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Rin detergent marketing

strategy in India
In this article we have discussed Rin detergent marketing strategy in India from the
time it was launched in India.
1969 Rin Bar was launched in India with the iconic lightening mnemonic.
1994 Rin Detergent Powder was launched. This was the first product extension
from the iconic brand that stood for whiteness in laundry.
2007 The brand made an addiction in its portfolio with the introduction of Bleach
another whiteness solution for the Indian household. It even added the Rin Matic,
a specialist washing machine powder, based on the insight that ordinary powders do
not deliver performance in a machine wash thus leading to an unsatisfied consumer

Rin detergent Marketing Strategy: A Rin print ad showing comparison of

Rin & Tide Prices
2012 Rin Perfect Shine, a liquid blue was launched. It is yet another extension of
the brand that promises to deliver sparkling white clothes.

Rin promised to position itself as a surf with Whitening ability, but, it could not find a
tagline that was powerful enough to convey the brand promise. In the year 2008, the
brand adopted the punchline Duguni Safedi, Duguni CHamak. The ad was
catchy, but it could not establish a connection. So, Rin came up with the famous
tagline-Chamakte Rehna. It gives the brand new opportunities to communicate with
the consumers and has immense potential and possibilities for new campaigns. The
tagline itself is making Rin a strong brand and helped it make an aggressive
Recently, Rin released a new campaign- Rin Challenge which was endorsed by
Kajol. In the advertisement, Kajol challenges a group of women to join TEAM RIN,
highlighting the brands core competency Whiteness.
Hindustans Unilevers Rin and Proctor Gambles Tide are at loggerhead over a
latest advertisement by HUL where it puts an offer to the consumers to choose 1kg
of Rin pack with an Extra 100gm powder priced at Rs.67 over a 950gm pack of Tide
priced at Rs.80. HUL justifies it by saying that the advertisement is a factual
representation of the price of the two brands and helps consumers make an
informed choice. It was although not the first time that HUL had directly compared
Rin with Tide. In 2010, it used the tagline, Rin offers better whiteness than Tide as
a promotional tool to be used by the brand.

Rin detergent marketing strategy : Rins direct attack on Tide

Nonetheless, Rin today is the most trusted by millions of households across the
country as it understands the demands and needs of its customers to deliver best in
class whiteness through its various innovative product offerings.

The Strategy
According to latest news report, the Calcutta High Court has restrained HUL from airing the
controversial campaign against Tide. HUL has been given 72 hours to comply with the order ( Source)

The high decibel c

omparative ad of Rin generated huge buzz in the
market. The direct comparative campaign evoked mixed reaction across the media. That single
controversial ad generated crores worth of buzz about the brands in question.

The current high profile aggressive stand of Rin has a background story. There was a proxy war going
on between Rin and Tide since December 2009. During December, P&G launched the low priced
variant of Tide branded Tide Naturals. Tide Naturals was priced significantly lower to the Rin. Tide
Naturals was launched at Rs 50 per Kg , Rs 10 for 200 gms and Rs 20 for400 gms. Rin was priced at
Rs 70 per Kg at that time.

The reduced price of the Tide variant was an immediate threat to Rin. Since Tide already has an
established brand equity, Rin was bound to face the heat. Although HUL had another low priced
brand Wheel priced at Rs 32/Kg, Tide was not in the same category of Wheel.

Rin had to cut the price to resist the market share erosion. As discussed elsewhere in the blog, HUL
was facing a steady erosion in the market share in most of the categories. In the detergent category
itself, the brand faced a market share fall of 2.5% in December 2009. With P&G starting a price war,
HUL had to react and it did by cutting the price of Rin by 30% to Rs 50 per Kg. ( Source ) .

HUL also reacted to the Tide Natural's price war in a ' Guerrilla Marketing ' way. It took P&G to the
court regarding the Tide Natural's advertisement. The contention was that Tide Naturals was giving
the impression to the consumers that it contained natural ingredients like Sandal. The court ordered
P&G to modify the campaign and P&G had to admit that Tide Naturals did not contain any Natural
ingredients. ( another example of a brand swaying over to unethical marketing practices).

While P&G opened a war in the price front, HUL retaliated by opening two war fronts. One was the
direct comparative ad and other through the court order asking P&G to modify Tide Naturals Ad and
to admit that Tide Naturals is not ' Natural'.

I think that it was Rin which won the Round 1 of this war. It generated enough Buzz about the brand
with all the media talking about the campaign. Rin was also able to neutralize the aggression of P&G
to certain extent.

Tide chose not to respond because further fuel to the fight can highlight the fact that Tide Naturals
does not contain any 'Natural Ingredients " which may negatively affect the brand's standing in the
consumer's mind. So it is better to play the role of a " poor" victim at this point of time.

P&G can celebrate because of the free advertisement it got for Tide Naturals because of the
comparative ad of Rin.

It is interesting to see the academic angle of this concept called Comparative advertising. From my
little digging of information, it was evident that the academic research is also clueless about the
effectiveness of comparative advertising. There are enough evidence to prove that comparative ads
work better than non-comparative ads and vice versa. So academicians are as clueless as the
practitioners in this regard.

According to academic literature, Comparative ads are those ads which involves directly or indirectly
naming competitors in an ad and comparing one or more attributes in an advertising medium ( Alan T.
Shao, Yeqing Bao, and Elizabeth Gray,Comparative Advertising Effectiveness:A Cross-Cultural Study
Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, Fall 2004)

There are two broad types of comparative ads. One is the Direct comparative ads which compares
the competitor in more than one attribute. The second type is the Indirect comparative ad which
projects the brand as the Leading Brand rather than comparing on certain attributes.

In the marketing world ( globally) comparative ads are commonly used across categories. Some of
the relevant observations regarding comparative ads are given below.

Comparative ads are perceived to be beneficial to the consumers since more information is
provided to him by the competitors. Comparative ads are encouraged in certain markets like USA by
the regulators because it increases transparency and provides more information to consumers.

The comparative ads generally result in counter arguments which often creates such a noise
that it discounts the original argument/information. Consumers tend to discount the claims by both the
competing brand because of the arguments.

Comparative advertising strategy is more effective for smaller brands rather than established
large brands. By challenging a larger brand through comparative ad , the small brands tend to derive
more acceptance and awareness than the larger brand.

Comparative ads are found to be more effective for categories where consumers tend to use
their analytical mind. Comparative ads tend to fail where consumers use imagery while evaluating the
brands. For example, products like automobiles use comparative ads extensively and with

There are also studies which shows that male consumers are more attracted towards
comparative ads compared to female consumers.
Although Indian marketing world have seen lot of comparative ads, the current Rin Vs Tide is a rare
case of direct comparative ad where the brand has taken the competitor brand's name and
challenging it head on. That is the main reason behind the media noise about the campaign.

P&G India always was a laid back competitor in the FMCG market . Despite having the product
portfolio and market strength , it never realized its potential. The company was happy with their
minuscule market share in the various categories in the FMCG business . I am not sure whether P&G
will react aggressively to the current HUL onslaught and if at all they did ,will it sustain the fight for


Bold and brash is in and its the new chic(k?). Gone are the days of harmless understated
advertisements (Oh I am not complaining at all, maybe I will after a few decades, but not now). If
Deepika Chikhalia was the epitome of the Bharateeya Naari (thanks to Ramanand Sagars
Ramayan) for Nirma Super for what seems like ages ages ago, the new set of female
characters in advertisements for detergent powders appear to be scheming conniving saasbahu types straight out of a K serial (or soap). Whats more, their on-screen children too
seem to have inherited their impish traits.

It appears that Rin, that respectable Indian brand, has taken the initiative to alter the rules of the
game; if the new Rin advertisement is anything to go by, it certainly seems like Rin or Hindustan
Unilever Limited, probably has taken upon itself the responsibility of changing the hitherto
comparatively demure face of Indian ads. The new ad has got almost everyone I know with salt
n pepper hair talking about that mythical ancient time in everybodys lives (good ol days of
course). The ad runs something like this:

There are two women, the first one (lets call her Woman 1 like they do for extras in movie
credits) praises Tide, with a Tide packet featuring prominently. A bus, presumably school bus,
arrives with their children. Woman 1s son steps out of the bus first and his shirt is a dull shade of
white. A second boy alights and his shirt is an immaculate white. He moves towards Woman 2
who uses Rin, of course. Woman 2s son asks Woman 1 Aunty Kyun Chaunk Gai ? with the
obvious reference to Tides caption Chaunk Gaye !

Would this ad attract claims of disparagement? The issue of disparagement under Section 36 of
the MRTP Act has been discussed earlier on SpicyIP by Kruttika in the context of Britannia
successfully restraining Unibic from disparaging its Good Day brand of biscuits. In light of this
case, Tide seems to have a decent case for trademark infringement unless Rin is able to prove
that its depiction was honest and based on facts.

Whatever be the case, if these kind of ads are the way of the future, I would like to see how they
turn out for certain more interesting products

We welcome the opinion of our readers on this issue.

For an analysis of the legal position, please read this post.


Rin Vs Tide new Ad campaign Hungama...


Who says HUL

crossed the lane?? Who says HUL's
new RIN vs Tide advertisement is illegal?? And it is misleading customers?? I feel
P&G has tried to mislead the customers and HUL is trying to educate them...
I didn't believe my ears.. Came almost running from Kitchen and re-confirmed what I
heard with my friend who was watching the television and waited for the ad to
appear again... Main tho Chaunk gaya.. stood absolutely stumped in front of the
TV... Couldn't believe my eyes that HUL has gone for such a direct attack against
P&G's Tide.. Kept on thinking what might be the reason only to guess after watching
the ad on youtube closely for some 9-10 times. But, defenitely the Ad agency as
well as HUL didn't get the customers perception right.. atleast definitely not as of now
If the reason that I think of, is true behind this campaign.
There's a huge buzz in the blogging arena about Rin taking on Tide directly in it

s new campaign. Rather than questioning HUL's

ideology behind the campaign, people started crying foul over the campaign and
expressing their concerns that it will be off the screens very soon... How does taking
off the screens make things better for Tide??
Already the damage is done to an extent although not to the extent HUL is expecting
it to. As far as the legal or the ASCI rules are concerned HUL has played it safe with
it's small disclaimers and notes below the ad as well as at the end of ad.. "As tested
by Independent Lab" and "Issued in the interest of Rin Users". But still what's the
logic behind such a campaign?? Definitely not the normal Rin Vs Tide attack..
definitely HUL tried to convey something which is not getting on to the customer's
mind as easily as they expected it to get on...

It's a well known fact t

hat HUL and P&G have been
trying to gain market share through price cuts although this has reduced their
revenues for FY09-10. Recently in the month of January2010 P&G introduced an
extension on it's brand line "TIDE" with the name of "TIDE NATURALS". This at a
lower price. And around the end of January itself, HUL has brought down the prices
of their detergents RIN, Surf Excel by 10-30%.
Remind you!! P&G haven't cut the price of other versions of Tide to the price levels
of Tide Naturals. But, In reality what the customers have started seeing in the
supermarkets is Tide available at such a low price. Most of them never realized that
it's Tide Naturals and not all versions of Tide are available at same price. As per
relativity, If prices of actual RIN and Tide versions have come down by same extent
the volume levels will not show much of a movement from RIN to Tide or Tide to
RIN. But, there came a new entrant called "Tide Naturals" which started pulling the
volumes of RIN. But, what's customer thinking while picking up a packet of Tide
Naturals is..

"I am getting T
ide at a very low price" which is what the
lady in the ad says, "Tide hain, Khushbhu bhi aur safedi bhi".. She has taken a Tide
Naturals pack and she still feels She has taken Tide.. which is not true and who has
mislead this customer?? P&G or HUL?? HUL is just trying to educate the customer
by saying indirectly in a respectable manner, "You can compare Tide with RIN my
dear.. But not Tide Naturals with RIN." It is not saying RIN is better than Tide w.r.t
the cost but, it is trying to say it is definitely better than Tide Naturals w.r.t the cost.
And HUL is also to be blamed one fourth for this confusion and the Ad agency that

did thi
s Ad for them for the rest three fourth. The
concept of direct attack is wonderful and awesome but, I think the customer isn't able
to get this right message from the Ad as expected by HUL and the Ad agency.. The
customer feels RIN says, "RIN is better than Tide".. I think it would have been better
if the Lady might have been shown in the ad picking up Tide Naturals instead of Tide
original version and RIN.. This might have emphasised the effect of Tide Naturals in
a better way..

But still, this campaign is definitely a tough one to crack for P&G and their agency.
Either HUL needs to bring more sense to this ad asap or else, if P&G comes with a
campaign in reply (though it will be very difficult to counter the argument) HUL will
definitely suffer huge volumes...
I had to view the ad nearly 10times with my eyes glued to TV at 1cm distance to get
the blurred disclaimer that appears in the bottom twice during the TVC that says... "
Schematic representation of superior whiteness is based on Whiteness Index
test of Rin Vs Tide Naturals as tested by Independent lab"

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