February 27, 2010

The New Old War

We at SNDU were stunned yesterday. We were trying to leave early on Saturday when someone came running and said that there is war on the streets. We rushed to the TV sets and there it was. The battle had begun. We at FMCG business always look up to the Cola Wars as the definition of marketing warfare. The Cola Wars probably ended up ensuring that neither was declared a winner, territories got carved out for both the parties but what it gave rise to was a folklore.

When future marketers would refuse to go to sleep, their moms used to scare them and ask them to go to sleep, “So ja beta, so ja. Nahin toh tujhe Cola Wars mein Bhej denge.” Well, if it was not mothers then it would be marketing professors who would scare the hell out of them.

Today there is blood on the streets once again. The war has broken out on one of the world’s toughest terrains, for one category which everyone thought was getting commoditized.

The Detergent War Round II is here in India.

It had started quite a few years ago when P&G had decided to enter India with Ariel and Tide. The Indian arm of Unilever fought back to safeguard Surf and Rin. Their Wheel was fighting another battle. After few years of struggle there was a lull.

Today again the war is here. And this time it’s about to get better. Rin is out with a fantastic advertisement. For the first time, in detergents we have a direct competitive ad like we see between Horlicks and Complan. It is as blatant as it can get. Every television channel in the country is playing the ad at every single ad break multiple times.

The ad is simple. It shows two women, one with Tide and the other with Rin. While the Tide lady sings praises about her product, Rin lady just smiles. And then when their children walk out of the bus, everything becomes crystal clear or should I say, sparkling white.

Comparative advertisement can’t get better than this.

It is unbelievable. It takes guts to create advertisement like this. It takes guts to make claims like this. And finally it takes guts to take competition head on to defend one’s own turf.

The war ladies and gentlemen is here. We are now a part of the Detergent Wars. No one will be taking prisoners here.

But as of today, Rin has decisively won the first round. It’s ironic. The War will be waged while India will celebrate its festival of colours.

Daag/ Rang sab achhe hain :)


Anonymous said...

one really doubts the validity of such claims. tired of all the ads on the "whites" and "uniforms". nothing novel about it except for pulling in Tide directly.

sayrem said...

I never thought I'd live to see the day when you spoke work on this blog.

It's as blatant as it gets. :)

Kavity said...

It is an amazing ad :) Kudos to whichever team created it! The picture says it all level pe ad! Waiting to see what the retaliation is gonna be :)

SS said...

What about 'Sunlight' and 'Nirma'? Do the still exist?

Shreya said...

I have not seen this wonder-ad yet. But yes, I have upped my JQ estimates on Rin :D

Kavity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kavity said...

Watch it here:


Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Anon - I am sure companies have to follow the law of the land before making claims

@ Sayrem - It's about the ad. Somehow I loved it. I will speak about work someday. But the day is not today :)

@Kavity - one of your college seniors led the brand team that did it.

@ Soumya - Yes they do. Very much :)

@ Shreya - :) :)