Smith & Jones has developed a new range of creatives for their sauces (mainly focussed on tomato ketchup). They are structured around 4 different geographically diverse themes, that of South India, Bengal, Maharashtra, Haryana, in an effort to build regionally distinct hooks for the customer.
Watch the TVCs below:
This is a market dominated by Nestle’s Maggi ketchups, HUL’s Kissan ketchups as well as Heinz ketchups, with Ching’s (their own brand) occupying a niche segment. Recently, Del Monte has entered the market with attractive product propositions as well as TVCs.
The ads, with the kind of spend involved, seem pretty much worthless. I don’t have the foggiest idea about the intended message of the ad series. Certain points about the campaign:
1. Geographical Segmentation:
In general, creating different ads catering to different geographically separated populations would have been a good idea. But, it would have been successful if there had been some geography-based customizations of the product itself to build more pull factors. Just putting in a model depicting a Haryanvi Jat or a Bengali Babumoshai into an ad does not build a regional targeting.
(Of course, when celebrity brand endorsers are used, then a change in the brand ambassador can help geographical targeting. Case-in-point: Thums Up uses Akshay Kumar in most of the country, but Mahesh Babu down south, because he symbolizes the ‘machoness’ more than Akshay there.
2. Feature/functionality highlight:
Seems to be sorely missing from the ads. The only thing I get from the ad is that it is a Tomato Ketchup and its cap uses a pop-open mechanism rather a screw-open one. How that helps the positioning is still up in the air!
Smith & Jones is known for authentic cuisine-specific sauces. Why that is not being built upon properly in India is baffling to me.
3. Connect with England:
The campaign ends with saying that Smith & Jones is ‘angrejon wala ketchup‘ – again, like I said in an earlier post, how does a connect with England help a sauce company? It does not even bring in a perception of it being a ‘quality brand’ or so.
4. No. of repetitions of Brand Name
This was one thing noticeable about the ad – the brand name S&J was repeatedly mentioned, probably based on insights that awareness of the brand name is low and needs to be built upon. A repetition helps the name stick to consumer mind.
5. Product Packaging
This is another baffling aspect of the product. Why in the world have they kept a packaging size and design which is very similar to Kissan/Maggi etc? There is practically no differentiation based on product packaging, which had a lot of scope (especially with a campaign such as this where the product is highlighted many times). The brand elements are not being used by the company.
In a red-ocean market, with super-strong market leaders, I would recommend a strategy more on the lines of what Del Monte is doing (interesting campaigns, product innovations etc). S&J seems to be messed up in deciding its strategy and positioning.