Two of the leading paint brands in India-Asian Paints and Kansai Nerolac have introduced their new communication for the festive season and the TVCs are running simultaneously on TV. The ad campaign for Nerolac has been conceptualised by FCB Ulka. This time around, it has revived the original jingle ‘Jab ghar ki raunak badani ho...’ with two new TVCs featuring the brand ambassador Sharukh Khan. One of the TVCs is made for Durga Puja and the other is for Diwali. Contract Advertising on the other hand, is the agency behind the new ad campaign for Asian Paints Tractor Emulsion. Using humour, the ad highlights the situation of a typical middle class family who gets status uplift in the eyes of the society, when they get their house painted.
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Nerolac: Durga Puja:
Commenting on why communication in this category is mostly timed around festive seasons, Rohit Srivastava, Chief Strategy Officer, Contract Advertising said, “The communication or the effectiveness of any ad campaign in the paint category is not always linked to festivals, but yes the media release usually happens during this time. Also 3-4 months prior to the festival month is usually considered a lull period, because mostly school children have their exams, which gets followed by the monsoons, during which painting doesn’t take place. There is again a spike seen during the months of Diwali, when people do cleaning of their homes. However, today painting is no longer seen as a seasonal affair as it used to happen few years back. Due to greater affluence, affordability, things have changed today.”
On the decision to revive the old Nerolac jingle, Donovan D'souza, Creative Director, FCB Ulka said, “FCB Ulka with Nerolac had created their iconic jingles, which till date remains as one of the strongest connect between brand and the people. Research has always shown that one of the core brand assets that Nerolac owns in the consumer’s mind is the jingle. In fact people knew every word of the jingle even though it hasn’t been on air for many years. So, we decided to bring back the jingle.”
Old Nerolac ad:
Asian Paints Tractor Emulsion has always been a value for money choice for the consumer who wants to upgrade to an emulsion finish for his interior walls, at almost the cost of distemper. However, the challenge this time was to target those who did not consider painting & décor to be an immediate upgrade need as compared to other spend areas. At the same time they also desired for social recognition, but preferred to be practical with distemper.
Ashish Chakravarty, NCD, Contract Advertising elaborated, “The brand wanted to encourage its target, the great Indian middle-middle class, to enter the world of plastic paints, with the twin pitch of social recognition and affordability. It is like a direct way of saying-Yeh Sirf Dikhta Mehnga Hain! Also it has been very brave on part of the client that they allowed the protagonist- the middle class professor to do a light hearted lament, who notices the perceptible difference in his neighbour's behaviour towards him and his family, after he painted his house. He can't help but ruminate about a society, and a world, that gives ‘izzat’ only basis his beautified home. The brand asked us not to make it sound too derogatory and sarcastic because after all the professor is even happy to get his home painted.”
How has the communication evolved?
B Ramanathan, Managing Partner, Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai, the agency that has been associated with the Asian Paints for the last 30 years said, “In the past, people used to paint their homes once in 10 years, for largely maintenance reasons and often with the same colour. Consumer involvement in paints as a category was very low. Those were the days of exterior paints purely focussing on protection as a need. Remember the famous Chirapunjee ad? Over the years, Asian Paints' exterior paints promise moved from protection to beauty that lasts. 'Wah Sunil Babu', is a classic example of 'time-proof beauty'.”
According to reports, Asian Paints had the mascot called Gattu which was created by the celebrated cartoonist RK Lakshman in 1954. The mascot helped to create brand recall and it appealed to the masses which helped Asian Paints to become the leader. After over almost four decades, Gattu was eventually phased out after 2002, when O&M initiated a rebranding exercise. The logo also went for an overhaul in it is exercise to change the perception of the brand from mass market to a more premium appeal.
“The role of the corporate brand was to increase consumer involvement by building an emotional affinity for Asian Paints. ‘Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hain' campaign tapped into the need and use of homes as a medium for self-expression. A few other campaigns helped infuse meaning and emotions into colour, thereby serving to increase consumer involvement with paints. Over the years, Asian Paints has evolved from being a paint company to a painting solutions company to a decor company, going beyond paints. All in the quest to provide inspiring decor and partner with consumers in making their homes beautiful,” added Ramanathan.
Wah Sunil Babu:
Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hain:
Srivastava of Contract Advertising highlighted that ads that have been deep rooted in fundamental insight have always worked for this category. Whether it is emotion or humour, it all depends on what the message or the insight is. “If one starts to trace the evolution of advertising in this category, it started off as rational and functional and then went on to social appreciation zone. It then moved to self-expressive benefits with campaigns like ‘Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hain’. Then with the invention of texture, the communication captured the creative aspect. It started involving the consumers who went playful with colours while painting their homes,” he cited.
Chakravarty points out that humour has always worked for the brand Asian Paints. In some cases, it might be tongue-in-cheek humour and while in other cases, it might be out and out direct humour. It totally depends on who the kind of audience is.
According to Anuj Jain, Director Decorative Paints at Kansai Nerolac Paints, there has been a change in the communication of this category, with the inclusion of technology. Today, there are different kinds of paints available- like the one which gives protection from dampness, anti-bacteria and also imparts sheen. We are seeing mushrooming of different kinds of paints and based on the particular requirement of the customers, people are using paints today.” In the previous ads for Nerolac, the jingle was used as a sign off tune, in between it was revised to give a modern touch, but this time around, the brand revived the original jingle which was first played in 1990s. This is the fourth time that the jingle has been used in the brand campaign.
Use of celebrity endorser:
Sharukh Khan has been associated with Nerolac for almost 5 years now. Commenting on this association with the brand, Jain said, “Right now there is a clutter in the advertising world. The reason behind using a face like Sharukh is to stand out and grab the eyeballs of the viewer’s easily. Acceptance within the audience also becomes a lot easier, if you have a familiar face.”
Saif Ali Khan on the other hand is seen endorsing the premium brand- Asian Paints Royale. Before him, it was his dad, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi seen as the face of the brand and imparting the entire royal look. Srivastava from Contract feels that, “celebrity endorsement for this category depends on how you use them. Today, celebrity is infact, a very rare and a contrived fit to any brand. Considering today paint is all about aesthetics, fashion, therefore a brand endorser should be one who can be a natural fit to these qualities.”
Among the other brands, in the last few years, Farhan Akhtar has been the face of Delux Paints and recently, actress Shraddha Kapoor has even joined the brand as its new ambassador along with Akhtar.
Asian Paints Royale:
Delux Paints (Farhan Akhtar):