"We'll differentiate using humility and positive aggression": Shashank Sinha, Eureka Forbes on TVC that appears to rival Kent

By Deepashree Banerjee , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Last updated : September 10, 2018 05:34 AM
Taproot Dentsu's new spot for Aquaguard says the product is better than a certain 'Lovely RO'.

Water purifier brand Eureka Forbes, part of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group has rolled out its new campaign titled 'Har Water Purifier Aquaguard Nahi Hota'. As a part of the campaign, a young couple is seen highlighting the differentiation and how! The couple, i.e. potential tenants, refer to the famous Kohinoor diamond to establish the difference in a rather stark manner!

The campaign has been creatively planned by Taproot Dentsu and launched across all media channels and platforms.

We can't stress enough on the fact that Aquaguard is increasingly leveraging its status of being synonymous with the category like Xerox is to photocopying or Surf is to detergent.

From the first water purifier brand to be introduced in India in 1984 to a brand with a recall level of 92 per cent, the brand has come a long way. From being sold only through direct selling channels, Aquaguard products are now available in retail stores and via e-commerce platforms.

Shashank Sinha Shashank Sinha

Shashank Sinha, chief transformation officer at Eureka Forbes Limited recalls how initially, the entire communication journey was based around microbiological contamination and their biggest competitor was the age-old practice of boiling of water. "It was difficult to educate consumers on why they needed an Aquaguard to purify water as drinking water directly from taps was the practice most followed," he reminisces.

From being chosen by default to being chosen by design, the brand has made tremendous headway in the market. "We invested in finding different water conditions across over 7,000 Indian pin codes. We mapped the quality of drinking water and developed 21 different technologies suited to these pin codes," shares Sinha.

As 'purity', after all, is the category lynchpin, he adds, "The cartridges used in Aquaguard were designed for a particular area and water condition. The development got us into a phase where we became the 'Paani ka Doctor'. The idea was well received by masses and later, we graduated to 'healthy drinking water'."

Is ambush marketing/the trend of increasingly spoofing other brands, back with a bang?

We couldn't help but ask Sinha if the "Lovely RO", written on the water purifier in the background, was a conscious decision to make the viewer sit up and take notice since major rival, Kent RO Systems, has been making significantly generous ad spends on TV ad campaigns featuring Rajasthan Royals IPL team skipper, Rahul Dravid and actress Hema Malini.

He responds, "With the recent launch of 'Har Water Purifier Aquaguard Nahi Hota', the brand aims to use the iconic stature of the Aquaguard brand to clearly differentiate it from the rest of the players in the water purifier category with humility and positive aggression."

Sinha claims that with this campaign, the brand has attempted to generate consumer pull by re-framing the category through new parameters for the expertise of water purification.

Interestingly, in 2015, Eureka Forbes chose to join the Bolly-bandwagon by entering a five-year-long association with actress Madhuri Dixit Nene and her husband Shriram Nene, a doctor by profession, for a Rs 100 crore ad-campaign for brand Aquaguard.

Casting popular 'digital faces' in a TVC - part of a media plan?

Shedding a considerable amount of light on the brand's advertising spend in the current financial year, Sinha states, "We are driven by TV in the traditional medium. We use Print selectively, but more in the edit form rather than pure-play advertising format."

Admitting that Digital plays a large role in lead generation and educating consumers, Sinha says, "In terms of percentage, we invested between 60-70 per cent in TV, 20 per cent in digital and about 10 per cent in print."

He continues, "Leveraging celebrities through the TV demographic is purely incidental and not the primary requisite of our media plan." He puts it together adding, "We at Eureka Forbes believe in first connecting with our target audience through our campaigns. Take the example of Madhuri; she is first a mother concerned about the health of her family, who also happens to be a Bollywood sensation."

Sinha informs that Madhuri Dixit and Dr Nene will continue to be the goodwill ambassadors for the brand.

Pallavi Chakravarti, executive creative director, Taproot Dentsu, takes note of the agency's casting efforts.

Isn't it a bit strange to cast somewhat digital faces like Kunaal Roy Kapur and Maanvi Gagroo, (from popular digital web series - TVF Tripling) in this 37-second long TVC?

Pallavi Chakravarti Pallavi Chakravarti

Chakravarti elaborates, "We were looking for certain qualities when we set about seeking the lead pair for this campaign - given that they are our Aquaguard evangelists, we needed them to be credible, endearing, relatable and, of course, share good on-screen chemistry. In Kunaal and Maanvi, we found all of these boxes ticked. So yes, while we were aware that they had both been a part of TVF Tripling, it was their overall fit with the brand idea that made us zero in on them."

She also says that the couple would be seen together in other upcoming Aquaguard communication in the coming months, regardless of the medium.

With regard to the possible revival of ambush marketing in the business in the recent past, Chakravarti observes, "I don't think it's about out-shouting anyone as much as it is about reminding people that there is only One Aquaguard. Because when you're a pioneer and an innovator, you may as well play to your strengths. 'Lovely RO' is just the embodiment of the rest of the category; it has been put there to highlight the difference between ordinary water purifiers and Aquaguard."

ALSO READ: "By the year-end, 10 per cent of Aquaguard's sales will come from e-commerce": Shashank Sinha, Eureka Forbes

The Verdict

The ad hinges on the originality of the Kohinoor diamond to establish the connection, but does the brand play it right?

Saji Abraham, executive director, Lowe Lintas, finds that in reiterating the fact that the brand is synonymous with the category, the ad reinforces its position of being numero uno.

Saji Abraham Saji Abraham

Anusheela Saha Anusheela Saha

"Given that they are the first movers and still possibly hold a larger top-of-mind recall, I think it is clever for them to use that. This is also a clever way to communicate their product features and benefits in a sticky way," he shares.

"I would assume that they will spin-off into a series of communication that lead with 'Every water purifier is not Aquaguard because only Aquaguard has...'," he adds.

Abraham maintains, however, that while the brand has started this series with a comparison that might be necessary to get eyeballs, this thought can be carried out even without comparisons. "In this crowded market, a strong reinforcement of its credentials is a must if Aquaguard is to stand out," he clarifies.

Anusheela Saha, group creative director, FCB Ulka finds this piece of ad work fresh and notes how the company name has been transformed into a noun for the general technology and other brands using the same tech.

"I actually thought the dig at Kent was subtle and cleverly done," Saha quips.

Campaign credits:

Chief Creative Officers - Agnello Dias & Santosh Padhi
Chief Executive Officer - Umesh Shrikhande
Executive Creative Director - Pallavi Chakravarti
General Manager - Ayesha Ghosh
Associate Creative Director - Yogesh Rijhwani
Creative Group Head - Durvesh Gaikar
Associate Account Director - Tapan Desai
Senior Account Executive - Vrinda Nair

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First Published : September 05, 2018 06:07 AM


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