FMCG giant Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) is restructuring the communication portfolio of its different personal care brands, with the objective of eliminating brand dissonance. To this end, the company has realigned the advertising account of the entire Lakme brand with Ambience D'Arcy, Pond's with O&M and that of Pears with HTA.
This process, which was set in motion a month ago, is termed as "brand and agency consolidation" by HLL. "The aim is to get across a unified brand message," a company spokesperson told agencyfaqs!. "Following this move, the common theme of creativity will get reflected in the communication of each individual brand."
For the record, the Lakme account was previously split between O&M and Ambience, whereby O&M was entrusted with Lakme's skincare range, while Ambience was in charge of colour cosmetics. On the other hand, while O&M handled all of Pond's skincare offerings, HTA was the custodian of flagship brand Pond's Dreamflower Talc. And while HTA had all of Pears, Pears Natural was with O&M.
"The realignment stems from the fact that brands must be aligned and the concerned agencies must be compensated," says Piyush Pandey, director and national creative director, O&M. "It has been planned in a scientific manner and is a market-based business strategy. After all, it is quite difficult for two different agencies to always pick up the common thread of brand communication."
The realignment will come into full effect from May 2001. But Piyush informs that, for a while, the advertising of one agency might be released by another. "Taking over is a delicate process," he explains. "And during this time, you cannot allow the brand to suffer in any way."
It is a very equitable redistribution, as it turns out. Pandey is of the opinion that all three agencies have good reason to smile as the business losses have been suitably compensated. "In fact, by winning Pond's Dreamflower Talc, we have gained marginally," he says.
Of course, Ambience has gained the most - considering it has lost nothing. "We have been handling Lakme's colour cosmetics for the last four-five years," says Ashok Kurien, chairman and managing director, Ambience D'Arcy. "Winning skincare will certainly help swell the bottomline." The entire Lakme account is estimated to be worth Rs 25 crore.
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