Brand Wars: HUL’s last-minute surprise foxes P&G

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Brand Wars: HUL’s last-minute surprise foxes P&G

It was quick and it was smart. It was an ambush in the skies that Hindustan Unilever launched against archrival Procter & Gamble, spoiling the latter’s elaborately laid-out plans for its shampoo brand Pantene.

The story starts on July 23, when Mumbai woke up to hoardings that screamed: ‘A Mystery Shampoo!! 80% women say is better than anything else’. P&G, it was later found, was planning to unveil the new Pantene on August 1.

When the suits at HUL found out, they saw an opportunity to score a point. They ambushed P&G. On July 28, even as the P&G hoardings stood tall on its skyline, Mumbai woke up to another hoarding that was upfront, and suggestive of its source of inspiration. It said: ‘There is no mystery. Dove is the No.1 shampoo’. Dove is one of the four brands in HUL’s shampoo portfolio.

The HUL national campaign took just one day to go from brief to execution, and was handled by Ogilvy & Mather India. Says a senior official who was involved in the campaign: “This was the quickest advertising turnaround in the company’s history.” An integrated brand campaign normally takes six weeks.

So comparative advertising and brand wars are still making waves. Who can forget the famous coca cola and pepsi wars What caught my eye the most some years back was the airlines war… Kingfisher and Jet airways. I also saw a hoarding that says “there is no need for us to change” by a local airlines.

With this and many more brand wars is not the audience having spicy stuff to watch and laugh at over the coffee table…? May be the need of the hour is to compete on some rational basis that people could associate with and probably become brand loyal too…

Any way so far.. This has been my take on the war of brands… whats your say

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