For decades, people have associated Liril soap with a fresh-looking, lively bikini-clad girl under a waterfall. Even the tune “laa-la la la laa’ became a familiar ring with viewers. Conceptualised by ad-guru Alyque Padamsee, the advertising was a huge success. Till very recently, apart from the models, the visuals in the advertisements have been fairly consistent. Naturally, Hindustan Lever didn’t want to tamper with the popularity and success of the brand.
Circa 2005. No waterfall in the Liril ad. Instead, a couple cuddling and giving themselves to the romance replaces the vibrant Liril girl.
One can’t help asking the obvious question, “Why?”
The client brief for the campaign wanted a focus on ‘freshness in relationships,’ according to R ‘Balki’ Balakrishnan, National Creative Director, Lowe. He said, “As married people, there are little things that you need to do. The campaign aims to rekindle relationships and highlight the freshness in relationships.”
He insisted that there is no shift in the positioning. “Liril still stands for freshness. However, freshness has to be interpreted in a number of ways. The recent campaign deals with the freshness in relationships,” he said.
T Krishna headed the team that worked on the campaign. Other members of the team included Preeti Nair, Nikhil and Balki himself.
When asked why romance was chosen as the subject for the campaign, Balki justified this saying that it is a new interpretation of ‘freshness’ that Liril has always stood for. According to him, the response to the campaign has been “damn good.”
Anand Halve of Chlorophyll believes that after a period of definite uncertainty (Liril Lime, Liril Icy, Liril Orange), the brand has decided to commit itself. “This is a good sign,” he said.
He said that earlier people could easily identify with the freshness that came across through the Liril waterfall imagery. “The current Aloe Vira campaign revolves around active sensuousness which is quite different from tranquil or passive sensuousness of Aroma therapy,” he explained.
Halve further argued that to the young generation, “the earlier waterfall imagery may be irrelevant.” When asked whether the campaign has worked for Liril, he said, “It’s too early to tell.” However, there is no denying the commitment of the brand.
Raj Kurup, Creative Director and Creative Head, Grey, is of the opinion that all Lever brands are making an attempt to shift from their traditional image, including Liril and Surf. He added that Liril had for long “occupied the freshness plank which other brands have tried to exploit too.” Considering this, the recent campaign is good for the brand as it will keep the market afresh, he observed. Kurup, however, didn’t comment on whether it has worked well or not.
Prasoon Joshi, regional creative director, South and South East Asia, McCann-Erickson, expressed his liking for the advertisement. He said, “Liril stands for freshness. What is freshness without fresh attempts?”
He further asserted that he likes the advertisement and though the consumer will finally appreciate or put thumbs down to the advertisement, it surely is good for the brand. “If the brand stands for freshness, the advertisement should also reflect it.,” Joshi said.