Monday, March 15, 2010

Wheel detergent- Of Salman, songs and some smell !!!

Ad agency: Lowe Lintas Mumbai.
Production House: Chrome Pictures.
Actors: Salman Khan, Prachi desai
Singers: Mohit chauhan and Mahalaxmi iyer

Salman Khan has always been my favourite, not only for his acting, or I must say in spite of his acting (?) but for his style and stickiness and the naughtiness that he seems to be made of, from top to bottom.. he is like the proverbial wine, getting better with age,,, and even at the risk of repeating a clich√© I must say, he is the one who made every other hero run to the gym and hit the machines to develop a bulge here and a muscle there… he is also known for his women (the numbers are quite arguable) and when seen with a small time actress Prachi Desai it is quite amusing…. They are in a relation here albeit to sell a detergent powder though…

The fans of Sallu ( as salman is called) is going aha-oho over the actors chemistry with small screen diva Prachi Desai (who is just half his age and who had done a semi hit film with noted actor Tushar Kapoor in ‘Life Partner 2’ sequel) ….

For the first time we will be seeing the mega star in detergent ad… for that matter if my memory is serving me right, it’s the first time ever that a star of his stature has come down to endorse a detergent powder, the closest was when SRK sat in the bath tub, which by now and by every ones acceptance, was a mistake. Well what he has to do with a detergent? Apart from accompanying her as a partner and running around with his HAII’s that he delivers well… ( “Hum dil de chuke hai sanam” – the class movie is where again I am reminded of his romantic HAII’s which women loved..) He is not
(Thankful are his male fans) seen washing clothes which if he did, women would have said, If Sallu can why not you?

Fearless to appear in a detergent ad, Salman even felt proud to be associated with the brand, the actor stated and I quote “I am extremely proud to be associated with one of India's oldest and most respectable brands. Wheel has become a household name, and has a glorious history of many years.”* (* as seen in the net )

Except for the unexpected pairing,( most startling pairing I must say), and an even unexpected voice over by Salman himself this ad is nothing great to write a review about.. I don’t call it another lazy ad- where they thought that ‘the lack of creative brains can be hided by an out of the blue celebrity’… Salman is not seen endorsing too many stuff- vis-√†-vis an SRK and hence that can be a differentiator..(if at all he has come for- Thumbs up ,Red tape and the likes, it was to harp on his macho man image)… Wheel once stood for strong washing (remember the old ads where a muscular pair of arms squeezes and squeezes a poor piece of cloth? And Sallu being a strong guy ( the strongest of all macho men) makes a strong connect but then when one see the ad, it is not the factor that the ad makers are wanting to capitalize…Then what is it?

The laundry market in India is estimated at approximately 2.5 million tons in volume terms and at about Rs. 55 billion in value terms. The category, comprising of detergent bars and powders and laundry soaps, has near widespread penetration. Statistics show that more than a million washes are carried out in India everyday, which is approximately between six and seven washes per household per week (Source: Habits & Attitudes Study) The laundry market can be broadly classified into three segments on the basis of price per kilogram and also the benefit they promise.------The low-priced segment, the mid –priced and the premium segment..

The low priced one comprises of detergent powders that are priced at an average of Rs. 19 per kg and offer a basic clean. It is the largest segment in the laundry market and a lot of dynamics happened there in the last few years.. Frankly I have got amused when brands cut price and move up and down the segmentation ladder.. As recently as March, P&G increased the grammage of Tide there by again starting the price war and segmentation confusion….Wheel started off as a cheap stuff (read as “cost effective or value for money”) then later on started talking about “being hand and cloth friendly” ( attacking Nirma) and then to “giving stronger wash” to scuttle the perception that its just too soft and then the ‘energy and power factor” and then the “Khushboo or smell factor”, and now a lot of romance as well…Now he among the Khans is the one who stands closest to the masses and that seems to be the only rationale behind the choice….

Sallu would have been a right choice if the endorse’rs personality and the brands personality match wasn’t a factor, but then having said that I am sure that the ad will be seen , noted and hopefully people will buy more of Wheel because their hero seems to be suggesting so.. Till the results come lets take a break…..

NB:- Sweet heart Kathrina, left Dyna and now is with Lux , in its big chain of stars, and Sallu bhai selling a detergent powder..... one is climbing the ladder and the other one?

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