LG and Samsung have cause to cheer - they got more than they bargained for in the Indian electronics industry. Apart from capturing a major chunk of the market, they forced competing Indian companies to wake up and smell the coffee. Shedding their nonchalant and carefree outlook, these Indian companies have had to revamp their offerings.
First, Onida walked the talk with new products. Videocon followed suit late last year. Admits Anuj Jain, associate vice-president, sales and marketing, Videocon, "We were in a comfortable position five years ago, but the idea of revamping our products and brand image arose from the threat posed by Korean companies."
boys pleading for parking space
Research conducted by Videocon found that women and the youth were avoiding the brand, seeing it as a 'me-too' brand, or worse, as a price point operator. In a bid to appeal to this segment, O&M has, over the past seven months, released six different ads for various products, bringing forth the message in a subtle way.
First, O&M created ads for Videocon ACs in the first half of 2007, on the premise 'Dimaag ko rakhe thanda' ('Keeps your mind cool'). The two comical ads in this series showed people keeping cool in stressful and provocative situations (such as finding out that one's spouse is having an affair).
The 'Big Videocon offer' (released during the ICC World Cup), followed the AC ads. It again took a subtle route, with a husband-wife pair indulging in innuendo without realising it. However, this ad didn't enjoy much visibility, as the World Cup was a wash-out for India.
Next came an ad for Videocon Integra (the LCD range of television sets, upgraded from the previous Bazoomba). The originator of these ads, Sumanto Chattopadhyay, group creative director, O&M, says, "We had to bring out the 'colour' premise of the LCD screen, something that most brands boast of." The agency used a fairly abstract route; the ad, shot as a montage, depicted people giving a name of their own to the unusual colours they see in everyday life (for instance, a child looks at a butterfly and associates it with another object).
Ad number five was for Videocon SoundStation, a TV range designed to appeal to those looking for loud, clear sound in their television. This ad, directed by Prakash Varma of Nirvana Films, works on the premise that one often associates certain images or situations with specific sounds. For instance, the crash of a window pane may be associated with colony kids escaping, cricket bats in tow, or a lion's roar may evoke memories of deer running in the forest. The ad is full of such imagery. According to Chattopadhyay of O&M, this ad will work well with the mass market, which looks for loud, thumping sounds from its television sets, as well as the upscale one, which hunts for clarity of sound.
The most recent ad released by O&M is for Videocon washing machines, which perhaps takes the most subtle route of the lot. "Most washing machine ads show how the product cleans dirt well," says Chattopadhyay. "We thought of taking this a step further and redefining what dirt means." O&M took inspiration from movies such as 'Rang De Basanti' and the recent Jessica Lall case, and equated dirt with dirty politics and the dirt in society at large.
This ad, directed by Abhinay Deo of Ramesh Deo Productions, has a group of boys confronting a parking attendant, who refuses to give them a parking space. The boys plead, but to no avail. Just when they try to figure out what to do, the corrupt parking attendant tries to lure them into bribing him. The last shot has the boys looking into a washing machine with the parking attendant being 'washed'. The tagline goes, 'Har tarah ka mail saaf kare' ('Cleans all kinds of dirt'). To shoot this ad, a large perforated drum was created, large enough to 'wash' a man. The ad also uses the familiar 'Videocon washing machine' jingle towards the end.
On the cards are more ads for Integra and some others for the Slim TV range.
Interestingly, brand ambassador Shahrukh Khan doesn't figure in any of these ads. Explains Anuj Jain of Videocon, "SRK will feature only in our corporate ads from now onwards, as those ads suit his stature and also fulfil our needs."
The corporate ad will release sometime around the end of 2007, based on Videocon's new thought, 'A New, Improved Life'.