After the cola slugfest through the advertising medium, its now the war of the Korean brands in the consumer durables segment that is hotting up. The current trigger: the upcoming Cricket World Cup. In an obvious counter to LG’s ‘Cricket First’ campaign, rival Samsung is launching the next round of World Cup related advertising with the punchline, ‘With Team Samsung, It’s India First.’
The ‘India First’ theme will run through the campaign till March. Though the company denied any ‘conscious retaliation’ to the LG ads, pointing out that the campaign has been ready since June, industry sources say that while the concept had been finalised earlier, the copy was modified after the LG campaign broke, to incorporate the ‘India First’ theme. The focus of the ads now shifts from Digitall passion to passion for the country and the game as a means of bringing that passion alive.
The copy of the print ad reads,‘‘With Team Samsung, Its India First.’’ It goes on to say,‘‘Team Samsung plays for India’s glory. Cricket is just a means to that end.’’ The TV commercial also signs off with the lines ‘Team Samsung. India First.’ LG had earlier this month launched its campaign featuring 14 captains of cricket-playing nations, whose punchline read ‘With LG it is always cricket first.’
Reacting to the commercial, Lowe director Pranesh Mishra said,‘‘This is essentially a reaction to our LG Cricket First ad campaign. But our idea is big and it’s all about how people enjoy the game, we do not worry who wins the match. Samsung has tried to copy us.’’
So can one expect to see a confrontation on the lines of the Cola wars? Says KSA Technopak manager Hemendra Mathur,‘‘In the short term, such a strategy could be a win-win situation for both brands. It could build excitement and have a positive rub-off on pre-World Cup sales. Cricket and patriotism are both hot propositions. As a strategy, building on patriotism could also perhaps help a Korean company get a more Indian image, like Philips or Lever, which are viewed as more Indian than foreign.’’
Samsung, which signed on seven Indian cricketers earlier this year, launched its ‘Team Samsung, the official sponsors of Digitall Passion’ ads in August. Since then it has aired three commercials on a similar platform.