David Ogilvy had once famously said, “Unless your campaign has a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.” True that.
My dear friend and colleague Gopi Kukde of “Onida Devil” fame and I tried to work around this thought when we got Leon International aboard as a client. The foreign brand offered various products ranging from switches and sockets to suit every need, with safety as the priority.
It was entering the Indian market with a lot of hope. Our job was to make the right noises for the brand to be noticed by the target audience – the engineers, architects and interior decorators – who would eventually recommend the product.
It was a premium brand in this segment. Leon International’s switches and sockets cost Rs 150-Rs 10K during those days while the Indian products came much cheaper.
We deliberately avoided a celebrity to endorse these products because it was a standalone brand with little or no competition in the Indian market. Also, because we believed that these switches and sockets came with ample credibility, it alone could help the product live up to the 4Ps and keep the promise made to its customers.
In hindsight, I feel the TVC was a simple but fantastic idea. It showed only the hands painted with different flags moving towards the switch. The last one was the hand with the tricolour on it. The copy below was crisp and clear in its messaging. It said, “Leon International, Now in India.” With that, we had announced Leon International’s arrival, made an impact and reached out to the target audience.
The media planning and buying were sharp in their approach as well. We had promised the brand that we would deliver value for money, and I am glad we could do it. The brand spent a frugal amount, but got a good deal in return. We managed to get 20 ad spots on a leading news channel’s two of the most popular programmes, five of them during prime time. It was quite a catch, cheap and best.
It helped us cut across the clutter and steer the brand safely, and anchor it in the minds of the prospective customers who would eventually buy these products. It happened, and that too without any celebrity endorsement. The initial splash helped the brand make inroads into the Indian market and has sustained it all along. I don’t remember them doing any advertisements after their debut outing, and that’s why I say that a good start is a good beginning, always.