Monday, January 09, 2006

Who moved my client?

Again a media report... this time from agency FAQ'S....

Hindustan Lever (HLL) has awarded the Liril account to advertising major McCann Erickson, taking it away from Lowe India (erstwhile Lintas) in a keenly-contested pitch.

Can you believe it?

The freshness soap from the HLL stable, which has stayed back with Lowe India for the past 30 years ever since the time it was launched in 1975, was not just any another ad account for the agency. Having started its life as Unilever's in-house agency (Lever International Advertising Service was set up by Lever Brothers way back in 1920s), Liril was as much a part of the Lowe's own signature, what with the brand's iconic girl-under-the-waterfall imagery crafted by advertising guru Alyque Padamsee.The movement marks a landmark turn in the brand's history as Liril owes its success as much to Lowe, as to HLL's reputed marketing acumen. Last year saw a dramatic change in Liril's advertising (which emphasised on freshness, youth and exuberance), when the waterfall girl was replaced by a young couple in a naughty mood with a slow humming jingle 'l-ee-ra-ee-ra'. Prior to taking this drastic turn, the brand had experimented with girls dancing in jungles, deserts and on glaciers, introducing models like Preity Zinta and Deepika Padukone. However, people and the industry still associate Liril with the original magic it created with the waterfall ad (still felt to be a clutter-breaking association with the brand, even though a tad jaded one) featuring model Karen Lunel in a lime green bikini frolicking under a waterfall in the late 70s that got the brand sales rocking.Along with advertising, the brand has launched a couple of variants like orange, soft aloe vera and lemon, icy cool mint, in the last few years to fight saturating growth rates that have been plaguing the category as a whole.

Now.. did some one predict it?

Could there be a better example of fallen client agency relation?

I shudder to even think of a Liril outside the LOWE Umbrella but it is done and is true.

What happens to the brands heritage? I mean the one which visionaries of Lowe and HLL had carefully cultivated..

I guess it was lost the day when Liril and Lowe decided to replace the waterfall and girl concept (may be they got bored even before the TG ...)with 'naughty intimacies among married couples',
as one Lever communication at that point of time put it.

The naughty.... whatever ads werent 'Liril like', whatever the words mean to you..with the la la la pushed to the background somewhere,the water drop in thethe female body replacing the waterfall, as if they want it not to be heard and yet heard,they want it to be seen and yet not seen. A case of indecisiveness in the communicators side as to how the TG is going to react to the change.

The couple looked anything but Indian, the new 'Lemon+aloe vera' stuff wasnt the same as the lemon freshness stuff, The red chilly which the lady was biting gave a feeling of "hotness"and would have been better for condoms rather than "liril' which stood for "coolness'.

Lowe has lost its direction?.. i may be a small fry to comment on that but one thing is sure.There were clear warning signals that things are in a bad shape...the transition from the Bindas Lintas days, to the new Lowe reincarnation the agency havent got stripped naked as like today.

Having lost Liril is a tragedy to say the least , for those who know Lowe....

Will Liril be the same.. will it come back from its sheen off , not so enviable a standing as of now to the good old days of glory?

That is left to Mccann, while Lowe ponders over the question...

'Who moved my client?'
A women on her deathbed called her husband and instructed him to look under their bed and open the wooden box he found. He was puzzled by the 3 eggs and 7,0000 in cash he found in the box, so he asked his wife what the eggs were for.

"Oh those", she replied, "every time we had bad sex, and i had to pretend that it was great,I put an egg in the box".

Not bad, the husband thought to himself, after 25 years of marriage

Then he asked "But what about the big money?"

"Oh that", she replied, "every time I got a dozen eggs I sold them."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Marvellous insights, i belong to the LOWE school of thoughts in advertising and got a prick some where in my heart reading your blog. would like to know more about you.shall mail you in detail.
mean while go on, it seems sky is your limit

A former LOWE guy

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