MUMBAI, November 7
Long out-of-sight brand Promise toothpaste is back with a bang. Having launched Promise Gel with the promise of freshness and the protection of clove, parent Balsara has embarked on an aggressive advertising campaign aimed at revitalising the once-popular brand. And with a competitive pricing on par with Colgate Dental Cream, the company hopes that the product will do much more then revitalise the brand.
Says Abhimanyu Mathur, senior account executive, Leo Burnett India, "The so-called freshness plus protection toothpastes have been around, but by simply putting two different toothpastes in a tube, the consumer gets the benefit of neither. Promise Gel is unprecedented since it's a pure gel, providing freshness, while the age-old remedy of clove extracts does the trick for protection of teeth and gums."
But how does the company explain the many years of absence from the minds of the consumer, and repair the consequent damage to the Promise brand? After all, Promise was one of the early movers in the Indian market, being launched way back in 1978. In fact, by 1985, Promise commanded a respectable marketshare of 15 per cent. But steadily, the brand's advertising efforts diminished and reached a point where it almost slipped into oblivion. In a category where brands thrive on recall, that's the worse thing that can happen to a brand.
So what went wrong?
Explains Mathur, "It was in the late-eighties that Balsara started facing some cash-crunch, and like a lot of other brands, the first thing that was sacrificed was the ad-budget. It's interesting to know, that all these years that Balsara stepped down advertising of the Promise brand, the brand remained alive."
It was only in 1996 that Balsara put their shoulders behind some serious advertising, nearly eight years after the launch of their mass-appealing Babool. After launching Meswak in 1998, Balsara started advertising big time, and since then, their ad-budget has steadily grown at a rate of approximately 35 per cent a year. It was, therefore, no surprise when they went ahead with an aggressive campaign of TV ads and hoardings for Promise Gel. "Frankly, we feel this brand could make a serious challenge to the present leaders," says Mathur.
This move by Balsara was long overdue. If the product is truly all that it claims to be, new equations may just be formed in the Rs 1,000-crore (ORG-Marg estimates) Indian toothpaste market.
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