This week Future Group, owner of Big Bazar, Pantaloons and other large format retail stores, launched a toothpaste. (Read the story here.)
In a market dominated by Colgate (the market leader in 75% of the countries in the world), what is it that Future Group brings to the table, or rather bathroom counter, that can give it a chance against the global Goliath?
Our own little David aka Sachin Tendulkar.
In a cricket-crazed nation where tiny tots wake up at 5:30 in the morning and lug kit bags three times the size of an average child, it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
Mom: Wake up son, you have cricket practice.
Mom: Don’t you want to grow up and become like Sachin?
Son jumps out of bed and rushes to the playground. No. He doesn’t. After dragging the son out of bed, the mother has to convince him to brush his teeth. And what better argument than the same one that got the kid out of the bed?
Mom: Go brush your teeth son...
Mom: Brush son; don’t you want to grow up and become like Sachin?
Son: Vigourous brushing sound.
'Ah', the Future Group must be thinking, ‘The perfect sling-shot against Toothpaste Goliath’.
Of course the toothpaste pack has a picture of Sachin, but unlike perfumes named after celebrities, the toothpaste is not named after him. Instead, the Group has made Sachin shorter. No, not Sachin the man, Sachin the name: The toothpaste is called Sach, (for my non-Hindi comprehending friends, Sach means Truth).
Mom: What are you doing in the bathroom?
Mom: For so long?
Son: Yes Ma, Sach!
But jokes apart, in my grumble opinion this could very well be the beginning of a whole new trend in branding and marketing. I can already see a host of cricket and Bollywood celebrities lending a part of their names for a range of varied products.
Dhoni: ‘Dho’ Washing Powder
Aamir Khan: ‘Aam’ Mango Drink
Sehwag: 'Wag' Dog Food
Yuvaraj: ‘Yuva’ Age-defying Cream
Lalit Modi: 'Lit' Safety Matches (no pun on matches please)
Priyanka: ‘Yank’ Toilet Flushes
And surely Katrina can walk into the Hindustan Unilever offices and demand a handsome sum for using her name to endorse ‘Rin’ for all these years.
Who knows, the multi-nats might latch on to the trend. The day might not be far when a bank endorsed by Julia Roberts will be launched:
For once, they will be speaking Sach.