Trying to Stand Apart
Taproot Dentsu’s new spot for Aquaguard says the product is better than a certain ‘Lovely RO’.
Aquaguard takes a subtle dig at Kent. Or does it?
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 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. 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 through direct selling channels, Aquaguard products are now available in retail stores and via e-comm platforms.
Shashank Sinha, chief transformation officer at Eureka Forbes recalls how initially, the 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 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’.”
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 spends on TVCs 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.”
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 `100 crore ad-campaign for brand Aquaguard.
Is 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, “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. 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.”
Pallavi Chakravarti, executive creative director, Taproot Dentsu, takes note of the agency’s casting. Isn’t it strange to cast somewhat digital faces like Kunaal Roy Kapur and Maanvi Gagroo, (from popular digital web series - TVF Tripling) in this 37-second TVC?
Chakravarti elaborates, “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.”
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.
“Given that they are the first movers and still possibly hold a larger top-ofmind 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 spinoff into a series of communication that lead with ‘Every water purifier is not Aquaguard because only Aquaguard has...’,” he adds.
Abraham maintains that while the brand has started this series with a comparison that might be necessary to get eyeballs, this though 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 thought the dig at Kent was subtle and cleverly done,” Saha quips. ■
“We invested between 60-70 per cent in TV, 20 per cent in digital and about 10 per cent in print.” SHASHANK SINHA From being chosen by default to being chosen by design, the brand has made tremendous headway.