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Detergent cos tide over price war, take battle to ad front

05-March-2004
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Detergent cos tide over price war, take battle to ad front

After waging an aggressive price war, FMCG majors Hindustan Lever Ltd and Procter & Gamble (P&G) are now gearing up to battle for mindshare through high decibel ads.

To start with, P&G is in the process of rolling out a high-voltage ad campaign to promote its brands Tide and Ariel. JP Kuehwlein, brand manager, fabric and homecare, P&G (Asia, Australia, India), said the initial response in the market place for the price reductions has been positive. He said he was hopeful that the pricing strategy will click with the brands becoming more affordable.

Created by Leo Burnett, the stripe ads — with a funny twist — showcase the cleaning power of Tide, and its superior whitening property. “The brief to the ad agency was that while Tide continues to perform better, affordability is no longer an issue.”

According to Arvind Sharma, chief executive officer of Leo Burnett India: “There’s a major change of price dynamics in the Indian market place. I am eagerly looking forward to see the outcome of this. Naturally, the FMCG majors will now turn their attention to effective advertising plans.”

The Ariel ad will continue to be based on the global message of impeccable look — which is now affordable too.

Key ad industry sources said P&G is also planning to launch a new ad campaign to announce its recent price cuts in the Indian market. Further, the industry sources informed the company will focus on a slew of retail initiatives to announce its recent price cuts.

“The company plans to use outdoor media to announce the new price rates. Very soon, we will see posters announcing the steep price cuts,” a source added.

Meanwhile, Hindustan Lever Ltd is planning to reduce the price of its regional detergent brand Sunlight, which is quite popular in the southern states, to take on the rival brands. Incidentally, HLL is all set to launch a print campaign to announce the price cuts of Sunlight in the south.

In addition, HLL is also in the process of rolling out a new television campaign to announce the change in the name of its mother brand from Surf to Surf Excel Blue last week. The new campaign is created by Lowe India. The positioning and tagline of the brand remains the same in HLL’s new communications. In addition, HLL has also launched a new television commercial to popularise its brand with the punch line ‘Surf Excel hai na’ (you can always rely on Surf Excel), which will battle against Tide’s punch line, Tide ki safedi ab sirf Rs 23 mein (Tide’s whiteness now available at only Rs 23).

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