Shreyas Kulkarni

"Any colour, one price," says JSW Paints; takes cheeky jab at Nerolac, Asian Paints

The paints marketer makes the case for transparent pricing by upending the industry standard of variable prices across colours.

"People don’t necessarily scrutinise the cost of each shade while painting their homes. It’s a small thing which gets hidden, and we’re bringing attention to it," says Govind Pandey, TBWA India’s CEO.

Pandey was talking to us (afaqs!) about his agency’s latest work for JSW Paints. It focused on the brand’s ‘any colour, one cost’ philosophy, while gently ribbing category leaders Kansai Nerolac and Asian Paints on “the fact that they haven’t talked about the price.”

The Indian paints industry is approximately worth Rs 500 billion now. A major chunk of it belongs to the decorative paints category, where Asian Paints, Berger Paints and Kansai Nerolac are the leaders.

JSW Paints (part of the JSW conglomerate) entered this category in 2019. It said that it will charge only one price for the 1,808 shades it has on offer; a detour from the industry standard of variable prices for different colours.

While we couldn’t find the pricing of paints on the JSW website, as per FreshHomez, a painting and false-celing solutions services, JSW Paints has the same pricing for its Halo Majestic Wall and Aurus Regal Walls offerings at Rs 123 / Ltr. We believe the pricing stays the same within the same quantity and may change as per size.

As for Nerolac, its website popped out a pricing list (it says effective from 2018) wherein a 1 Ltr Nerolac Impressions Eco Clean (White) costs Rs 539 and a 1 Ltr Nerolac Suraksha Plus (Oxford Blue) costs Rs 208.

As per Berger Paints’ website, a 1Ltr ‘Silk Breathe Easy Interior Emulsion’ costs Rs 683, a 1Ltr 'Easy Clean Fresh Luxury Emulsion' for 'Signature French' costs Rs 502, and the same 1Lts Emulsion for 'Mountain Violet' costs Rs 407.

On, Asian Paints Apcolite Premium Gloss Enamel Paint (1Ltr, Aquamarine) costs Rs 519 but the same paint offering in black costs Rs 280, Rs 266 for Golden Brown, and Rs 519 for Mid Buff.

It has released three ads as a part of its ‘Sachche Rang’ campaign in the past couple of days. In both of them, actor and brand ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana remarks that while paint companies charge different prices for different colours, JSW Paints charges one price for any colour.

What caught our eyes and ears in all of these ads, apart from the paint transparency aspect, were the tongue-in-cheek references. If you haven’t seen and listened to paint ads in the past, you’d clearly miss the clear cheeky jabs at Kansai Nerloac in the first ad. The ‘Raunak jab ghar ki badhani ho’ is a neat turn of the iconic ‘Jab ghar ki raunak badhani ho, deewaron ko jab sajana ho, Nerolac, Nerolac’ jingle.

In the second ad, we see Khurrana interrupt the voice-over’s ‘Har ghar kuch kehta hai’ monologue, which is a clear nod to the Asian Paints’ iconic ‘Har ghar kuch kehta hai’ catchphrase.

The third ad takes on the popular, "Nahi Bhaiya aisa nahi hai" from the house of Asian Paints.

Govind Pandey
Govind Pandey

“The charm of the campaign lies in the surprising twist that it adds to a creative re-telling of iconic paint ads from yesteryears that struck a chord with Indians,” Pandey says, adding, “They (the ads) were not being confrontational and were keeping the sense of humour going, but gently pointing to it (price transparency).”

He revealed that to deliver the message home, his team thought that it might be completely unexpected to “insert the truth in memorable paint ads from yesteryears, some of which are even a part of our lexicon. And, thus, was born the ‘Sachche Rang’ campaign.”

JSW Paints released its first-ever campaign ‘Har Rang Har Kisi Ka’ in September 2020. It featured Khurrana and actress Alia Bhatt.

The ad was all a paints brand could ask for – gorgeous sets, beautiful ambassadors, soothing music, arresting paints, and an ASMRish feel.

A S Sundaresan, joint MD and CEO of JSW Paints, told us in an earlier story that the primary objective was to launch the brand in a big way in the market.

“The core idea was that paint is all about aesthetics and beauty. We also wanted to highlight that the colours (different shades) are available at the same price. The whole idea of the TVC was to highlight the democratising of colour, and increasing accessibility to the shade (colour) range.”

While the ‘any colour, one price’ promise was mentioned, it played a mere supporting role. We wondered why the brand didn’t go with it as the focal point of its ad and create a disruptive debut.

“It was our launch commercial. So, we didn’t want to start with a competitive kind of a thing,” reveals Pandey. But even back then, they’d said it, but in a slightly more brand purpose kind of a way… “But in these (new ads), we’re taking a slightly more challenger kind of a tone.”

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