Neha Kalra

Godrej: Change for the better

Godrej has revamped its master brand and launched a TVC to communicate that. The revamp was achieved in partnership with brand consultancy Interbrand, and the marketing budget is around Rs 30 crore

All good things make way for even better things. And Godrej’s first ever corporate TV commercial echoes that thought. The creative agency for the company is JWT, and Agnello Dias (Aggie), national creative director at the agency, is the man behind the ad.

The TVC seeks to tell the consumer that Godrej, one of the country’s largest business houses, has shed the bright red in its logo and given it a fresh blue-green-red look. The change in the logo colour symbolises Godrej’s new corporate identity and the refurbishment of its master brand; the aim is to consolidate its presence in the various business areas in which it is present – personal grooming, aerospace, property and lifestyle. With its splash of colours, the new logo retains the original font for reasons of continuity and empathy.

Godrej: Change for the better
opens on a shot of a man dressed formally, standing alone in a room. The camera zips through a hall full of books. The man, the principal of a school, is in a pensive mood. He is talking to himself, “Respect, honour, integrity – it’s all hidden behind a wall – a good morning wall.” The principal is imagining students greeting him formally (but not with a happy look on their faces) from behind the walls of books. The camera cuts to the shot of a ruler, and in the next, zooms into a shot of the school emblem, which has respect, honour and integrity engraved on a shield. These shots represent the strong values propagated by the principal. He wears a determined expression on his face, showing that he has made up his mind, “Today, I’m going to open a door in the wall.” He takes off his tie and breaks the ruler into two. Pushing the door open, he steps out of his room.
Godrej: Change for the better
A shot from the TVC
Next, he is shown walking down the corridors of the school, and the students have an alarmed look on their faces. A casual, friendly “hi” takes the place of the earlier formal “good morning”. They can see that their school principal is not wearing a tie or a formal coat any more. Young boys are seen loosening their own ties. The principal walks around the school and smiles in relief, as he sees citrus green, sky blue and ruby red leaflets floating around. The three colours merge to form the revamped Godrej logo. The voiceover concludes, “If we open up, we can brighten up the world. Enjoy a brighter Godrej.” The film is backed all through by flute music.

The communication brief given to JWT was based on the insight that consumers want change, but are boggled by the scope and pace of it, leading to issues of comprehension and affordability. Hence, there is “tension” within them. Innovations from a trusted brand like Godrej provide the best licence for them to embrace change boldly, as they no longer need to be evaluative and circumspect.

The redefinition of the Godrej brand identity is not just an external logo change, it is a transformation in the attitude of the organisation itself. Anuj Mehra, vice-president, client services, JWT, says, “Earlier, Godrej didn’t seem to be a consumer driven organisation, but now, the company has put the consumer at the heart of its functions. A research study showed that consumers did not feel that Godrej could be part of their future outlook – this needed to be corrected. While retaining some of its core values of trust and reliability, it was important to make the brand expressive.”

Mehra says, “Godrej was adding up to a specific brand, but every brand and category stood independently. With a unified logo, the company’s brands in other spaces, furniture, kitchens, etc., will also be able to leverage the biggest asset that the company has – the brand name Godrej, which stands for trust and reliability. Moreover, a consumer evaluates a brand along emotional lines, not rational lines – so, the brand needed to evolve.”

Commenting on the creative of the film, Aggie says, “In the film, the “good morning wall” is a metaphorical expression of the barrier of formality that exists within the principal and his students. He loosens himself and breaks down the wall.”

The film has been produced by Equinox Films and directed by Milind Dhaimade, the production house’s second hand (after Ram Madhvani). Amartya Raut, fondly known as Bobo, has composed the flute score. Godrej’s marketing spend is around Rs 30 crore.

This is the first time that Godrej is undertaking a re-branding exercise of this sort. Ashutosh Tiwari, executive vice-president, strategic marketing, Godrej, reveals that most of the earlier changes in the company’s logo were for different parts of the group. In 2006, the company began to use red in its logo and harmonised the use of the logo across the group.

Tiwari talks about the new logo as “a visual representation of the Godrej brand’s essence of ‘brighter living’”. “This brand essence resonates with our core consumer insights about Indians being highly optimistic. They have a strong belief in achievability, desirability, experience and, above all, expression of progress. This leads to the four value pillars of the brand: expression, progression, experience and empathy,” he explains.

Dissecting the logo, Tiwari says citrus green is about expression, representing growth, harmony with nature and renewed life. Sky blue embodies progression – big ideas, blue sky thinking, technology and innovation. Ruby red reflects cherished experiences – passion, indulgence, energy and dynamism. The typeface connotes continuity, a strong sense of empathy built on the strong foundation of Godrej trust, he says.

Interbrand, a UK based brand consultancy, has partnered Godrej in what is a significant refurbishment for the company. Tiwari says, “The entire project has been a result of powerful, continuous co-creation between Interbrand and the strategic marketing group of Godrej across consumer, employee and strategic perspectives. Additionally, Interbrand has played an extremely important leadership role in the design of the new visual identity across all its manifestations.”

With innumerable options to choose from within India, Godrej chose to work with Interbrand, which does not have a presence in India. Why? Tiwari says, “The need was to have a partner who could complement Godrej’s strong strategic, brand and marketing capabilities. Omnicom’s Interbrand is the world’s premier agency in the arena of brand diagnostics and valuation. They approach the process of brand analysis and positioning with a strong emphasis on consumer perspective as against getting mired in hard, lag metrics alone. Additionally, their London office focuses a lot on strategy.”

The corporate TVC talks about a brighter Godrej. The next campaigns will focus on the tasks undertaken by Godrej, which stand testimony to the company’s promise of enjoying a better Godrej. They will act as satellites to the core communication. The other set of campaigns, with the new logo and line of communication, is slated to be released within a fortnight.

The IPL cricket tournament is the pivot around which Godrej’s media strategy revolves as of now. The company is also sponsoring the Godrej Life Banade Contest during the IPL matches. The company is looking at a number of media options, of which currently, television and outdoor can be seen. “We are actively considering cinema, on-ground and Internet,” Tiwari says.

Godrej will also set up a new website soon for consumer engagement; the existing website has already been revamped.

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