Brand Updates – 09/10/2013

1) Sprite topples Thums Up from numero uno position after three decades

Thums Up, which ruled India’s fizzy drinks market for three decades, has been toppled from its perch by Sprite — both of them beverages from Coca-Cola India’s portfolio — in an indication that consumers here are rejecting colas, in line with trends elsewhere. While Thums Up’s share for August was 15.3%, that of Sprite was 15.6%. For the previous two months as well, Thums Up has trailed behind Sprite, according to the latest Nielsen numbers.


Coca-Cola India now puts a lot of marketing muscle behind Thums Up, spending the most on it among all its brands in India. It has brand endorsement by Salman Khan, the country’s most expensive Bollywood star. The brand was previously endorsed by Akshay Kumar.

Sprite, on the other hand, has never used a well-known personality to endorse it. Instead, it has relied on irreverence with its cheeky ads sometimes aimed at Mountain Dew’s macho posturing. Sprite’s current brand positioning is ‘Chalo apni chaal’, which roughly translates as ‘Do your own thing’.

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2) PIL against Hindustan Unilever, P&G, Colgate and Johnson & Johnson for use of ‘improper sealing methods’

The packaging seal used by four multinational companies has come under the spotlight after a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Bombay High Court highlighted the use of improper sealing methods, which could be potentially hazardous for consumers.

Activist-lawyer Geetanjali Tapan Dutta, in her petition, named consumer giants HUL, Procter & Gamble, Colgate Palmolive (India) and Johnson & Johnson, claiming that due to improper sealing of their personal care, hygiene and cosmetic products, there’s a risk of contamination, especially during transit.

“I have seen many times when shop owners or walk-in customers casually pick up products like deodrants and perfumes from the shelves and put them back again,” said Dutta, when contacted. “So, the consumer actually gets less of the product that they have paid for. Also, there are chances of contamination which can be dangerous,” she explained.

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3) Emami launches anti-pollution face wash range

FMCG firm Emami Ltd today announced launch of anti pollution face wash range under its ‘Boroplus’ brand in order to strengthen its position in the fast growing face wash marketThe company, which has a moisturising face wash under its portfolio, will focus on the new anti pollution range and will also add more variants, the company said. 

Commenting on the launch, Emami Ltd Director Priti A Sureka said: “Face wash is a growing category to be in. With more than Rs 1,000 crore in value sales in 2012-13, it continues to show impressive growth numbers. The range will be rolled out pan-India by October 2013 and we are anticipating an aggressive market share and growth within the first year of the launch,” Sureka added. The new anti pollution face wash range includes BoroPlus anti pollution daily face wash, BoroPlus oil control face wash and BoroPlus gentle exfoliating scrub.

4) KFC’s lunch play

Through its latest ad campaign, KFC has made its first concerted effort towards owning a specific part of the day – lunch time. Fast food restaurant chain KFC sees itself as a brand that chases ubiquity in every sense of the word. The most recent step in that direction is the launch of Rice Bowlz, a lunch time offering. To promote this new item, Ogilvy India has created a marketing campaign led by a 25-second television commercial that’s currently on air. The ad features a busy, time-strapped professional who breaks for lunch with KFC’s new offering and goes to hilarious lengths to put off work while he’s at it.


It’s for any working person who tends to compromise on lunch because he doesn’t have enough time and doesn’t have lunch from home. Typically, this profile fits what he calls “the first-jobber with a median age of 25 years.” The product is designed around this youngster who is either on the run following his boss’ orders or stuck in work meetings all day, with little or no respite for a lunchtime meal.

Rice Bowlz is an attempt to make the brand relevant for young adults during lunchtime. Traditionally, KFC has had a strong dinner menu. And KFC’s food is “inherently sharable”, what with its chicken buckets and the like. “KFC is inherently designed for groups eating out, something Indians tend to do,” shares Dhruv Kaul, director, marketing, KFC India. Rice Bowlz, in a flight from tradition, is meant for solo consumption.

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