Aishwarya Ramesh

Pidilite's new TVC is a 'Roff' take on tiles and sticky situations

Pidilite and Ogilvy are famously known for celebrating sticky situations in their ads. Roff is a tile adhesive brand from the house of Pidilite and has released its first consumer facing TVC. The ad highlights some of the common tile related problems faced by customers, such as cracked tile, debonding, falling of tiles, when fixed with only cement. Vivek Sharma, chief marketing officer at Pidilite Industries says that the TVC’s target audience is consumers who are building new houses or renovating existing houses.

Sharma says that the objective of the TVC was the task of category creation. “We wanted to move the practice of fixing tiles with cement to fixing tiles with Roff adhesive. The product will be used by contractors and masons because tile fixing in India is not done by the consumers. What we’re doing is creating awareness about Roff among consumers so that when house work begins, they can have a meaningful conversation with their contractor,” he said. Sharma also mentioned that the campaign is a fully integrated marketing campaign that will run on TV, digital and outdoor, with retail activations at major tile dealers in cities.

Vivek Sharma
Vivek Sharma

“TV is the lead medium because we need to create mass awareness about the brand and the solutions it offers. TV still has a high level of reach and is cost effective. That’s why it’s the lead medium. Our least used medium is probably the print medium, so far,” he says.

Beyond adhesives, Pidilite’s Roff also has epoxy grouts and tile cleaning variants. When asked about Roff’s competitors, Sharma mentioned, “The competition isn’t other adhesives, the competition is cement. Masons stick tiles to the floor and walls with cement, but cement isn't the best medium to stick tiles to the walls of bathrooms, kitchens, etc. but the penetration (awareness) of an adhesive used to stick tiles is still very low. Pidilite wants to create the category in the market to convert people from cement to tile adhesives.”

He points out that white cement when used as a tile joint, the filler has a tendency to erode, especially in bathrooms when corrosive cleaning agents or acid are used. He adds that the Roff RTM Epoxy Grout is not affected by weathering due to time or such cleaning agents. Roff RTM Epoxy Grout is available in a wide range of colors against the traditional white cement used in Indian households.

During the conversation, Sharma shared an insight, “A home is the biggest investment a consumer makes and they are emotionally attached to it. The biggest challenge here is, consumer awareness and education. We have to make consumers aware of the fact that if they spend a little more money, they get a long lasting tile solution. We have been marketing to contractors for many years. We create videos for them, we meet with them to educate them about Roff solutions and adhesives. We believe now that the time is right to create consumer awareness so they can have a beautiful home. We want to accelerate the adoption of our products, thus tipping the scale.”

Aalap Desai, executive creative director at Dentsu Webchutney believes that Pidilite ads maintain a unique DNA like no other brand in India. “It’s been so defined that you can look at an ad and say that it’s a Pidilite even before the logo appears. Sometimes, some ads that are not even Pidilite, but try the same humor, are perceived as one. This consistency has a deep impact on the consumer’s mind. And, this one totally lives up to the brand’s legacy,” he tells us.

Aalap Desai
Aalap Desai

Desai also added that he found the script hilarious. “I love the fact that even the second one is mad. It was totally unexpected. Plus, the “Mummy” when they are being taken away is a brilliant touch. The overall treatment is so nuanced and has so many points where you’ll chuckle that it’s almost impossible for anyone to forget this ad,” he says.

Desai feels that the brand is taking a lighter tone with this ad and that he doesn’t feel it will hurt anyone. “If someone wants to troll a brand, they will always find a way to do so. It is a creative exaggeration and I don’t think we need to take it so seriously that we take offense from it,” he opines.

When asked about the disconnect between the popularity of long format films on digital medium and short attention spans, he says, “We’ve taken this as a flat rule and that’s a problem. Yes, users have a short attention span but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep catching it. This ad is a shining example of that in action. At the start of the ad I’m listening to the man. Before I lose attention, the ad captures it again with his rant. Now, the countdown has reset. I start listening to the second man and before I lose my attention span his rant captures in again and serves the brand to me again. Yes, attention spans are dropping but we if we know how to catch it again, then it’s not really a challenge.”

Kedar Teny, chief strategy officer at Tilt Brand Solutions feels that this ad fits right in with Pidilite’s style of storytelling. “The style of storytelling works for Pidilite but you cannot have a broad brush stroke that applies across categories; since multiple products in various categories are at different stages of evolution. From a house of Pidilite POV, it’s a great ad but from a category POV, I’m not really sure if it will meet its objectives,” he opines.

Kedar Teny
Kedar Teny

He points out that Pidilite’s biggest heavyweight brand is Fevicol and though Fevicol has never relied on humour, they have great visual appeal and have communicated the concept of stickiness, effectively. “Fevi Kwik is a brand that really wore humour on its sleeve. Without really putting effort into educating the consumer about what your product is, you can’t really use that brush stroke across brands,” he concludes.

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