The ad stars newly signed brand endorsers and Bollywood stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Alia Bhatt.
The JSW Group first forayed into the paint market in India last year (2019). From then to now, the country has seen the lockdown, a recession and a life-threatening (Coronavirus) pandemic. As the country attempts to unlock, JSW Paints has released its first TVC.
The TVC features an array of colours, a range of contexts for the young (we assume), a newly-wed couple and a monologue that plays out as a voice-over, extolling the different colours of India. It has been created by Govind Pandey's team at TBWA\India.
A S Sundaresan, joint MD and CEO of JSW Paints, says 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 range,” he explains.
He adds that the line ‘Har Rang Har Kisi Ka’ came from the agency, and they wanted to highlight the colours of India in the TVC. He also mentions that the brand ambassadors and Bollywood stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Alia Bhatt were selected based on the kind of storylines they worked on in their movies.
“We wanted to portray the brand as young, but our TG is pretty much anyone who is looking to paint their homes (between the ages of 25 and 50 years). It’s mostly couples who look at doing up (renovating) their homes. The main thing is we consciously steered away from using codes of the category, like showing a house, paint, etc...,” he says.
Sundaresan mentions OTT as a platform that is an active part of is company’s media mix plans. The company is also looking to advertise during the Indian Premier League (IPL). “Most of the ad was shot before the lockdown. Right now, people are paranoid about allowing painters into their homes. The market is at 50-60 per cent of its pre-Corona levels in the new normal. Coronavirus didn’t give this industry a haircut, it gave it a crew cut,” he jokes.
Since people are bored at home, the trend of DIY paintings might also come up in the new normal. It is already prevalent in countries, like the US, and also in Europe. “We want to portray that using our products will still give it a professional look and finish, even if you’re doing it yourself. We want to help bring out people’s creativity, even when they’re indoors,” he concludes.
Ambi Parameswaran - advertising veteran and founder - Brand-Building.com mentions that he had worked on Nerolac brand for many years and recently has been a consultant to Nippon Paint on their relaunch strategy. He has seen the advertising in this genre evolve and he calls this nice looking but empty / glossy advertising.
“It is a nice looking ad but in some sense empty. If at the end of the ad, I change the logo to Asian Paints or Nerolac, people will not be able to tell the difference. I’m unsure what the talk about 1800 colours is all about – since most paint brands offer hundreds of different shades. In brand strategy we talk of point of parity and point of difference. Colour is the point of parity today (Asian did some great work ten years ago with their ‘Mera Wala Blue’ campaign)– today it does not make sense to focus on it,” he says.
He mentions that this is the kind of advertising he would be cautious about. “They’ve hired two celebrities, spent a lot of money on expensive looking sets, good music and background score and it just seems that they should have focussed as strongly on brand strategy,” says Ambi.
He also points out that ‘Whenever you see colour, think of us’ is a line that Jenson & Nicholson had used in the advertising in the past. That line was written 40 years ago when he got into advertising. He adds that Asian Paints have also done colour campaigns like ‘Mera Wala Blue’ in the past.
“Going back to colour as a primary selling point is about as basic as it gets. They could have created a website or something that allows users to create their own colours. I thought that JSW Paints being a big company will be able to give some real competition to Asian Paints,” he says.
He adds that the advertising style is fairly formulaic - using celebrity ambassadors, a good jingle, some emotional lines, glossy sets, but the brand name isn’t mentioned until the last few minutes.
He opines that the ad could have highlighted the fact that other brands offer different colours at different rates, but it is mentioned in passing at the end of the ad. He recalls an ad that was done for Tata Docomo – “When life can change in seconds, why pay for minutes?” and adds that it’s this kind of disruption they should have aimed for with the new ad.
"You need to highlight this as a problem that the consumer is facing and position your brand as a solution, if that is a big enough Point Of Difference. I have a lot of respect for the agency working on the brand and the JSW Brand. So we may see some interesting extensions of this ‘1800 shades at same price’ going forward, surely” he adds.