N. Shatrujeet

Bajaj Electricals taps Lemon for Morphy Richards relaunch

Lemon Communications has been awarded the creative duties for small appliance brand Morphy Richards, which is soon to be relaunched in the country

Bajaj Electricals has awarded Lemon Communications with the creative duties for international small appliance brand Morphy Richards, which the company is in the process of relaunching here. Confirming this development, Himanshu Patil, senior general manager - advertising & brand development, Bajaj Electricals, told agencyfaqs!, "Lemon will be our communications partner for this brand."

With this appointment, Lemon becomes the fourth agency to enter the Bajaj Electricals roster. For the record, Leo Burnett is in charge of the company's lighting, luminaires, fans, coolers, microwave ovens and engineering projects accounts, while Touchstone Advertising handles the existing small appliances portfolio. Initiative Media, of course, is responsible for the media planning and buying for all Bajaj Electricals brands, including Morphy Richards.

agencyfaqs! has learnt that Lemon has won the Morphy Richards business following a ‘pitch-free' presentation to the client made some time ago. While it is not clear why Bajaj Electricals chose not to evaluate other agencies, it is evident that the company is pleased with its choice. "We felt that Lemon would be the right kind of agency to bring to the table the right creative flavour and soundness in creative strategy," says Patil. For his part, Ravi Deshpande, head of Lemon Communications, is also happy. "Bajaj is a hugely respected brand name. We at Lemon are proud to partner them in their latest venture, and are working towards making a success of it," he says.

The interesting thing about the Morphy Richards brand is that although it is a ‘new account' as far as Bajaj Electricals is concerned, the brand itself has been in India before. "In its earlier avatar, it was launched as Surya Morphy Richards," reveals Patil. "The brand was withdrawn as the Indian partner could not sustain the project. However, this time round, it would be launched as Morphy Richards." Patil adds that research with consumers who were aware of Morphy Richards revealed that "they were open to the brand, and if it were marketed and serviced by a reputed Indian brand, comfort levels improved significantly". In the first phase of the launch, Bajaj Electricals plans to introduce irons, toasters, sandwich toasters, OTGs, electric kettles, food processors and coffee makers under the Morphy Richards name.

Morphy Richards is being pitched as a "premium brand in the small appliances market". However, the small appliances market is already quite crammed, with intense competition from both local and multinational players. To provide a perspective, the estimated Rs 1,400-crore organized sector alone packs a mishmash of local and foreign names. Siemens, Kenwood, National Panasonic, Tefal, Braun, Birla Delonghi, Moulinex, Black & Decker, Philips, BPL, Kenstar, Symphony, Racold, Sumeet, Eureka Forbes, Sunflame, Venus, Spherehot, Maharaja, Inalsa, Kanchan-Marlex, Clearline, Glen, Jaipan, Vijay, Orpat, Boss, Johnson, Singer… Not to forget the Bajaj brand itself.

It can, of course, be argued that ‘small appliances' constitutes a wide range of products - from irons, toasters and electric kettles to water heaters, gas appliances, room coolers and vacuum cleaners. And, as Patil puts it, "Not all brands are present in all the categories. Bajaj as a brand is present in maximum number of categories, followed by Philips." But that does not reduce the competition by much. Patil acknowledges this fact, but adds, "We feel that if a fresh approach is used to communicate with the consumer in an engaging manner, the brand (Morphy Richards) can create a distinct identity for itself."

One problem with the advertising for most small appliance brands in India has been that, barring a few exceptions, communication has uniformly been ‘dry' and very product feature-driven. Category advertising has hardly ever busted clutter, and has rarely tried to build in ‘aspiration value'.

Deshpande agrees, saying, "Every product has a story. It's all about finding that right story. Certain categories become ‘low involvement' and ‘not-so-aspirational' only because of the way they are advertised and marketed. It is up to the advertiser to change the rules of the game and make the brand aspirational and exciting. Our work on Morphy Richards is in progress, so at this point in time, we cannot reveal much else."

What Patil does reveal is that, "The creative is being fine-tuned, and we will be able to see the work in the mainline media during the festive season." He does not, however, give any indication about spends. "The advertising budget for a new entrant in a category would definitely be aggressive enough within the category space," is all he reveals. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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