Remember the Fevicol 'Truck' ad, which had a large number of Rajasthanis on a truck. Like many other Fevicol television commercials, this one also created waves. However, not many would know that this idea was initially conceived as an outdoor ad. The hoarding had used the image of hundreds of people on a local train in Mumbai, with the idea of 'Fevicol ka jod hai'. After the hoarding received a great response, Pidilite, the owners of Fevicol decided to carry this idea for a television commercial.
Pidilite as a company has always been liberal when it comes to experimenting with its ads. Recently, for two of its lesser known brands -Ranipal Starch and Terminator (anti-termite brand) - Pidilite has tried another innovation on outdoor. These brands that have mainly relied on smaller, retail-level advertising -- have created a buzz in Mumbai's malls, recently.
Inorbit Mall and Shopper's Stop in Malad, and another mall in Vashi - both in Mumbai - people were surprised to see starched clothes in different positions, such as getting off a bike, climbing stairs or browsing the shoes section, with no sign of the people who wear them, à la 'Hollow Man' style, the Hollywood film featuring Kevin Bacon.
These stiffened clothes were made to stand on the sheer strength of Ranipal Starch, without any internal or external propping up. A tag attached to the clothes announced the brand.
The ambient innovation for Terminator consisted of various handles - generally used on wooden furniture such as doors, wardrobes and chests of drawers - installed on tree trunks. A message on a recycled paper placard was placed next to each tree, stating that every new piece of furniture bought meant the end of a tree. Instead, Terminator could save furniture from termites, and subsequently, help save trees.
This activity was conducted at RMall and Nirmal Lifestyle, both in Mulund. Since these malls are popular weekend destinations, high visibility was guaranteed for the activation. It was executed specifically at these malls, because they have a number of trees within their premises.
The team that worked on this idea was also headed by Avasthi. It included Manoj Shetty, Siddharth Dutta, Kevin Lobo and Mihir Dhairyawan from the creative side; Melvin Dass and Bindya Talluri from client servicing and Rohan Tasgaonkar from Ogilvy Action.
Discussing the innovations, Avasthi tells afaqs!, "Pidilite has a lot of brands that do not use mass media and prefers outdoor innovations for these. The company really values ideas and is very encouraging when it comes to trying out new ideas."
Also, for a brand like Ranipal Starch, which sells only through modern trade and is not seen at neighbourhood kirana stores, mall advertising made sense.
Ranipal did a television commercial last year and has also employed traditional outdoor earlier, but this was the first time something so innovative was done on the brand. Arun Sriram, chief - marketing, Pidilite Industries says, "As a company we've always encouraged good creative ideas. This innovation too has been noticed a lot and has got good reviews." The company is analyzing the outdoor campaign and may roll out the same in other cities in March or April.
The company's anti-termite brand, Terminator was launched in 2003 and recently saw a launch of a spray can variant. Last year it had a creative outdoor ad around the time of elections that showed a chair and said 'Kursi pyaari hai' and showed a pack shot of Terminator.
So is the company trying to market the brand more aggressively now that it has a spray can variant? Vishal Malhan, head, marketing, Pidilite Industries, says, "Firstly, in this specific category of termite killers, there are no other branded products, so Terminator is the only one."
He adds further, "The Do-it-Yourself market is very restricted in India so we are trying to spread this concept. Even the previous variant where a brush had to be used for application was easy, but we usually have carpenters do it for us. Last year we launched an infomercial with Roshan Abbas explaining how to use this product."
Coming back to the innovations, Malhan adds, "A lot of credit goes to our agency, O&M, which has partnered with us to create a lot of good, memorable work, over the years."
O&M also created an outdoor billboard campaign for Pidilite's Hobby Ideas recently, where a hoarding was used like a piece of paper, with a fold being made each day to eventually take the form of a butterfly, depicting the store's Origami art kit.
Avasthi shares that they may take this idea ahead with another Origami piece of art. Around the time of Ganesh Chaturthi, various materials, such as paper maché, were used to create Ganpati figures on a hoarding, to promote Hobby Ideas again. For another brand, the company had also done an extensive campaign targeting carpenters in Gujarat.
About Pidilite's extensive use of outdoor, Avasthi says, "The company evaluates situations and, if need be, it takes up huge outdoor presence. Pidilite has a flagship hoarding at Hughes Road in Mumbai, where a number of innovations are done consecutively for its different brands. For now, we are evaluating these two activities of Ranipal and Terminator and compiling an effectiveness report for the client."
With all these creative ideas, the company is definitely taking optimal advantage of the outdoor medium. The year 2009, in fact, is also Pidilite's golden jubilee year and the company has several innovative plans up its sleeve for its 50th anniversary. Watch this space for more.