AdStand: Communicating the ‘Hawa’

Fans, Coolers and Air Conditioners are three vastly different categories. They target different audiences, different needs and different life stage; yet there is something common to all three categories. Increasingly the appeals across categories have started to overlap, with fans becoming like air conditioners, coolers becoming like air conditioners and air conditioners becoming more like air purifiers.

Fans is a tough category. There is very little rational difference that can be created, and despite sameness the brands have to create a difference. Orient won the game by clever alphabet soup calling it PSPO. They built the appeal so effectively that eventually they mocked people who didn’t know PSPO. The literally blew away the competitors.

Symphony, the original organized sector cooler brand added to the category by claiming to keep India cooler.

Ills of summer, sweat, corners of room that received no draft of air and motors that were all powerful was what built the category.

What is happening today?

“Hawa” became the driver for Havels, its not alone now

Havel’s has to be credited with changing the narrative for Fans. They were the ones who used “Hawa” in the broader societal sense. They were clever to find ills of society, like this latest tackles things like black money . Changing “Hawa” can change the ills of society and the Havels is the fan that changes Hawa is a very tenuous connection, one that Havel’s has made successfully. They have stayed away from complicated product demos, product claims and an over the top voice that sometimes becomes a part of brand narrative. They might have had some con troversy and bad blood with their take on reservations

(Is reservation a social ill?) they have largely been very good at connection a societal issue with fan. Havels as a brand also has been super successful in keeping the context of the advertising very middle class massy India, and that too adds to the overall appeal of advertising.

Standard Fans has gone in similar territory with Alia Bhat, but not as brand that hinges on societal issues, but as someone who changes the domestic look. The ad  featuring Alia Bhat living in an ultra stylish, uber cool pad but a messy pad is surprised to receive a call from her mom that she is coming to see her. Alia bursts into frenzy cleaning the house, brooming and mopping and spilling the water all over the floor. It takes flick of switch and the fan magically makes the water dry up. Does the tale work? By keeping the context set within home of a celebrity and building upmarket cues, it takes a lot away from the brand. Too much of gloss for a fan brand, and making it hook to ‘energy of young India’ may leave people wonder more.

The original tech babble brand has changed

For sometime the original PSPO brand built itself as the smarter fan with MS Dhoni as its brand ambassador. Fans with remote control, colours, power saving became the dominating theme for the brand. It has now moved on to happiness, making fan almost like almighty. The ad is more like a homage to Dhoni then a commercial for Fan. From building the legend of Dhoni to fan being the one that showers happiness when you look up us a rather tenuous connection and a big leap of faith. Next time don’t look up to heavens, just look up to ceiling

Cooler brands and air filtration

Its taken Air Conditioners a lot of time and effort to build air purification as the differentiator. LG built healthy air for long; Samsung even had a Virus Doctor. Its time for AC’s to vacate the perch and hand it over to coolers.

Take a look at Symphony , they have added many layers to the cooler communication by building on the air purification story. There are filters, blockers and solution to outside pollution and irritants that make you go dough cough. For the low-end cooler category, this is a very clever way of building relevance for the brand.

Voltas has combined the ‘Hawa’ with purification to make your home fresh like Hill Station (remember Electrolux AC ad?). Voltas has taken a tongue in cheek narrative of troubles of a young couple urging them to build a love pad with Voltas Cooler and has done it well

Young Couples are in Vogue

If Voltas Cooler was about young couples trying to find a little space of solitude, Crompton is about a young couple setting up a new home. Crompton has done a great job of building the context of young couples setting up homes that reflect their love for each other. We can debate if the husband had to be the workaholic on his computer and wife cleaning up home is a bit stereotypical and what if they had pushed the envelope.

There are overlaps in appeals, fans, coolers, air conditioners are merging into one another. The coming of air purifiers as a category will make the air more muddled.

As the last thing, I would like you to watch this. We are better then Fan, and better than AC. Colloquially Vego is vague. Is this ad in that zone?

Original published here:

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