Monday, April 19, 2010

Winner Of 2010 Best TV Advertisement Award - Nolan's Cheddar

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rin vs. Tide Naturals; HUL vs. P&G; Future of Comparative Advertising looks interesting!

It’s the first time in India that competing brands have been named rather than pixilated (as they usually are) in a TV commercial.   For the TV commercial click here, Rin Vs Tide Naturals Ad campaign 

Comparative advertising is there to stay. In real terms, it must be used often as it makes it easy for consumers to evaluate and chose the best among several available options. There is a limit to everything and  similar is the case with advertising; wherein ASCI (Advertising Standard Council of India) has defined certain rules that all advertisements must comply with.

The recent war between  HUL and P&G is over the advertisements featuring Rin and Tide Naturals. HUL (through its latest advertisement launched in last week of Feb) openly challenges the superiority of its product Rin over P&G's Tide Naturals. This campaign claims that Rin provides more brightness in comparison to Tide Naturals, which is the new product that P&G launched a couple of months ago in the mass segment positioning it against Rin as well as Wheel. Declining market share forced HUL to get aggressive in its advertising strategy to regain market share. But was HUL right in doing so?

HUL claims that the Rin commercial is in line advertising regulations laid by the industry. HUL terms its claim to be factual, accurate and substantiated based on laboratory tests done through globally accepted protocols in independent third party laboratories. ASCI has even issued a notice to HUL to substantiate its claim.

P&G has also moved to High court against the disparaging advertisement of HUL's Rin. Prior to this, HUL had challenged P&G's claim in its advertisment on Tide Natural. On being directed by ASCI, P&G seems to have modified its advertisement.

Following are the statements made by spokespersons from both companies:-

“The Court had asked us to make minor modifications to the Tide Naturals TV commercial for which the modification has been actioned,” said a P&G spokeswoman.

Referring to P&G, an HUL spokesman said: “The advertising of one of our competitors has sought to give the impression that theirs is a natural detergent when, in fact, by their own admission in court, it is a synthetic detergent. This has misled consumers at large.”

The P&G spokesperson denied this charge. “Tide Naturals has the goodness and freshness like that of lemon and sandalwood. This claim does not in anyway lead consumers to believe that any natural ingredients are present in the detergent,” she said.

Doubt that still remain in people's mind is whether HUL was right in bringing the disparaging advertisement that explicitly attacks P&G's Tide. 

As per Nadkarni, founder director of Marketgate Consulting, it is a valid strategy followed by marketers to really compare their product and if one has superiority then it is a question of letting consumers know that you have that product. (excerpt from CNBC-TV18 interview) The only thing is that the claim must be substantiated properly. 

Another thing hovering in a marketer's (or even common men) mind is about the Tide commercial's calling its new product as Tides Natural. People complained that it cannot call itself Natural as it doesnot contain any natural ingredient. But did we ever wonder whether Wheel Lemon and jasmine or wheel lemon and orange has any of these or Pond's sandal talc has sandal wood in it. 

Dust does not seem to be settling soon, with ASCI waiting for HUL's reply to the notice asking for substantiating its claim described in the commercial. While rest of the industry and common men is wondering how would P&G reply to this through its commercials.

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Vivek Bhatia

Evolving Marketing basics: 4 V's for 4 C's through 4 P's

4 P's constitute the oldest of marketing basics as described by Kotler. Over the time, these 4 P's has evolved into 4 C's and now its time for 4 V's.

New 4 V's of Marketing are described below: 

1. VALIDITY for Consumers in terms of Products

Initial product approach aimed at developing the product and marketing it well to achieve maximum sales.

Consumer approach brought in the importance of consumer insight and feedback about his needs and expectations about the product. This became essential with so many players coming into market and leaving large number of choices with consumer. Thus Consumer Satisfaction became the buzzword.

With evolving technologies and advances in industry, average product life cycle has decreased. Thus it becomes essential to ensure that the products designed to ensure consumer satisfaction remain valid at the launch of the product.

2. VALUE against  Cost incurred for the Price of product.

Value marketing insists on focussing at delivering the right value to customer. Value is what customer pays for. For instance, Brand value is something for which customers are ready to pay premium. Indians (or India rightly described as a country of youth for coming years) would definitely give more importance to higher standard of living. Hence marketers need to give due importance to value for consumers.

3. Venue that gives consumer the Convenience in easy availabilty of products at right Place

A distribution channel of providing just a place to buy is no longer competitive. Over the time, convenience for consumers has become important and marketers have been establishing more distribution points to reach the consumer. 

The term Venue holds a broader meaning here. Venue is not only providing the product at right place. Venue also considers all the points of contact between customers and retailers, where marketers can get the required information and feedback from consumers. 

Venue also justifies the supply of products through electronic platform and direct selling, as they don't have any brick & mortar as a place to provide their products. Pizza delivery by Domino's and Pizza Hut have revolutionized the  food market.

4. Vogue through efficient two way Communication for proper Promotion

Vogue (meaning Popular acceptance) is the need of hour for all marketers in this competitive world. It requires more than just getting a message across and 2 ways communications. It ensures that messages and advertisements are not only communicated well, but they must be well accepted by the people. For such things, interactive phone and websites may be launched to get people associated with your brand. Like Reckitt Benckiser recently organized a competition inviting people to use their skills and design ideas and advertisements that could be of use to Reckitt. This way one gets the brand more closer to end user.

No doubt these marketing tools have evolved from 4 P's to 4 C's, but the basic still lies in providing the best product and service to customer in such a way that customer gets satisfied and firm earns business.


Vivek Bhatia