Sunday, May 29, 2011

Effective Use of Consumer Insight

Shilpi Bose, my co-blogger, emphasizes the importance of consumer insights in advertising campaigns in this post. While writing about the current Tanishq Diamonds she also recalls the 'Zara Sa Rin' campaign which was one of the most successful ad campaigns of the early nineties.

Aroop Bose

No mixing of diamonds                               Zara Sa Rin
I like the latest Tanishq commercial, why? Though I do not much care for celebrity endorsements, this one probably features Amitabh and Jaya together in a commercial for the first time. Besides I like the interesting use of consumer insight. Amitabh Bachchan while presenting his wife with a diamond necklace informs her that there are different qualities of diamonds. Through the ensuing dialogue the commercial conveys to the target audience that there is no mixing of diamonds in Tanishq’s diamond jewellery. This
reminded me of what a friend –an estate agent- once told me while we were a cruising along Bandra’s (a suburb of Bombay) Waterfield Road, this particular road has a number of jewellery showrooms, you might find it difficult to spot a grocer’s store but jewellers—they are dime a dozen on this road. When I pointed this out to my estate agent friend, the friend’s response was, “Do you know how expensive it is to purchase or hire commercial space in Bandra? How do you think these diamond merchants have no problem opening showrooms? They mix the diamonds! They cheat, as it is not possible for the consumers to check each and every diamond they coolly mix low quality diamonds with a few good quality diamonds.” It is obvious the makers of this commercial had this consumer insight and therefore ‘quality assurance’ was highlighted as Tanishq’s USP.
This takes me back to the time I was a journalist. I used to write a column on successful ad campaigns for ‘Perspectives’ a marketing and advertising supplement of ‘Metropolis on Saturday’ a ‘Times of India’ publication. What I found interesting was how advertisers used consumer insights gained from market research to stand out from the clutter and regain lost ground; one such success story was the ‘Zara Sa Rin’ campaign in the late eighties.
'Metropolis on Saturday'
Rin – then a premium detergent bar – had virtually no competition. The few regional players posed no threat to it; however Nirma soon spoilt the party for HLL. Nirma detergent bar was launched at half the price and to add insult to injury Nirma repositioned Rin as being soggy and that it led to wastage. Shaken up the powers that be at Hindustan Lever (now HUL) went back to the drawing and conducted some research. Research revealed that Rin users found Rin to be powerful and they felt it actually saved time and effort. One of the housewives who happened to be interviewed during the market research said something interesting, “Halka pulka lagana padata hai”. Loosely translated it meant, “Just a little bit is enough”. That was it, the company and advertising agency had found the message they needed to convey to the target audience and thus was born the ‘Zara Sa Rin’ campaign. The campaign which was launched in 1988 caught the consumer’s eye; it encouraged trials by non-users and retrials by past users. Rin which had been losing market share to Nirma, regained lost ground with the campaign resulting in a 33 percent increase in sales.

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