Monday, March 1, 2010

High RIN @ Low TIDE

Ad By: Scion Brand Incubation

Ad is to tell or sell?
On Friday (beginning of weekend), all eyes were widened to see ad from HUL for their brand Rin in which they do more than direct comparison with their competitor P&G brand Tide (Tide Natural rather). The ad not only speak the product attributes of Tide which they claim but also hit their marketing theme of "Chauk gaye?" by making the kid speak in end "Ye aunty kyu chauk gayi". When such comparison is being made, the ones who were ignorant about Tide features earlier, they also now know that Tide is about better whiteness, contains fragrance. In about 30 seconds of ad, 25 seconds are given to show "Tide Natural" and only last 5 seconds tell that ad is actually about "Rin". The rivalry between these two brands is on since long when HUL reduced its price by 10-15% percent when Tide was offering 20% extra washing powder. However, here HUL is clearly making comparison with Tide variant "Tide Natural" which is comparative to the Rin price. But this variant comparison is not so prominently noticed in the ad. 

When the market is so cluttered with brands and their promotions then it is unethical on a consumer part to give his verdict if some campaign is ethical or not. There are judicial bodies to frame the laws and to lay fundamentals which define the ethnicity. ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) has defined a code of conduct and if a brand is adhering to them then the onus is entirely on consumer to decide whats wrong and whats right. 
HUL has aptly put everything in place by adhering to the facts and also by mentioning "Schematic representation of superior whiteness is based on Whiteness Index of Rin Vs Tide Naturals as tested by Independent Lab" in the footer of the ad which proves they have their facts clear well in place. Also, the timing of the ad has been appropriately chosen on a Friday when weekend starts. Though they have not missed any legal obligation but they remain aware that P&G would surely take them to court. But before the court reacts and hearings start the ad is already spread across consumers by its repetitive forecast over the weekend. 

In past there has been many such instances of comparison- the famous Complan & Horlicks rivalry, global ad for comparison of Apple and PC using Microsoft. Certain indirect comparison we see today for Onida where they playing with words mention about Nokia "No Kia". When there is so much cut throat competition, there is nothing like ethical or unethical in marketing yourself. But the entire purpose of any campaign is to convince your consumer to buy your product. HUL certainly conveys to consumer here that their product is better than the competitor but also if leaves behind a very negative feeling for such old brand "Rin". They exist in the market from the times when there was hardly any competition so certainly they have better ways to communicate their worth than by themselves saying that they are trying to fight with new competition in market. The advertising is getting so creative now that the giant like HUL could have devised a more creative out of the box way to reach its consumers. Comparative marketing is rather turning into negative marketing. 

Sales report awaited !


  1. Apart from the legal clauses and marketing covenants, i think you are very right in saying that HUL has actually lost its reputation by committing such act. I will derate this strategy coz of following reasons-

    1) Rin is not that unknown a brand that it
    will require to tell ppl- what actually it can do

    2)I suppose RIN is telling ppl that tide is best by benchmarking itself against Tide in whiteness

    3)what extra Rin has put in it suddenly that it now cleans better than Tide. For years Tide was 'chaunkaofying' with whiteness and all of a sudden Rin has got those capabilities to 'chaunkaofy' Tide. Were we sleeping earlier or we were not confident enough.

    4)having said everything, everyone in this literate world knows how that shirt is made extra white (thanks to modern multimedia softwares and the aggressive marketing by institutes to pull ppl for such courses :))
    So, for tide also -the idea was to show that it whitens better and not to compare the whiteness with others. But i thing by showing tide shirt dirty and that of Rin as bright, it just depicts that there is no prudence in these ads and on TV per say- to be whiter than rest could be possible for anyone. It could be tide or rin or nirma or castrol GTX.

    Astha you have really trapped each and every bit of it very well by considering the legal as well as business face of it

    ...m n n

  2. The ad certainly has shock value. But you are right in pointing out that 25/30 secs in the ad have been devoted to Tide!

    further manan above has raised some very valid points, esp about benchmarking itself with tide ( you benchmark yourself with the best!) and how suddenly rin becomes more whiter than tide...

  3. Thanks Manan & Sid for taking my point. To add it further, P&G now plans to advertise for Arial in similar way against HUL's Surf. I wonder what end they think lies to all this. HUL had earlier also done this thru their ad for All Clear Shampoo endorsed by Bipasha Basu where lip moment carefully noticed mention P&G's Head & Shoulders. Heights of insecurity