The detergent war enters a new episode with Hindustan Unilever (HUL) launching its Rin Safedi ki Challenge campaign. The brand is running a commercial and a separate website featuring the challenge.
In the campaign, the brand has announced Rs 1 crore prize money if it can be proved that any other detergent provides more whiteness than Rin. Unlike last time, Rin has masked its competitor in this campaign.
Halve pins it down as the brand's knee jerk reaction to the CEO's comment, following which, he feels, the brand is trying out very possible way to become the talk of the town.
Interestingly, though the rival brand has been masked in current TVC, the same models have been used so that the consumers can identify with the previous commercial.
Rin's strategy, believes Vinay Kanchan, an independent strategic consultant, has been one of 'conscious confrontation' with Tide. Using the enhanced salience gained by its present initiatives, he says that it is trying to elevate itself both in terms of imagery and eventually, in terms of increased market share.
Seconding Doc's opinion, Jagdeep Kapoor, chairperson, Samsika Marketing Consultants adds that with this campaign, HUL is actually putting money where its mouth is. "It's an announcement of credibility," he states. Adding a dash of humour to the entire episode, he quips, "You need aggression to make your clothes white and to gain market share - Rin has to fight."
The new ad resembles the Rs 1 crore purity challenge campaign of HUL's Pureit water purifier to the extent that the numerical value of the reward is the same magic figure. It also has the same 'in your face' confident approach.
"Perhaps there was a transfer of learning within the group, so what was successful in one category is now being tried out in another. It must be said though that here, the role of Rin is a lot more focused in terms of who exactly it is alluding to in this challenge. The past communication surely plays a role in making that much clear," explains Kanchan.
Apart from this, there is also a layer of celebrity power in the form Bollywood actor Kajol, who lends an additional punch to the mix. The association is expected to give the campaign authenticity and attract viewers.
"So, Rin is offering a staggering Rs 1 crore, the charisma of Kajol, a promise of coming to our hometown in person - doesn't the brand sound like a desperate cook putting every ingredient in the cooking pot and hoping it will make a great dish?" grins Halve.
As HUL breathes fire, P&G isn't sitting idle either. It is offering 25 per cent extra in the newly launched Tide Naturals (200 gm and 500 gm packs), without increasing the price in the first week of March. It has also announced its plans to more than double the production of Tide.
As things stand, it seems like the beginning of a brand 'Mahabharata' and perhaps more dirty linen will be washed in public in the future.