Nicorette: Wrong choice of media

The advertising is generic and is sure to benefit all the brands in the category. Now the task will be to get some distinct image going for the brand, so that customers only ask for Nicorette at the retail outlet

The makers of Nicorette, the nicotine chewing gum brand, have been going to town to kill the smoking habit. The action began on New Year's Day, when most people resolve to kick the butt. Since then, there has been some seriously heavy ad spend in all forms of media. On Republic Day, they even launched the 'The Quit India Movement' in newspapers.

The TV commercial however is pretty straight forward and boring. Guess the marketer wanted to steer clear of any controversies. Ideally, nicotine chewing gum needs to be consumed under medical supervision (as there can be side effects), and the commercial needed to be low key so that the health ministry and other do-gooding activists don't get involved.

In the ad, a child mimics smoking a cigarette, much to the alarm of the smoker daddy. Who then decides to give it up, and opts for Nicorette, of course. Yes, the creative sucks, but more than that, I have issues with the choice of the media.

We must remember there have been nicotine chewing gum brands in the Indian market for some years now, but they were never advertised. Am sure the rivals must be thrilled with Nicorette's decision to scream through the rooftops, and must now be laughing all the way to the bank. Because Nicorette's advertising is generic in nature, and is sure to benefit all the brands in the category.

Having done the 'social work', Nicorette brand manager's job now is to get some distinct personality and image going for the brand, so that consumers only ask for Nicorette and not any nicotine chewing gum at the retail outlet. And this is going to be a tough one. The more they make the brand hip, the more they go into the area of making the drug nicotine appear cool and happening, the quicker they'll invite strife.

Which then brings me to the choice of media. I think it's wasteful (given the above) to use the mass media. Nicorette must only use the Internet and the below-the-line media to communicate with prospective consumers. One can safely assume their key target market is likely to be the middle class urban segment and above (at Rs 6.50 a gum, the brand is anyways out of the reach of the poor). That way they can quietly build a direct brand relationship with smokers who want to quit, and make sure the competition doesn't reap the rewards of their labour.

This route will also keep them away from swallowing bitter PILS (Public Interest Litigations)

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COMMENTS

B V KRISHNAN

6 years ago

Smokers who kick the habit with the help of Nicorette will get addicted to Nicorette. So it will only mean jumping from the fire to the frying pan! While Glaxo Smith Kline will laugh all the way to the bank!! Just imagine, getting evan a fraction of the smoking public as permanent customers for Nicorette will benefit their top line and bottomline immensely!!

Krishnaraj Rao

6 years ago

Sorry, don't agree. I feel that the branding is extremely strong and effective. The ad is unlikely to benefit the rival brands, and is quite likely to take away customers from them.

Punj Lloyd Q3 net loss at Rs62.13 crore; scrip touches 52-week low

"There has been a good inflow of orders during the last six months and the current order backlog of the company is at Rs 27,780 crore," said Punj Lloyd chairman Atul Punj

MUMBAI: Engineering firm Punj Lloyd today reported a net loss of Rs62.13 crore for the quarter ended 31 December 2010 against a net profit of Rs12.48 crore in the October-December quarter of the last fiscal, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Net sales of the company fell to Rs2,093.62 crore in the December quarter from Rs2,901.62 crore in the year-ago period, a decline of 28%, reports PTI.

"There has been a good inflow of orders during the last six months and the current order backlog of the company is at Rs27,780 crore. We expect the momentum of order inflows in energy and infrastructure sectors to continue," Punj Lloyd chairman Atul Punj said.

Overall, the company received new orders worth Rs9,238 crore in the current financial year to 31st December.

During the December quarter, Punj Lloyd signed a memorandum of understanding with Hopetech Sdn Bhd, Malaysia to offer integrated solutions for automated electronic toll collection and a central toll clearing house in India.

Reacting to the weak third quarter numbers, shares of Punj Lloyd slipped to a 52-week low of Rs 81.25 in early trade on the BSE.

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