Monday, December 21, 2020

Brand Update : In 2020 ad, Horlicks subtly reinforces its positioning

 Great ads need not shout its message, the viewers without any effort will understand it. Such an ad was created by Horlicks this season. The new ad of Horlicks featuring mother and daughters very cleverly and powerfully reinforces the brand's message of making you stronger thus confident and empowered. The new ad of Horlicks under the new brand owner HUL takes the campaign to next level of brand laddering. What is beautiful is that the brand comes only at the end credit. The purpose of these kinds of themes is not promoting purchase intention but to reinforce the brand's message and positioning which will have a powerful influence on brand outcomes. In that sense, the current ad of Horlicks ticks all the right boxes. 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Brand Update : Surf Excel takes forward Dirt is Good campaign during pandemic

While all brands are trying to use germ-killing or protection feature in their product in one way or the other, Surf Excel has a different take on the pandemic. In the latest ad, the brand takes the time tested "Dirt is Good" campaign to a different level linking the lockdown effect on the pandemic. In a clever move, the brand has used a family bonding theme to further the brand's positioning. 

A powerful positioning platform helps the brand to mould it to suit various environmental changes. Be it consumer behaviour changes or changes caused by the external environment. Dirt is Good is such a positioning platform which offers excellent creative flexibility to the agency to respond to these changes. The agency has done exactly that with Surf Excel. Surf is in a position where it need not talk about its functional attributes. That is the reason why the brand has taken an emotional position. The current ad brings the brand's relevance in this tested times aiding awareness and salience factors. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Ariel Detergent : Firing All Cylinders

Brand: Ariel
Company: P&G
Brand Analysis Count: #603 

The Indian detergent market worth over Rs 29000 crore is a fiercely competitive market with a whole lot of organized and unorganized players, global and local players vying for a pie of the market.HUL commands the detergent market with around 39% share with its power brands like Surf, Rin, Wheel, Sunlight etc. 

P&G has been fighting the market leader with Ariel and Tide pitching these brands against Surf and Rin respectively. Ariel is a global brand which has a history dating back to 1967. The brand came to India in 1991 and ever since, the brand has been fighting Surf head-on. 

Ariel has always positioned itself as a stain-fighting detergent, thus directly challenging Surf. In the marketing journey, it had used all possible strategies in challenging the market leader. While Surf although a premium-priced detergent tried to appeal to the value, Ariel steadfastly focused on performance in terms of stain-removing. For this, Ariel launched a series of product enhancements and form variants.

In the promotion front, the brand used every trick in the book. While Surf moved from value-based pitching to an emotional " Dirt is Good" theme, Ariel focused on the logic of stain removal. The brand is using the celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor in the last two to three years in their campaigns. The theme is revolving around food-stains which are toughest and in a sort of challenge format shows that Ariel cleans the stains better. 

Last year, the brand also used Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor in their campaign again highlighting the brand's core promise. 

Not to be left behind in the emotional positioning, Ariel in 2016 launched a campaign Share The Load with the hashtag #sharetheload. The theme focused on the fact that women in households are often deprived of basic necessities of life such as sleep because they are forced to take an entire load of managing the households. Hence Ariel decided to be their voice and launched a campaign asking everyone in the house especially men to share the load. The campaign was there for one year and then stopped. In 2020, the campaign was again restarted and was well received by the audiences. The campaign is nicely done and is relevant to the brand since it is talking for its customer- the women of the household. 

In 2020, the brand also came out with product innovation - The Pod. Pod is a unique detergent capsule where there are three components of detergent packed using a thin film. One is a stain-remover, another detergent and a whitening element. This capsule has to be put into the washing machine along with the clothes and the capsule breaks to release the detergents. 

The USP of this pack is the convenience and more than that this product also showcases the brand's focus and innovative character. As a consumer, there is a novelty value and added convenience but how it fits the laundry budget is something debatable. 
Despite all these efforts, Surf still rules the premium laundry segment. Ariel should be credited with a single-minded focus and consistent positioning and also its ability to come out with new product innovations. The brand has remained premium over its competitors and resisted a price war with the competitors. It is patient and focused and I think the brand is letting customers patronize the brand based on the merit than anything else.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Brand Update : Tide gets Ayushmann Khurrana as the brand ambassador

 P&G's detergent brand has now a brand ambassador- Ayushmann Khurrana. The brand which is pitching for the leadership position in the detergent category is fighting the whiteness battle with Unilever's Rin. Tide cleverly uses " Surprising Whiteness" as the theme while Rin uses the lightening mnemonic to reinforce the brand's promise. 

The new campaign featuring Ayushmann Khuranna follows the time-tested theme. The interesting part is that the brand ambassador plays all the character in the ad including that of the lady. According to reports, Ayushmann is now the hot pick for brands in Bollywood as he has delivered back to back hits and has a next-door person image and is relatable. Around 7 years ago, Rin had roped in none other than Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador. 

With washing machines getting into many homes, detergent brands have launched their own variants for machine use. The current campaign is for Tide Ultra variant which is for the machine wash segment. 

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Friday, December 04, 2020

Berger Breathe Easy Safe24 : Stay Safe 24 Hours

Brand: Breathe Easy Safe24
Company: Berger Paints
Brand Analysis Count: 602

 The huge demand for any product that protects us from the COVID-19 virus has created an unprecedented demand for sanitizers and surface disinfectants. While surface disinfectants were existing in the market for quite some time, it was in the form of floor cleaners. The pandemic has created a new opportunity for this product as a tool to clean all surfaces which have a chance to be infected by the virus- that makes almost all surfaces.

Many brands have their own version of surface disinfectant sprays and encourage the customers to spray on every surface every time so that their banks keep on sprayed with money. In fact, in one of the ads, the character is spraying the disinfectant on the pages of the book he is reading. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, a lot of firms have entered the market of sanitizers and the like and paint companies are not left behind. Along with Asian Paints, the paint major Berger Paints also have entered the market with their own brand. 

Berger has extended one of their paint brand - Berger Silk Breathe Easy into this new product category. The main USP of Berger Silk Breathe Easy was the germ-killing feature and the company decided to extend the brand to the new category. The brand extension ( although not 100% technically) is done with some tweaking with the brand name. The surface disinfectant spray is branded as Breathe Easy Safe24 and is endorsed by the corporate brand - Berger. 

Three elements make this brand interesting. The first element is that this product is marketed in association with IIT Guwahati. Scientists from IIT Guwahati lead by Biman Mandal has created this product. What it does to the brand is that it builds tremendous authenticity to the claims. The product is one of the few instances in India where a consumer product is created in association with an academic institution. The second element that makes this brand interesting is the Unique Selling Proposition( USP). While the sanitizing products that exist in the market are based on alcohol which will easily get evaporated from the surface within a few minutes thus reducing the duration of the surface protection. It will get contaminated within no time. According to the media reports, this product has a nano-silver coating which stays active in the surface for a longer time thus offering extended protection. This is a very powerful differentiator for this brand. 

The third element is the presence of a brand ambassador- Kareena Kapoor for this new product. Kareena was also the brand ambassador for the paint products and the company is using her in the new initiative. 

Although the brand name Breathe Easy Safe24 seems a long brand name, it does convey the brand's promise in a no-nonsense fashion. One brand which may not be happy would be the Kerala based brand Pankajakastri Breathe Easy which is an ayurvedic formulation for breathing-related problems. 

The IIT association along with a powerful USP has made this brand a serious player in the market. The challenge is to expand the market for disinfectant sprays and also to expand the product's range to a volume delivering market like surface-cleaners. 

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Brand Update : Thums Up struggling to taste the thunder

 The latest ad of Thums Up featuring the brand ambassador Ranveer Singh is a classic example of (Hyperbole)^2. The stunts make James Bond movies look very realistic. Over the last few years, the brand ( in my opinion) is struggling to find a way to convey the positioning - taste the thunder. The current interpretation of the iconic tagline is coated with unrealism which in a way have diluted the charm of the tagline. 

While the positioning of Thums Up was initially based on the taste, later the brand unnecessarily dropped the tagline and went on experimenting with the positioning and later brought it back. The current positioning is based on the theme of " anything for thums up". The idea was well executed where the celebrity would do anything for the brand. Now also the theme is the same but the focus has shifted to the celebrity rather than the brand.

More and more, the ads have become too unrealistic where consumers will be tempted to discount the brand's message. The same thing happened with Axe with its unrealistic campaigns in the long run took consumers away from believing the brand. Hyperbole or exaggerated advertisements serve the purpose of novelty but should not be at the cost of losing authenticity. Positioning should have some amount of believability and should not be compromised for short-term eyeballs. 

Thums Up now is in a celebrity trap and is not alone. The rival Pepsi now has the erstwhile Thums Up, brand ambassador vouching for it. The brand is now in a position where they cannot afford to think of a campaign sans a celebrity. I think Thums Up, if serious about the survival should reset its current campaign trap and do something different to bring the thunder back.