Brands like Nirma and Liril might be doing reasonably well today but are they becoming victims of over-successful advertising? Over-successful advertising! Phew.
None of them have come out of the shadow of their iconic branding.
Liril finds it hard to move out of its waterfall and lemon freshness theme. The new nirma ads still present the nirma girl and the modern nirma jingle. Great! Isnt it?
While competitors are sweating out paying millions to advertisement agencies to do something creative, these guys still get the impact with their decade old advertisements.
Or wait. Is there a monkey on its back that refuses to jump off.
A great jingle does wonders. They provide distinctness to a brand that none else can compete with. A good one also results in complacency. Complacency accompanied with the fear of failure prevents any further change. Lets drag it as long as it is successful or atleast seems successful, think the brand managers. Merry it was in the beginning . Jingles gave a chance to the brand to rise from obscurity to a force to be reckoned. But now the same brands are struggling to get themselves out of this sinking sand. The more they struggle the more they sink.
With buzzing competition, companies desperately feel the need to position themselves differently. Nirma’s new ad tries to do the same. The ad goes well until the old demons arise and we find out that even the packaging is still the same as 80’s.
Nirma loyalists might be happy that Nirmas synonymity with a poor mans washing powder detergent might be over. But do new consumers want to switchover? No. Why would I change from an HUL or a P&G product to a detergent that still looks ages behind.
The ads might be great (I haven’t seen them though) but what admakers have to realize is that a nirma customer does not want to know what your storyboard intended to target. Read this rather amusing comment on the new rebranding effort by Taproot India’s co-founder Santosh Padhi.
“It’s such a simple thing: Nirma has always conjured up the image of washing clothes in a bucketful of water. So, an underwater ballet was our answer to owning the ‘water’ premise. We wanted to take this fresh approach to the brand as a celebration of its lineage.”
One reader commented “wow. this is the biggest scam ive ever seen. kudos to the servicing guy who sold this really expensive, well executed no doubt, but throughly clueless ad to the client. and whatever does owning the ‘water premise’ mean? im stumped mr padhi.”
Rebranding brings along many predicaments: brand image dilution, loss of loyal customers, lack of adopters, complete failure, financial burden of re-branding, re-positioning and many more. But when they attempt the re-positioning by mere ads and not changing product aspects it results in a losing proposition.
So the sensible approach would be to take the offensive i.e rebranding, in a phased manner. Tweak your old jingles continuously and then replace them with a new one or a new type of messaging altogether, but slowly and complement the changes in the product too. It shouldn’t just be old wine in a new bottle.