Home is where this story begins. A well maintained cared-for brick and mortar house transforms into a home that can inspire, nurture dreams and store memories. Wall aesthetics can truly open up the interiors, adding a splash of colour to life.
The Challenging Competition
In the 1990s Indian paint industry, Nerolac had a predominant proportion of sales in the industrial paint segment and a minor proportion from the decorative paint segment. Higher margins were in the lucrative decorative paint segment and its competitor, Asian Paints, dominated this segment.
Asian Paints was the market leader and had the exact opposite market composition; it controlled a significant share of the decorative paint market and had a smaller contribution from the industrial paint business. The Asian Paints television commercial featuring Jagjit Singh was popular with its customers.
This was at a time when Ogilvy was using emotional connect with the product’s story as a messaging strategy for Asian Paints. Not only was Asian Paints running great advertising campaigns, it was also providing incentives for painters to recommend them to the customers. This two pronged strategy was working well for Asian Paints.
The Brief and the Artist’s Inspiration
Nerolac had been one of FCB Ulka’s oldest clients. Subhash Tendle, an art director at Ulka, had reworked Nerolac’s Goody Tiger logo (now discontinued) to promote the brand, way back in 1972.
With competition heating up in the 1990s, a new brief was given to Ulka, asking them to create a television commercial specially for Nerolac decorative paints for homes, emphasising the wide range of beautiful colours. Their budget was far smaller compared to Asian Paints.
Late Anil Kapoor (ex-Chairman Ulka) and Nitin Bhagwat (now ex-Vice Chairman FCB) decided to focus on the painter – the artist and the real hero when it came to decorating the blank walls with colour. Freshly painted walls in beautiful colours was his art. And people feeling great in the house was due to his effort.
Neena Varma, the creative director, chose Subodh Poddar for the job of developing a new campaign. He was an art director who wrote…a painter of the classical school. He knew that just as paintings adorn walls, well painted walls were akin to paintings themselves. Further, he knew the value of bringing an emotional appeal to a functional product, having completed a successful campaign for Godrej Storwell, using emotional connect as a strategy.
Subodh wrote and presented the script, highlighting the joy of painting which came from the sheer beauty and colour palette of Nerolac Paints.
The Wall as Canvas: The TV Commercial
Min Aiyar directed the first television commercial for this campaign.
Vishwajeet was the music composer and the singer of the jingle. Vishwajeet, an up-coming singer, used to sing for Kalyanji Anandji in their shows as a substitute for Kishore Kumar. The Nerolac commercial bestowed Vishwajeet with fame, being introduced as the Nerolac singer.
Subodh Poddar directed the refresh of the popular commercial. It was shot by Rajeev Jain and choreographed by Farah Khan. Jayesh Gandhi and Uday Benegal of Indus Creed adapted the music to giving it a unique touch and was sung by KK. One of the most iconic Indian TV ad was created.
The TV commercial showed the painters singing the jingle “Jab ghar ki raunak badhani ho…”, as they paint a house in beautiful colours. The scene of smiling kids running through the house added a sense of playfulness and family, as the jingle played on “Rango ki duniya me aao, rangeen sapne sajao”. The result was a beautifully decorated home in bright colours. The jingle was melodious and lively.
The evolving Colour Palette
The commercial was successful and very popular. In fact, the jingle is one of the core brand assets that consumers still recollect. The recall was so high that Nerolac revived the jingle many times in new contemporary ways. Even after years of it not being aired, a research agency ranked it in the top 7 television commercials in consumers’ memories.
Today a customer needs to just think colour; of the many hues of flowers perhaps, “Light Tulip”, “Sweet Lavender” and “Deep Rosette”, or the many landscapes that grace our world, “Rajasthan Pink”, “Drifting Green”, or “White Cliffs”. All of these shades and more are among the evolving colour catalogue that make up the Nerolac wall paint universe. They are available in interior and exterior paints, in luxury, premium and popular range, in multiple textures and options. So painting a house stylishly is now within the grasp of a wide range of customers.
Nerolac today showcases contemporary styles in wall painting, opening a whole new world of ideas for the customers. The services of expert painters are also offered making home painting a hassle free experience. So “Jab Ghar ki raunak badhani ho, deewaroon ko jab sajana ho” it is “Nerolac, Nerolac”, as the memorable jingle plays on.
Subodh Tagare is an Associate Professor at IMT Nagpur, where he teaches courses on marketing. Prior to IMT, Subodh was the marketing director at American Power Conversion/ Schneider Electric for South Asia.
S Vejay Anand consults with organizations on business strategy and marketing. He has also been an entrepreneur in the food and pet care spaces. Earlier he was President at Coffee Day and COO at USPL.