N. Shatrujeet

Daewoo Anchor: Selling a 'consumer-friendly' proposition

The new commercial for Daewoo Anchor refrigerators heralds the return of the Daewoo brand into the domestic consumer durables market

A senior citizen, hands loaded with provisions, slowly scales a steep, winding flight of stairs, halting now and then to catch his breath and survey his progress. On reaching the desired floor, the man shuffles to a door, fishing a key out of his pocket. He bends over, fumbles with the lock for a while, then enters the house.

The old man makes his way to into the drawing-cum-dining room and places the supplies on a table. Next, he straightens and walks purposefully towards a refrigerator standing by the wall. He opens the refrigerator and peers inside, as if assessing the storage space available.

Suddenly, he stoops, clambers into the refrigerator, and shuts the door behind him with a satisfied grunt! ‘Daewoo Anchor refrigerator with anti-ageing technology. Makes food live really, really long,' the voiceover goes, as the refrigerator door opens just enough to admit a hand out. The hand reaches for a magazine rack lying close at hand, sifts through some magazines, picks up the day's paper and withdraws into the refrigerator. ‘But remember, it works only on food,' the VO warns. ‘Long live food!' the slug says.

This commercial, created by Contract Advertising, heralds the return of the Daewoo brand into the domestic consumer electronics and consumer durables market. It also marks the brand's first interaction with Indian consumers in over three years. Daewoo, for those who care to remember, had a low-key presence in the Indian durables market through the late nineties, but made a quiet exit thereafter. Put bluntly, the brand was hardly missed. However, with Anchor Electronics taking over Daewoo Electronics' Indian management and operations, the brand is staging a comeback with a full-fledged broadside comprising CTVs, refrigerators, washing machines, microwaves and air-conditioners. And leading the brand in its comeback bid is refrigerators, the first product to be retailed under the Daewoo Anchor banner.

Refrigerators, it so happens, also happens to be one of the most competitive, most cluttered (proposition-wise) and most heavily advertised categories, with some eight-nine brands - both Indian and MNC - slugging it out. Understandably so, considering product penetration stands at roughly 10 per cent, while the market (currently at 3.4 million units per annum) is expected to grow at 8-10 per cent. Broadly speaking, the market is polarised among the top-end brands (LG, Samsung and Whirlpool) and the value-for-money brands (Godrej, Kelvinator and Videocon), especially in terms of imagery. Daewoo, for the record, operates at the top-end of the spectrum - although the brand claims to have representation in most models at all price ranges.

Advertising a new entrant in such a cluttered environment - particularly at the top-end, where would-be rivals include market leaders Whirlpool (over 25 per cent market share) and LG (over 20 per cent market share) - is a daunting prospect. And adding to Contract's communication challenge was what Vikas Bahl, associate vice-president, Contract Advertising, terms "the ceaseless clutter of confusing propositions and sub-propositions".

Actually, as it turns out, the clutter Bahl talks about worked in Contract's favour as it got the agency to explore fresh ground. "When we looked at category advertising, what struck us was a remarkable sameness in the advertising propositions of all the leading brands, with little differentiation to help the consumer tell one brand from another," he says. "Most brands have simply taken generic category benefits like ‘cooling' and ‘freshness', and have tried to own the benefit." The ‘cooling' benefit, for instance, is something that Kelvinator (‘the coolest one'), Godrej (Insta-Chill, which translates into ‘makes ice fastest') and Whirlpool (Fast-forward ice, which also translates into ‘makes ice fastest') all lay claim to. LG, in keeping with its overall brand platform of health and well-being, focuses on the twin planks of ‘health' and ‘nutrition', while Samsung (‘be a freshitarian') is looking to own the ‘freshness' space.

Brands jostling for ownership of the same space/basic proposition apart, the problem with category advertising - as Contract sees it - is the continued dependence on technical jargon and mnemonic aids to communicate brand propositions. "Somebody has ‘3-way cooling', someone has ‘Bio refrigeration', while someone else has ‘Insta-Chill'," observes Raj Nair, associate vice-president - creative, Contract Advertising. "And all this jargon has some sort of visual device attached to it. The trouble is none of this is consumer-friendly, so they end up as blind spots. Category advertising has not moved from the formula of jargon spouting."

Faced with the need to break the mould and "look at the refrigerator from the consumer's perspective", the agency conducted "a fairly extensive research" among consumers in and around Mumbai. "We sought an answer to what a consumer seeks in a fridge, and discovered that today's consumer doesn't buy a fridge only for the generic (and implicit) category benefit of cooling," Bahl reveals. "She buys it for the convenience of storing food over an extended period of time, thus preventing food wastage." Increasing the longevity of food, the agency found, has become a strong reason-to-purchase.

What finally helped pitch the tent was the product. "We went to the client with our findings and were pleased to discover that Daewoo refrigerators had a combination of features (3D Surround Cooling, Multi Airflow System, Antibiotic Deodoriser, Humidity Controller) that collectively served in keeping food fresh longer," says Bahl. "None of these were exclusive to Daewoo, but this was perhaps the only brand that had all these together, and delivered on the consumer's need." Nair points out that the agency could have made heavy weather of all these features, but instead chose to capture the end benefit in a nutshell and "deliver it in a consumer-friendly manner". Hence, the term ‘Anti-ageing technology' was coined. "‘Anti-ageing' is something that everyone immediately identifies with as there is an obvious human benefit in it," he explains.

That ‘human benefit' is what ultimately got translated as the creative thought. The need was to buck category advertising, so the caveat was "no shots of vegetables and fruits or a jingle on the strategy", says Nair. "We then saw that ‘anti-ageing' is not food-specific. It is a very basic desire even from a human perspective. So the thought of a human being using the fridge to check the ageing process. Execution-wise it helped the brand stand out." The script, written by Sriram Athray (creative group head - copy), was kept simple, and the agency credits filmmaker Shivendra Singh Dungarpur for "keeping it simple, yet bringing it to life".

The agency also recognises the client's role in approving the idea and not succumbing to the temptation of emulating category advertising and complicating the communication with tech-speak. The company, for its part, is clear about what it wanted from the commercial, more so in light of the desire to rapidly capture a 5-per cent share of the refrigerator market within the first year of launch. "In such a heavily advertised category, we knew we had to be different to catch the consumer's attention," says Hemang Shah, COO, Anchor Daewoo India Ltd. "So we took a simple proposition, a simple thought and a simple execution to make our point. And the best part is we have a product that can support the anti-ageing claim."

The Team:

Client : Hemang Shah, Mehul Shah

Account Management : Vikas Bahl, Ayesha Ghosh, Manish Hariprasad, Aparna Garg

Creative : Raj Nair, Sriram Athray, KB Ajith

Filmmaker : Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Beena Thakur

(Contract Film Unit) © 2003 agencyfaqs!