Sunit Roy

Will this uniquely desi insight help Birla Aerocon sell pipes?

A look at the brand's first mass media outing.

Plumbing solutions in India is estimated to be Rs 10,000 crore in which the organised or branded segment is around 50 per cent. This category is growing in double digits and gaining traction with government drives towards 'Pakka' houses and 'Swachh Bharat'. There is strong competition between national and regional players and the market is flooded with various brands like Astral, Finolex, Plasto, Supreme, Star Pipes & Fittings, and Texmo, to name a few. And being 'Leak-proof' is a virtue of quality and consistent performance. Although the B2B segment is where the main business lies, most of these brands have, time and again, crafted communication keeping in mind the B2C segment.

Will this uniquely desi insight help Birla Aerocon sell pipes?

Birla Aerocon's newly launched 'Naam Birla Dekhke Lena' campaign

Taking the competition head-on, Birla Aerocon, the green building solution brand from the house of HIL, recently launched a new campaign - 'Naam Birla Dekhke Lena'. The TVC showcases the superior quality that Birla Aerocon offers in the 'leak-proof pipes and fittings' category. Conceptualised by Ogilvy, the TVC is a quirky take on the problems caused by leaky pipes.

Will this uniquely desi insight help Birla Aerocon sell pipes?

Dhirup Roy Choudhary

"With the overpowering brand of CK Birla Group behind the product, we wanted to ensure that both the superior quality of the product and brand Birla resonate together in the form of a single communication for the consumers. HIL and Birla Aerocon brands are well known, but to get better traction from the influencers (plumbers being the key), we decided to go with this," informs Dhirup Roy Choudhary - MD and CEO, HIL.

Birla Aerocon pipes and fittings sales have been growing in double digits on a month-on-month basis. The brand has made significant investments in terms of adding capacity for the manufacture of pipes and fittings in Surat, Faridabad and Hyderabad. Hence, the brand felt it was time to take a well-calculated marketing drive to gain momentum and establish a stronger positioning.

"Birla Aerocon is positioned as a premium, superior quality brand. The product has been launched Pan-India and we have been growing substantially across zones, especially in North India. This year, we are well poised to double our sales numbers vis-a-vis last year's performance," says Choudhary.

However, there are a number of marketing and distribution challenges the brand faces today. "The smaller players in the market, who are very region-specific, play on a very low price strategy. This is due to various low input costs that create pricing pressure on a national brand like ours. This is in spite of our operations in a multi-geography environment with multiple logistical complexities and even with the presence of multi-locational plants," informs Neha Gupta De - head of marketing, HIL.

She adds, "The competition is fierce and tough, but that's what makes it even more interesting for us. Competition drives us to better our quality and brand even more. Backed by world-class, quality products, well-augmented sales, after-sales support, and a strong brand position, we are definitely creating value for both - our distributors and end customers."

Birla Aerocon recently extended its product portfolio (aiming to establish it across India) with the launch of SWR (Soil, Waste and Rain) and Pressure Pipes and Fittings in the 'pipes and fittings' segment. The brand is targeting end customers as well as installers, through this campaign directly.

Taking the humours route

Will this uniquely desi insight help Birla Aerocon sell pipes?

Nilay Moonje

Speaking of the insight on which the new campaign is based, Nilay Moonje - group creative director, Ogilvy, says, "Right from the beginning, we knew we had to think of something that would get people to notice Birla Aerocon Pipes. We are selling something that people don't usually care much about. So for us, a story with good doses of humour was always in the pipeline."

He adds, "Often when you ask people such as plumbers or contractors, you get over-confident replies and assurances in return. There was once a carpenter, who always replied with a standard phrase, 'Sir, main kabhi aisa-waisa aapko bataunga hi nahi...' That was stuck somewhere in my head. So, we said what if you had a plumber who ends up having a new name every day. And everything just flowed from there."

In a market where no one really cares to distinguish one pipe from another, making people think of Birla Aerocon differently, is an uphill task. Hence, establishing the durability of Birla Aerocon Pipes was the prime focus of the creative team. "House-owners don't really worry about what pipes go into their homes. They rely on the word of the plumbers. So the thinking is that 'a pipe is a pipe'. For us, the brief was to make the plumber, as well as the house-owner, think about the pipe that goes into the home and consider Birla Aerocon Pipes above all else," explains Moonje.

This is Birla Aerocon's first attempt to reach out to its customers in a mass way. There will be a 360-degree communication rollout for the campaign. The brand has planned for extended visibility of the campaign in Above the Line (ATL), Below the Line (BTL) and digital formats. It will run the campaign in two phases - Pan-India ATL, followed by a channel-focused BTL campaign. ATL will play a pivotal role in creating a positive brand positioning for Birla Aerocon. Further, the brand will be making reasonable investments, as deemed fit for the campaign.


The 'leak-proof pipes and fittings' segment is filled with multiple brands and sold online as well as at mom and pop store across the country. We asked the experts if the brand succeeded in making a dent in the consumers' mind with a stronger message conveyed humorously.

Will this uniquely desi insight help Birla Aerocon sell pipes?

Ayan Banik

Will this uniquely desi insight help Birla Aerocon sell pipes?

Chitresh Sinha

According to Ayan Banik, head - brand strategy, Cheil India, "There is a big and growing replacement retail segment which is completely B2C in nature (primarily home replacement segment) where even though the plumber may be the key influencer, the final purchase decision rests with the owner. Even in new building/house construction, while the contractor is the key decision maker, that decision can also be influenced and changed by the owner if he/she is aware and positively pre-disposed towards the brand and its benefits. Precisely the reason why M-Seal, in the past and Fevicol today, continue to enjoy high brand salience amongst people at large, despite being B2B products respectively."

Banik adds, "What I really like in the communication is the intrigue built around it with the product being linked to the final revelation. The entire premise of a young guy constantly changing his name is funny and intriguing enough for the viewer to keep watching the ad without pressing the TV remote or hitting the skip button on YouTube."

According to Chitresh Sinha - CEO and head, Innovation, Chlorophyll Innovation Lab, "In India, even today, customers get involved in the visible elements (like bathroom fittings or exterior paints, but not in the invisible items like putty or pipes). There are strong influencers in these categories who finally make the decision. In that sense, I don't think of it is a B2B segment. It is more of a B2I segment, which is business to influencer. So, the strategy is correct to engage with the B2B audience."

Sinha adds, "The brand has enormous equity in its name. As the ad shows, for the plumber or fitter, it is his 'name' (reputation) which is on the line when he does a job. So, by highlighting the fact that Birla is a well-known name that can be trusted for quality, they are doing the right thing."


Client: HIL

Client Marketing Head: Neha Gupta De

Creative Agency: Ogilvy Bangalore

Creatives: Azazul Haque, Mahesh Gharat, Nilay Moonje, Nimisha Kalipurayath, Sameer Gupta, S Syamkumar, Gaurav Sharma, Rahul Chelat

Account Management: Kiran Ramamurthy, Priyanka Puri, Puja Kauntia

Production House: Radhika Produces Films

Director: Suresh Triveni

(Displayed here are the ad campaigns released by various brands).

Will this uniquely desi insight help Birla Aerocon sell pipes?

Astral Pipes' ad campaign featuring Salman Khan

Will this uniquely desi insight help Birla Aerocon sell pipes?

#Zerodefect: Prince Piping System's ad film featuring Akshay Kumar

Will this uniquely desi insight help Birla Aerocon sell pipes?

Plasto pipes TVC featuring Hrithik Roshan

Will this uniquely desi insight help Birla Aerocon sell pipes?

Texmo Pipe's ad film

Will this uniquely desi insight help Birla Aerocon sell pipes?

Supreme pipes TVC

Will this uniquely desi insight help Birla Aerocon sell pipes?

Finolex pipes TVC

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