Monday, June 29, 2009

Fuel : Ignite the Fire

Brand : Fuel
Company : Elder Pharma

Brand Analysis Count : 405

Here is another men's deo launch. Elder Pharmaceuticals has recently launched its range of deos for men branded as Fuel. The deo is being launched in collaboration with VLCC.

The men's deo market was virtually untouched till recently . Axe was ruling the market with no powerful competitors except for some foreign imports. But the last few months saw a plethora of brands entering this segment.

My earlier blogpost was also about the Fa Xtreme and Denver both targeting the male segment.

Fuel deo is running a tvc across various channels
Watch the tvc here : Fuel Tvc

I have been writing about stereotypes in my post on Fa and Denver and here it is - another brand talking about the same stuff.
A deserted place
A hunk
A sexy lady

compare this with Denver and Fa or Wildstone commercials.
What difference is there between these brands ? Nothing.

What happened to all agencies and the clients ? Are they not watching televisions ? Are they not aware of differentiation ? Or is it that anything goes with regard to Indian consumers ?

All these brands may be good products with a nice fragrance and quality but how come all these brands talk the same crap ?

Compared to other brands, I think Fuel wants to be more adventurous . The brand wants to be more naughtier than the rest of the crowd. A look at the website ( will tell you that the brand wants to be the equivalent of Kamasutra in Deos.

The intention is Ok but the execution is pathetic . I don't think that Indian male will always fall for products that show a hunk and a sexy lady. We are living in an era where our ads are regarded as high quality, wins accolades across the globe and still manages to sell the product in the market.

Fuel has taken the tagline " Ignite the Fire " which is best suited for an aphrodisiac rather than the deo . The brand could have treaded some different path rather that toe the line of its counterparts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brand Update : Cadbury Dairy Milk

It is very difficult to imagine a campaign for Dairy Milk without Big B. Amitabh Bachchan had become the face of this brand and was instrumental in making the brand a darling of youngsters as well as not-so-young ones. Cadbury's was one of the brand that used the persona of Big B to the maximum.

For the past few months, the brand has been trying to break free from the dependence on this powerful celebrity. The brand earlier came out with the "Kenya " campaign without Big B 's presence.

Now Dairy Milk is running another campaign without Big B. The campaign known as the Pay Day campaign is something that we never expect out of this brand

Watch the TVC here : Dairy Milk Payday

The ad is a retro taking us back to the 60's era.The new ad takes the theme of enjoying Dairy Milk on the Pay Day ( When you get the salary). The company has given an interesting story about the idea and its execution. ( Read it Here).

Frankly speaking, i really liked the ad because it is very different and clutter breaking. I think rather than strategy, Dairy Milk wanted to break the clutter and reinforce the brand. And it has done it in style.

Marketing a brand like Dairy Milk is not an easy proposition. The brand have huge brand equity and its campaigns has to live upto the expectations of the consumer. Advertisements for iconic brands like Dairy Milk serve a long term objective of retaining the share of mind rather than immediate sales. The brand needs to remain fresh and relevant and its huge popularity should not become a liability that constraints the creativity. So the agency need to experiment with the campaigns while retaining the classic touch of Dairy Milk. It is no easy task.

Even with Amitabh Bachchan, the brand had to make sure that the personality of Big B should not shadow the brand. The brand was successful in effectively using Big B without drowning the brand.

The latest campaign is a welcome deviation from the brand's journey. The ad may not appeal to the younger ones but will catch the eye of those in their mid thirties and forties.

Kudos for the team

Related brand
Cadbury Dairy Milk

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Brand Update : Fa

Fa has launched its range of deos for men branded Fa Xtreme. The brand has roped in the hollywood diva Bipasha Basu as the brand ambassador. The brand is running its first tvc across various channels.

Watch the TVC here : Fa Xtreme

Well.. Just like the brand Denver, Fa has also fallen into the stereotype trap. The theme is predictable and the execution is nothing but lousy.I wonder whether the creative and strategy guys of the agency had gone on a vacation entrusting this job to a school kid.

And the way Bipasha embrace the hunk looks as if she is acting in a Kamasutra movie..

Another issue is the core brand proposition of Fa. Fa is positioned on the platform of Freshness. It has the tagline " Feel Good Freshness ".

But look at the positioning of its line extension. Fa Xtreme is not complementing the core brand manthra of Fa . Instead it is moving in the direction of brands like Axe and Setwet . This is the main issue with extensions. If the extension is not in sync with the parent brand, there is bound to be brand dilution.

Fa could have used the same " freshness " platform for its men's range. No deo brand has taken the freshness platform ( except Cinthol ). Hence Fa Xtreme could have easily created a distinct place in the men's grooming category if it had followed its parent brand's positioning.

For a consumer (men) of deo, freshness is an important attribute. Guys use deos not just to seduce girls ( pun intended) but also to feel fresh . Most working guys slog in the field and deo is an absolute must for them to feel and look fresh.
It is a sad to see reputed agencies and brands failing to dig deep into consumer's mind and settling for mediocre insights and work.

Related Brand

Friday, June 19, 2009

Denver : Ride Your Luck

Brand : Denver
Company : Vanesa

Brand Analysis Count : 404

Denver is a brand from Vanesa - which is a Delhi based company.I presume that this is a new brand launched recently. Not much information is available in the public domain about the history of the brand or the company.

Male grooming market is witnessing a lot of action in the recent past. Most of the cosmetics and personal care majors are eying this segment. The market size for male grooming products is estimated to be around Rs 600- 800 crores ( figures vary from source to source)

Denver is a new brand in this category. The brand has a range of personal care products ranging from Deos , skin care products and perfumes.

The brand has been very active in the media space with regular TVCs and sponsoring programs like Splitsvilla ( MTV)

Denver has many positive aspects going for it. The name "Denver " gives an international image to the brand. The company has done a good job in getting the packaging right although there is a striking resemblance with the Axe packaging. The brand has attractive design elements going for it. The brand is also reasonably priced at Rs 120 per can.

But the greatest let down is its positioning and advertisement campaign. The brand is currently running a tvc in many national channels.

Watch the ad here : Denver

By looking at the positioning of the brand, one can see that the brand has fallen into the stereotyping trap. The theme of girls falling for a man ( who use the deo) is a much "raped " theme. Every brand has used such a theme and for a consumer, watching such a theme based ad is a nauseating experience.

Brands fall into stereotyping because it is the easiest option. You get a girl , little clothes, a dude and a motorcycle and bingo the advertising is ready.

By following the much used path, Denver has forgone a wonderful opportunity to build a space of its own. There is no difference between what Denver, Axe, Wildstone, Setwet are saying. And these brands are spending whole loads of money to bore the consumers to death.

Denver has taken the tagline " Ride Your Luck " but fails to connect the brand with the positioning statement. It takes courage and wisdom to tread the path less traveled. But seldom brands take that big leap.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brand Update : Horlicks Vs Complan

The fight between Complan and Horlicks has become more intense. Yesterday I saw the new ad for Horlicks and was shocked at the message. The ad started with a scene inside the classroom where the teacher is taking the attendance. The teacher calls out " Calcium" then a group of students raise their hands, then she calls out " Iron " another group raises their hands. Then the voice over talks about the deficiency of nutrients seen in kids.

Then comes the critical part, a Doctor ( model) comes to the picture and talks about 23 vital nutrients that is necessary for the growth and claims that these nutrients are present in HORLICKS....!!!!

This is one of the classic cases of brands trying to establish their competitive points of parity . Horlicks is trying to negate the core differentiation of Complan . Complan since its inception has been harping on the 23 vital nutrients. Now Horlicks is trying to create parity by claiming the same property. Complan has never been so aggressive and blunt.

Remember that Complan has been trying to negate the claim of Horlicks ( Stronger,sharper,Taller) through aggressive campaigns .

So what is the fall out of this fight.

I think the possible outcome of this fight is that media and the ad agency will make a lot of money. Complan will be the gainer in this fight and Horlicks may run the risk of losing its core brand identity because it is trying to become Complan.

What do you think ??

Related Brands

Horlicks Vs Complan Fight

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dollops : RIP (1989-1995)

Brand : Dollops
Company : Cadbury/HLL

Brand Analysis : 403

Dollops is another MNC brand that bite the dust in Indian market. This much hyped brand was launched in India in 1989 by Cadbury's in association with Brooke Bond. Dollops was one of the first high profile MNC brands to enter the Indian market.

Dollops gained instant consumer interest because of the endorsement from Cadbury's. The brand was positioned as a premium icecream and was able to make a significant hype during the launch.

Ice cream business at that time was dominated by local players and powerful brands like Kwality. Cadbury later found that the market was not as juicy as it thought to be. During 1993, Cadbury began the process of focusing more on its confectionery business.

This lead to the hiving off the unrelated businesses like ice creams. It was around that time Hindustan Lever Ltd began to aggressively pursue their interest in ice cream market. In an acquisition spree, HLL acquired Kwality and Dollops. Cadbury sold Dollops to HLL in 1993.

Typically, HLL played around with the brands it had acquired. HLL had its international Wall's brand which it was planning to launch along with Kwality and Dollops. HLL found that Kwality had a huge equity in the market and decided to keep that brand .

Dollops could not be fit into the planned portfolio strategy of HLL and had to be killed.By around 1995, Dollops was slowly eased out from the market.

Dollops had only a short life in the Indian market. Dollops shot into limelight only because of the Cadbury's brand endorsement. The brand was in a tough market which had even humbled the mighty HLL. For Cadbury's, Dollops became a liability when it chose to concentrate on its core business. For HLL, it was a costly exercise of killing a competing brand.

Dollops is a brand that failed not because of any product related reasons. Some of the flavors of Dollops were a hit with the consumers. It failed because of company related factors.

Picture courtsey : Business Line

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Brand Update : Chlormint

Chlormint is back in the media space with a new campaign. There are two interesting things about the new campaign.
First is that, the brand has now a celebrity endorser ( infact two !) . Chlormint has signed up Bollywood Actor Salman Khan as the brand ambassador. The new tvc features Salman and his brother Sohail Khan.

Watch the Tvc Here : Chlormint Airplane Ad

The second most important development about this brand is the tagline. The brand has brought back the old famous tagline " Dobara Mat Poochna " . Chlormint had earlier changed the tagline to " Khao Kabhi Bhi ". I had criticized about the unnecessary change in the tagline in my earlier update about the brand. I had argued that the new tagline does not have lasting power and dumping " Dobara Mat Poochna " was a mistake.

The brand has made some changes in the tagline. The new tagline is " Bina Tayaari ke Dobara mat poochna " meaning " Don't Ask with out taking adequate preparation ". It is good that Chlormint decided to bring back the tagline that made this brand famous. It was a beautiful tagline with lot of room for creativity. The tagline also became a much used phrase by the youngsters.

I am little surprised by the brand's move to rope in a celebrity endorser. The question is whether Chlormint really need the support of a brand ambassador ? My personal opinion is that Chlormint have the strength to survive on its own. Any brand ambassador will only dilute the strength of this brand.

One reason for taking a celebrity is the category competitor Orbit taking Deepika as the brand ambassador. May be Chlormint felt threatened by this move.

The new TVC featuring Salman and Sohail is a pathetic one . The agency could have used this duo better. There is nothing funny or remarkable about the new TVC.

The brand could have fared better if it had concentrated on itself rather than on the celebrity.

Related Brand


Picture courtesy
Tarik Jilai Flickr Photostream

Monday, June 08, 2009

Brand Update : Lays

Lay's is on a repositioning mode again. The brand is currently running a new campaign with a new tagline " Be a little Dillogical ".

Dillogical is the new manthra for the brand. The newly coined term represents the logic of the heart ( I think So !). The new campaign with the new tagline how ever does not speak much about the new positioning.

Ever since the brand dropped its famous " No one can eat just one " tagline, Lays has never really caught the consumer's share of mind. None of the campaign with the tagline " Har Program Ka Main Food " really was as effective as the previous campaigns.

In my last post about this brand, I had criticized about the decision to change a famous tagline just for the sake of change . I think the brand never found its soul in the " program ka main food " tagline. This may have created the need for a new tagline.

I don't think that the Dillogical tagline is going to be any better than the last one. Pepsi is obsessed with Hinglish words , the recent one being Youngisthan.

In sheer share of voice and creativity, Bingo has clearly outsmarted Lays. The campaigns of Bingo has always been clutter- breaking and funny. Lays never was able to bring out a classy campaign after its repositioning.

Related Brand

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Colin : Cleans To A Shine

Brand : Colin
Company : Reckitt & Benckiser

Brand Analysis Count : 402

Colin is a brand from Reckitt & Benckiser. This brand is the market leader in glass cleaner product category. One can say that Colin is the pioneer in creating this category.

Colin brand was created by a company known as Fern Hill Laboratories ltd. In 1998, this brand was sold to Reckitt & Colman ( which later became Reckitt & Benckiser).

Glass cleaner market is a small market with a size of 20 crore. Colin commands more than 70 % of the market . This brand is an example of a niche brand. One good thing about Colin is that the brand owner has left this brand as a niche brand and so far has not ventured into extending Colin into other product categories.

The typical issue with the niche brand is the market size. In a country like India with its sheer size and diversity, managing a niche brand often is a difficult affair.

Consider the case of Colin. The brand is a national brand with presence over most of the urban market. But the brand has to manage the challenge of distributing to all those numerous urban market for a share of those 20 crore. Since Colin is a part of Reckitt which has a basket of products, the cost will be shared. For a company having only one niche brand, Indian market is indeed a tough market to crack.

Colin was always perceived to be a premium product. From my experience as a middle class customer, we never perceived Colin as an essential product. Although we had all the products that could be cleaned using this cleaner, we never felt the need for Colin.

Now the situation is different. The number of electronic gadgets has increased, consumers now have LCD monitors, computers, ipods, psp etc which require specialist cleaning solutions. Hence more than ever, Colin has a good potential in this era.

Colin in a way also suffered from narrow positioning . The brand is widely perceived as a glass cleaner, actually it can be used as a multi-purpose cleaner for fridge and other gadgets. Hence when a consumer has a view that Colin is a glass cleaner, the usage and the value for money proposition does not match. In my experience as a consumer, I never bought this product because of this thought " To clean a TV, why should I spent this much ? "

It is also true that being perceived as a specialist for glass cleaning has its own advantages. The brand is considered an expert in that category and is almost generic to that category.

Colin is a brand that is well entrenched in the minds of the consumers. Being a niche brand has prevented heavy media support for Colin. But the brand has huge potential in days to come. The brand has to take a risk and try to create more uses for this product.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Brand Update : Liril

After a long long time, the iconic Liril is back. Yesterday I saw the new tvc for Liril. The campaign looks foreign, complete with foreign models and settings.

The new tvc talks about 2000 points in our body which when touched will refresh us!!!! The ad uses the theme of a playful interaction between a father and baby to drive home the power of touch and these 2000 sensitive body points.

The ad claims that using Liril will rejuvenate those 2000 body points to keep you FRESH...

Well... some brands will never learn from mistakes. After the dumping of the famous imagery of Liril girl and the waterfall, the brand has never recovered. The fall of this iconic brand was accelerated by some stupid campaigns like Uff Umma and mindless product-line extensions like Orange Liril.

Now comes another half-hearted attempt to rejuvenate the brand. Although the new ad has a touch of class, it does not gel with the brand image of Liril that we had in our mind.

Another interesting development is that the entire product has also being changed. The brand packaging has been changed to dark green and the shape of the soap is changed to rectangle.

I still don't understand why the brand has not thought about bringing back its iconic positioning on freshness and its brand element of waterfall and still famous music. I am not saying that the brand should exactly replicate the earlier ads but it can creatively take advantage of that brand image which is still there in the consumer's mind.

Liril's consumers has become old and the new generation does not know much about this brand. But the collective memory and images are still there in the consumer space. It is also interesting to note that no other brand has been able to take up the space of Liril. So there is still lot of opportunity for Liril but going by the new campaign, that opportunity has been wasted miserably.

As a consumer , I still miss this soap.

Related brand

Monday, June 01, 2009

Brand Update : Eveready

After a long period of silence, Eveready is back on the media space. The brand has launched a new campaign in 2009.The new campaign, known as The Red Light Painters in the ad world , is already making noise among the advertising community.

Watch the ad here : The Redlight Commercial

One of the welcome development with the new campaign is that Eveready has gone back to the famous classic tagline " Give Me Red". Earlier, Eveready has changed its iconic tagline to ' Kuch to hai extra".
The current campaign is for Eveready Ultima batteries.

Frankly speaking , I did not understand the new Eveready commercial. The commercial started with the message that it was made entirely from LED lights, torches and camcoders. And then there was a mouse and the Eveready cat ..... Finally the cat caught the mouse.. That is what I understood.

Today Afaqs carried a story on the new commercial. Read it here.

Only then I understood that there was a story behind the commercial. According to afaqs, the brand is targeting the 15-25 yr olds. May be I did not understood because I am not in the TG.

My feeling is that the new commercial does not tell anything to the consumers. There is no compelling story about Eveready and how the brand is different from its competitors.

The brand is going to face a critical survival issue in future. More and more products are now running on rechargable batteries. Except for clocks and torches, most products which used disposable batteries are now being used with rechargable batteries. For products like clocks, consumers are not too worried about the brand. They will choose any of the major players rather than be loyal.

So in such a scenario, Eveready should be chalking out a survival strategy. It is not about the brand but about the product category.
In my case as a consumer, let me give you the list of products that run on battery in my house : Three clocks
Two remotes
Two Torches

While the new age products like cameras, Ipods, Mobiles,laptops are using rechargable batteries that comes bundled with the product.
In such a scenario, the market for non-rechargable battery market will be limited to a certain households and certain products. There are chances that the entire category getting extinct in future .
I personally think that Eveready is suffering from marketing myopia. The brand has not forayed into mobile batteries or laptop batteries. India is a big market for mobile phones. And typically the batteries need to be replaced. But never seen the brand venturing into this market dominated by chinese makes.

Even in the rechargable segment , Eveready has not done anything to expand the market. These areas may drive the business in future. If the brand is focusing on urban market, without a presence in these segments, I doubt how the brand will survive focusing on the traditional non rechargable batteries.

How ever, I am glad that the " Give Me Red " is back .

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