : Rin and Surf Excel

2006 saw a unique marketing move from HLL. Rin Supreme bar is being migrated to Surf Excel. Although the decision is made in 2006 , the ads are being aired more frequently in 2007 ( I have only recently noticed this after one of my students pointed out this ).I was wondering why HLL is messing up their successful detergent brand like Rin?
Indian Detergent market is valued at around 5100 crore ($1.2 bn).Detergent bar market makes up for 43% of this market .HLL commands 38% of the fabric wash market.
The latest move comes in the wake of the high profile launch of Tide detergent bar. Tide and Ariel always created problems for Surf and Rin. The migration of Rin Supreme bar to Surf Excel bar is aimed at countering Tide.
While Rin is heavily positioned on th whiteness platform and Surf Excel on the Stain Removal platform, the new Surf Excel detergent bar is aimed to take both these attributes.The ad is already on air featuring kids conveying " Good News and Bad news" to their mothers.

It is true that the detergent bar market is important for HLL because in India, homemakers use a combination of bar,detergent and whiteners on their clothes. Hence any move from competitors should be seriously dealt with. But this migration initially did not make sense with me. Why spent money migrating brands? Does HLL gain by migrating Rin to Surf excel?

But I feel that the logic behind the migration is to protect Rin and its USP of whiteness .It is true that Rin supreme can counter Tide bar because both have whiteness positioning. Had HLL used Rin to counter any competition other than Tide, it will have to focus on the Whiteness Platform alone and any additional attribute may affect the parent Rin detergent powder brand. While having Surf Excel detergent bar will help HLL to counter competition not only from Tide but other competitors since Surf is known for its stain removal property. There will not be any dilution in the equity adding attribute of whiteness to Surf unlike Rin. My conclusion is Surf Excel has the ability to be a generalist than Rin.( MyView).
Is it good news or bad news?


Related Brands
Surf Excel

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Idhayam oil : Banking on Health

Brand : Idhayam Oil
Company: Idhayam Group
Agency: Lekha

Brand Count : 219

Idhayam is a strong regional brand in the hugely diverse and unorganised edible oil market in India. Indian edible oil market is huge with a consumption of 360,000 metric tonnes per year. The market is wide and varied with regional preferences diverse across India. For example ,the preferences goes something like this:
Ground Nut oil is preferred in the West, Coconut oil and Sesame oil is preferred in the South,Mustard Oil in East and North, Soyabean oil in Central and North/West and sunflower oil in most parts of the country ( source:

Idhayam is the biggest brand in the sesame oil (Gingelly oil) segment . The brand has a rich heritage of over 60 years. The company came into existence in 1943 and over these years the brand has grown to occupy a major share in the South Indian market. Idhayam sells over 13 lakh liters per month .

Although in my house, traditionally we use coconut oil, Idhayam is a familiar brand because of the intense promotion by the company. The brand is promoted heavily through television and magazines. The brand uses the famous South Indian Diva Jyothika to endorse the brand.Although the ads are dubbed from Tamil in Malayalam , the heavy and constant bombardment of ads never misses the audience.
What is more interesting is the message of the ad. Idhayam means Heart. The brand has its basic values rooted in health platform. I think the brand had this even before the Sunflower brands took over the health positioning.
Idhayam is positioned as an all purpose edible oil. The brand talks about low cholesterol content and great taste.The ad also reminds you that the oil is best to apply on hair too. Health + Taste has been the positioning of Idhayam for years now.
The company later entered the groundnut oil market with a brand :Mantra Groundnut oil.
The success of Idhayam lies in the ability of the company to built the brand. It had been a commodity business but Idhayam added value and now rules this segment. The brand over time has now come out with an innovative marketing strategy " Oil Pulling". This is an initiative of the company to pioneer the concept of Oil therapy in the country. Oil Pulling is the method of rinsing the mouth with oil for Twenty minutes by Swishing the oil between the teeth. According to the company reports, this process effectively cures glaucoma and gum diseases. ( check out the website & doctor before trying it).

Idhayam is a classic example of branding a commodity. The brand is now trying out new markets for its Sesame Oil. Whether it will be successful or not, time will tell,hindubusinessline

Friday, April 06, 2007

Brand Update : Kingfisher

It is a tough task for a beer marketer to keep the brand's share of mind when there are government restrictions on advertisement. How surrogate can you go without getting into trouble... The issue become more critical when you have a super brand like Kingfisher. The brand had so far being able to promote itself through high profile events like the Kingfisher calender. 2007 saw another series of ads of Kingfisher mineral water taking advantage of the Jingle...
You can watch the latest TVC here , : Lift :Fitting Room
The ads take advantage of the brand element : jingle.. a smart way of reinforcing the brand in the customer's mind. The ad is an attempt addressing the new users and non users of the brand at the same time a reminder ad.
The ad also shows the power of brand elements and its importance in brand building and promotions. The jingle was carefully built over time, you can watch some of the brand's earlier promotions here: Kingfisher ads

Great attempt. ole lale lo

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Kamasutra Condoms : What do you want to be Tonight?

Brand: Kamasutra Condoms
Company: JK Ansell
Agency: Ambience

Brand Count: 218

Kamasutra condoms popularly known as KS is a disruptive brand in the Rs 110 crore condoms market in India. Launched in 1991 by JK chemicals,,KS shot into prominence by differentiating through breakaway positioning. In 1996, the brand was transferred to JK Ansell which is a joint venture between Ansell International and Raymond Group.

Kamasutra was the first brand to position this product category away from family planning. The brand broke the lazy lull marketing in this category by becoming bold and controversial. All the campaigns for this brands were different, memorable and clutter breaking.
Traditionally condom were marketed as a family planning product. The market is divided into
a.Free condoms
d. Premium

The brand broke into the scene with a controversial campaign featuring Pooja Bedi and Marc Robinson. The ads became an instant hit as well as a controversy because of the sensual visuals. The so called Moral police brigade cried foul. The ads were instant hit and the sales soared. Consumers used the acronym KS for this brand. The ads gave lessons of Kamasutra postures and customers loved it. But the campaign had its fair share of problems. The tvc was not allowed in National channel and the campaign was restricted to print.
Watch the Pooja Bedi campaign here : Pooja
For a bold brand like KS, the opportunity to create waves in the market was immense. The brand was aiming the target segment of youngsters below 25 ( unmarried) ,College students and young professionals. That TG was a risky proposition at that era because Sex was a taboo... But the brand was able to become relevant to the TG with its boldness and iconoclastic stands.
The Pooja Bedi campaign was followed by campaign featuring famouse models like Anu Agarval and Viveka Babajee. The brand used the tagline " For the Pleasure of Making Love" emphasizing the brand as an enhancer of pleasure ( emotional ) rather than a family planning tool ( rational)
Later the brand became lazy with no promotions for more than 2 years. There was no need to, because company were flush with orders from government and other NGOs so why waste money building the brand?
The brand took a different mode during 2003. It is a kind of repositioning where the brand shifted gear from sensuality to suggestive humour. According to reports, KS was running on the magic of Pooja Bedi and slowly the brand was becoming stale.And the competitors were imitating the sensuous imagery thus differentiation of KS based on visual imagery becomes irrelevant. Since the TG was youth, humour was the right way to get into their frame of mind, especially regarding the subject of sex. Thus came a series of ads with the new tagline " What are You Thinking Of?"
You can watch the ad here : Clinic, Waiting Room and Executive Lunch
The ads were funny and gave the brand a fair share of mind. The ad is based on the insight that
men will always have sex playing in their minds... These thoughts are triggered by simple visuals or sights and this insights was bought in a perfect way by these ads.
2006 again saw the brand changing its communication . The brand adopted the tagline " What do you want to be Tonight?". The ads talks about couple playing out their fantasies .. another extension of the initial positioning platform.
Watch the ad here: Detective and Lifeguard,

The campaigns are much bolder than the previous ones and I have a feeling that the TG has changed from youth below 25 to much older audience ( and married) .
What ever be the campaigns, still this category is in the closet bought ,secretively with only a fraction of customers experimenting the variants or for that matter discussing this category even with their friends.
But the potential for this category is huge and that too in the premium segment. KS has shown the way to build a different brand...

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Brand Update: Coca Cola

Its summer time and things are hotting up ( literally). This is the season where cola majors open their war chest and spent lavishly. But come April, summer has not yet reached Atlanta headquarters yet. Coke has been lying low so far... While Pepsi had bitten the bullet sinking crores of money hoping that Indians spent their nights wathcing World Cup suddenly finds themselves in the same situation faced by Indian team : Out of the World Cup...

Coke had released their new ad featuring Aamir Khan in a new avatar ( watch it here) . The tagline has changed from " Thanda Matlab Coca Cola " To " Sab Thanda Ek hai". That is the only thing that they have done this summer for the brand.( or has summer not reached yet?)

But I feel that Coke is missing out the World Cup and the summer. Remember 1996 World Cup where Coke was the official sponsor and Pepsi did a classic Ambush marketing with its " Nothing Official About it" campaign. That was a campaign that propelled Pepsi to mainstage in India. From that campaingn, Pepsi was closely associated with cricketers and cricket while Coke chose not to associate with the game at all. That disassociation in a way limited Coca Cola's acceptance among the youth.

Coke now has the perfect opportunity to revenge the humiliation of 1996. Pepsi is busy reworking its media strategy since its plans to invest Rs 350 crore in World Cup was called off. The campaigns "Blue Billion" " ooh Aaah India" and " Ladega to jitega" now has to be shelved. Reports suggest that Pepsi is going back to SRK and the likes to tide over the World Cup debacle.

But surprisingly Coke is playing it cool. Isn't it the best time to get aggressive? or

Thanda matlab Coca Cola?

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Coca Cola

Monday, April 02, 2007

Gold Spot : The Zing Thing ( RIP 1977-1993)

Brand : Gold Spot
Company:Coca Cola

Brand Count: 217

Gold Spot is a sad story in the Indian Branding world. This iconic brand was killed for paving way for Coke's brands in India. Every one knows the story but still...

Gold Spot was one among the three major softdrinks brand that ruled Indian market along with Thums Up and Limca. The brand was built by Rames Chauhan of Parle after the exit of Coca Cola from India during 1977. Chauhan spoted the opportunity and three mega brands were born.
When Coca Cola came back to India in 1993, it bought out the three mega brands from Chauhan for a consideration of $10 mn. These three brands had a huge market share (combined) of over 69 % of India's SDC market. Then came the expected move. Coke slowly began killing the Parle brands to make way for its own brands. Thums Up was sidelined in favour of Coca Coala. Limca was sidelined and Goldspot was killed to make way for Fanta.

Gold Spot was the orange drink with a Zingy taste. This iconic youth brand was positioned as " Zing Thing" and was promoted heavily through all media. The jingle " Gold Spot.. The Zing Thing" was one of the most memorable jingle at that time ( still that jingle lingers in the mind of old timers).
Gold Spot was positioned as the youth brand and the ads talked about being crazy about the brand . You can watch the Gold Spot ad here .
But the brand was killed. Fanta was launched but till now the brand has not being able to take the position of Gold Spot. Coke was not able to clearly focus on the segmentation of Fanta. Fanta is never perceived as a youth brand. Fanta is not viewed or targeted at college students/youth. This confused targeting may have crippled the growth of Fanta and still it couldn't reach the status of Gold Spot. Coke expected that the users of Gold Spot will migrate to Fanta but it did not happened.
We saw Limca coming back in 2006.. can we ever hope Gold Spot coming back ?

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