Abid Hussain Barlaskar

"Paint is an exciting category," insists Nerolac's GM, Marketing, Peeyush Bachlaus

In this spot, the brand rides on its B2B equity (informs consumers that many home appliances like refrigerators are coated with Nerolac) to boost preference in the retail market.

Nerolac Paints, from the house of Kansai Nerolac Paints, rides on the brand's B2B strength to boost its B2C market presence in its latest ad film - There is a Little Bit of Nerolac in Your Life. The ad has delivered the age-old message of a paint brand (beauty, shine and durability) in a seemingly new way.

As the 40-second long film unfolds, the grey walls of Ranveer Singh's house wear a shabby look, but the refrigerator is still shining as it did when he got it as a marriage present from his friend. But how is the 'chamak still barkaraar'? The same friend, who joins the Singh family for dinner, breaks the ice and unveils the truth - the refrigerator is coated with Nerolac paint. This shocks the rest and thus poses the startling question - Mere fridge pe Nerolac?

"Paint is an exciting category," insists Nerolac's GM, Marketing, Peeyush Bachlaus

Nerolac's latest ad film 'There is a Little Bit of Nerolac in Your Life'

The scene is followed by visuals of industrial machinery painting refrigerators and a VO stating that most appliances in Indian homes retain their lustre through the years because of Nerolac paints and the brand urges viewers to do the same for their homes.

The biggest take away from the ad is probably Nerolac's claims that it has covertly penetrated most Indian households and people have been unknowing users for years. The ad presents reason for consumers to be happy about it.

But why did the brand make it so overt with an ad film? Why now and to what end?

afaqs! spoke to Peeyush Bachlaus, GM - marketing, Kansai Nerolac Paints, to find out more about the marketing ploy.

"Paint is an exciting category," insists Nerolac's GM, Marketing, Peeyush Bachlaus

Peeyush Bachlaus

"Nerolac is a leading brand when it comes to partnering with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in the country, be it appliances or cars and it's a matter of pride for us," Bachlaus states.

Bachlaus tells afaqs! that Nerolac had tried something similar with an ad campaign back in 2003-04 with actor Amitabh Bachchan as its ambassador. The ad was laced with emotions but was less specific than the latest campaign.

"It was a fairly long time ago and 10-15 years is quite long in terms of consumer memory. But this a fresh take on the role of paint in a consumer's life," he says.

"Paint is an exciting category," insists Nerolac's GM, Marketing, Peeyush Bachlaus

Nerolac's 'Rang jo har kisi ko chhuta hai'

"The need for such a campaign has always existed. Whenever we told people that Nerolac also paints items right from a hairclip to home appliances and cars, it always creates a 'wow' effect. People are surprised. Practically, we are saying that Nerolac is surrounding you. There is a sense of credibility attached to a brand and there is comfort in going with things that have been around," Bachlaus explains while discussing the purpose of the campaign.

"Another thing is the role the paints play - to keep things like cars shiny and beautiful - and keep them that way for many years. One wants to do the same for houses too. It builds our credentials in that space," he adds.

"A consumer, on average, repaints a house every four years, but the paint is bought keeping in mind its durability," Bachlaus says on the difference between the requirement of durability of paints on consumer durables and houses. However, he maintains that repainting could be attributed to many issues like a change in choice.

"Paint is an exciting category and ultimately we are in the lifestyle space. There are things like aspirations, vibrance, beauty, and hope weaved in and the consumer is also evolving. There are always new things and the challenges are to latch on to them as they come up," Bachlaus comments on how difficult is it to deliver the same messages of beauty, sheen and durability time and time again.

"Paint is an exciting category," insists Nerolac's GM, Marketing, Peeyush Bachlaus

Kulvinder Ahluwalia

Kulvinder Ahluwalia, president, FCB Ulka, the agency that crafted the campaign, says, "The campaign took us many months. The challenge was that it's a new message in the paints category, given the basic category codes like beauty, durability etc. The brand has been trying to break the clutter for quite some time. A suggestion, post brainstorming, was using the brand's presence as leaders in areas of automobiles, consumer durables etc. The brand has substantial equity in that market. The question was how to transfer some of that equity to the retailer side.

"Even we were in awe when we learnt that almost all cars in India are painted by Nerolac. But we had to make this communication relevant to consumers. The colour durability and shine of belongings like cars and refrigerators that people flaunt can be used on walls. We communicated that Nerolac is a leader, the brand is appreciated for its shine and durability and then the call to action to paint houses with Nerolac," Ahluwalia adds.

The ad is part of a full-fledged campaign across multiple mediums including digital. More films on similar lines will be rolled out as part of the campaign.

Turning to the experts...

N Chandramouli, CEO, Trust Research Advisory, a brand intelligence and data insights company, maintains that the brand's focusing on its strengths for an ad is an innovative angle to marketing.

"Paint is an exciting category," insists Nerolac's GM, Marketing, Peeyush Bachlaus

N Chandramouli

"Paint is an exciting category," insists Nerolac's GM, Marketing, Peeyush Bachlaus

Vidur Vyas

"The information was a surprise for everybody, including me. The ad reinforces the brand's credibility. Nerolac has always been an innovator and this angle in the ad is new. Our recent report about India's most consumer-focused brands suggests that only 500 of 9000 brands in India have a positive buying propensity and Nerolac is the only paint brand that features in the list," Chandramouli says.

"In case of paints, it is not the end consumer alone who is buying the product but it has the involvement of painters, masons and even architects. The decision-making is not wholly on the house-owner who has the money. Several years ago, there was only one major paint brand like Asian Paints. Today, there are plenty of choices, but the house owner is not making an active decision. This ad aims to involve the consumer more," Chandramouli adds about the impact of the ad.

"If one ever wondered why Nerolac figured in our list of most consumer-focused brands and not Asian Paints (being the biggest player), this ad is the answer," Chandramouli signs off.

Vidur Vyas, founder - NorthSide, a strategic business and brand marketing consultancy, considers the ad and the brand message a good marketing effort.

"This will develop a reference point for consumers which they can see and also use on a daily basis. In addition, it will enhance trust for the brand because users will get to know that they have been using Nerolac with good results on their durables and will be tempted to try it," Vyas says.

Speaking about how the brand could reap the most benefit from the campaign, Vyas says, "Nerolac must continue on this journey and then deliver on expectations that are set from the campaign."