Monday, September 13, 2010

Yardley & Katrina - imperfectly perfect !


Yardley as a brand is one of the oldest in the world .Established in 1770, with its classic promise of exquisite beauty, lingering fragrance of English Lavender and English Rose, it has everlastingly enthralled men and women alike with it’s well-mannered, old world charisma, so pleasing yet indefinable…. Yardley in India and its roping in of Katrina Kaif seems to have raised many a blogger eyebrows but I insist that I have to write a piece on it as well.. So here I go…



The London bred Katrina, who will be the first Asian celebrity endorser of the age old brand, is supposed to have sophistication, eyebrow-raising magic weaved into her, poise, and some English royalty like refinement that makes her a perfect choice .. a perfect marriage when one sees it all of a sudden…or is it not?



Katrina has in the past endorsed brands like Pantene shampoo, Slice juice, Oil of Olay, Kodak and Panasonic and now she is seen selling Yardley. If it gives the impression of being an expected choice then I guess the Yardley guys {WIPRO is its new owner,.. to be precise Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting (WCCL)}haven’t done some home work before the actual marriage took place…


The reason for the flop show as I see it are as follows..


1) The actress has lend her name and face to an umpteen number of brands and her face has got so diluted , that this new one even fails to register… Yardley and the mere mention of Katrina's name will NOT have fans flock to stores to purchase the stuff….her name and face still will be associated with other brands that she is with…. Remember the rule.. Thou shall not employ a celebrity, who is there, everywhere.


2) They say, thou shall not engage a celebrity because everyone else is behind him/her…. Here again the brand owners have coined a huge jumbo-bumbo in support of their reason to choose the lady which sounds so very same, clich├ęd and heard for ages. In fact, the reality that Katrina was chosen for Yardley had raised some positive interest but the actual ads make me think otherwise.


3) Katrina connect with the brand for sure (the London connection and the connection with the youth) and her persona and the brands match but, it is not only the gelling between the brand and the celebrity that matters, it is also about the equal weightage given to both so that the star do not eat on the brand (vampire effect) … here alas, due to poor execution (plus other factors), Katrina remains but not the brand…


4) Yardley is in an attempt to build up on its aspirational brand position.. (A brand that people think is a very high quality brand, which will give them a higher position in society if they buy it is called an Aspirational brand) this ad but is a vain and poor attempt in that direction.. It doesn’t give the premium feel, the first step to achieve aspirational equity , even for people who have used the original Yardley for years now…. As my friend from London says, In spite of this ad, IF the guys who already know Yardley buys it, it would be a miracle……


5) Before aspirational positioning, brands should think of achievable positioning … Wipro already holds Santhoor and in its category it has some real good locus of positioning.. Yardley first have to find its locus, know the people who are there, get their permission and then fit in.. A Katrina may not be required (or may be) which depends on what you see in that locus.. The brand is more important, it existing charm is, and not the face that will today launch a million ships, and tomorrow forget into oblivion…


Some right media planning by Zenith Optimedia Mumbai, is taking it to the right people in some right dose and cheers for them , but for the lazy execution, thumbs down to Situations advertising Mumbai, the agency that made it .....


The rest is said and hence, I rest my case..


Foot note:- Hard work never killed anyone, but why chance it?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good Article..

Yardley in India have deep routed connections with middle east till it was taken over by Wipro Consumer Care . Their P1 market for Yardley would always be the South India (especially Kerala, where in Gulf being a major touchpoint) and rightly so, the West and North markets were not much explored by advertising.. Yardley has always been perceived as a product from Gulf, even though England being the native country.. A tin of Yardley Talcum Powder is highly an inevitable product in the big suitcases of those gulf return mallus.. and for those near & dear ones back in the God's Own Country who awaits for their loved ones for an year or two, those delightful fragrances bring cheers in them..

Here, DEO being promoted in the ad, i guess its an campaign, may be to capture the rest of India market, through some product sampling.. and i guess body deo's can be an good product to test the market response.. As rightly mentioned in the article, my Thumbs Down for the ad and for Katrina as the brand endorser.. its indeed a cofused film..

But still i think, Yardley can have better inroads in the not so crowded category of ADVERTISING BODY DEOs, especially by targeting the SEC A, B working woman and college goers.. The price would fit into their pockets and Yardley is a good brand to show off with.. Though the Yardley products are available in the stands in bigger markets like Mumbai, the urge is yet to catch up.. hope, by some brilliant media planning, by just concentrating on to hit the same eyeballs maximum no.of times possible, can help someone atleast test the product.. (other than those mallu females, who's already been heard of and tried yardley)

Anonymous said...

Well the sales in India is doing very well. I think anything with Katrina on it will sell since Kat is the current obsession. Ive been using Yardley for the longest time and I am truly happy Katrina is now the face of the brand. Dont see why the negativity towards her and her being part of this brand. Their talcum powders are way better than some one Indian made ones because of Yardley's good quality ingredients! I know for a fact Indian talcum powders contains chemicals (especially one of those skin lightening ones) and will harm your skin. Thumbs up from me!

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