Dulux: It's all about 'colourful' people

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | September 23, 2011
After a gap of 10 years, Dulux Paints has launched its first-ever thematic brand campaign for the mother brand. The communication is based on the premise 'Apna Rang Chhalakne Do'.

Dutch brand Dulux Paints, which recently underwent rebranding, is out with communication that aims to position it as the brand with the 'colour credentials'. Incidentally, this is the first thematic brand campaign for Dulux Paints after a gap of 10 years; the previous one was released in 2001.

During this decade, Dulux concentrated on building its sub-brands and products such as the Velvet Touch and Weathershield range.

"While Dulux has always stood for premium, high-quality colours and range, it was time to strengthen the colour credentials of the brand and make it assume category leadership, after having built the sub-brands all these years," says Mrinal Mathur, marketing manager, Dulux Paints.

The commercial to announce the revamped version of brand Dulux has been created by McCann Erickson India, and showcases its endorsers, actors Shahid Kapur and Boman Irani. The ad has Irani instructing his painters to obtain the right shade of red on his home wall, when he is stunned to see a red T-shirt-clad Kapur bringing his daughter home, romancing her in his arms.

He figures out that Kapur is her boyfriend and immediately juxtaposes his distaste for the boy with the shade he is instructing his painter to use, and coins it 'Rascal Red', after Kapur. Over a series of conversations, Irani gets to know that Kapur isn't just a smooth-talking charmer, but also a doctor who knows his work well.

Irani figures 'Rascal Red' isn't a bad colour/person after all. 'Apna Rang Chhalakne Do' goes the tagline for Dulux Paints, indicating that the colour on one's walls is symbolic of personal expression/mood.

"The concept that certain kinds of persons go for certain kinds of colours emerged from our consumer research," says Mathur. Kapur, on the one hand, appears to be an irreverent charmer, yet the responsible individual, while Irani is about exuberance and energy -- all the qualities that Dulux hopes to latch on to, in order to appeal to the youth of today. Dulux hopes to be the brand that celebrates people with different personalities, and therefore, their unique tastes in their choice of paint.

Prasoon Joshi, executive chairperson, McCann Worldgroup India and regional creative director, McCann Asia-Pacific, says, "It is about a deep, metaphoric meaning attached to colours." When asked if it is treading the same path as brands such as Asian Paints may have done in the past -- that of associating paint colour with one's mood/character -- Joshi feels that such a representation of colour is a generic category plank. But, the line 'Apna Rang Chhalakne Do' takes things a step further by stating that the colours emanate from each individual, and each of these are different and intricate. "Dulux is at a stage where it can make such a statement," he adds.

The communication is being supported by radio, outdoor and print, apart from television advertising.

Fresh paint?

Paints, as a category, has largely been in the functional area of durability and quality until a few years ago, when it started experimenting with lifestyle and mood enhancement. For Dulux, it is a marked shift from 'functional' to 'emotifying' paint colours. We do a quick check on what the industry makes of the attempt.

Samit Sinha, managing partner, Alchemist Brand Consulting, feels that despite the impossibility of owning colour -- some may recall the famous Jenson & Nicholson campaign, 'Whenever You See Colour, Think Of Us' -- paint brands persist in thinking that the world of colours is a fertile field to find means to differentiate on subtle emotional nuances.

"The Dulux Paints campaign is a case in point," he says. While it can no doubt lead to noticeable and memorable advertising expressions, he wonders if consumers are more likely to substitute one brand for another without much deliberation, rather than go out of their way for any one particular brand, and this problem is really with the category.

"There is very little to say and possibly nothing to say that hasn't already been said many times before," Sinha opines. "It's also extremely difficult to get consumers too excited about paints. So, I guess there is only so much the advertising can do."

Anirban Chaudhuri, who until recently, was senior vice-president, strategic planning, Dentsu Communications, and who is currently a business strategist, says residential paints as a category, is a natural playground for emotionally-charged communication, and the players have been attempting to leverage the same for some time.

"The current Dulux re-launch platform does not sound so fresh. One finds tinges of Asian Paints' 'Merawala Pink' in it," he opines. "Self expression through colours that your home wears has been done over and over. 'Paint Your Imagination' by Berger treaded a similar path."

Further, he is of the view that the Dulux TVC story appears to be a little laboured. He adds that the campaign line, however, has a lyrical touch.

To read the storyboard click here

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