Better late than never seems to be the maxim with which Elder Pharmaceuticals the manufacturers of Zandu Balm operated, as now the wisdom has dawned on them to select Malaika Arora Khan as the brand ambassador after the phenomenal success of “Munni Badnam hui”, le Zandu Balm hui” song from DABANGG. It would be one of the rare occasions where a song accidentally expands the outreach of a brand in such a phenomenal manner and the icing on the cake being the oomph of Malaika, no brand campaign could have achieved such success as it has happened with Zandu balm.
If such parallel is to be sought one can find it from the moment of epiphany that Sunil Alagh, who was heading Britannia when SHOLAY was released and he wanted to position Tiger brand of biscuits in the market. Going against the advice of not choosing a villain to sell a brand, Sunil Alagh went along with his gut feeling, and chose Gabbar as brand ambassador for Tiger brand of biscuits and rest was history. For the first time in the history of marketing in India a villain was used as a brand ambassador to market a FMCG product, and the Tiger brand of biscuits really took off. It also helped in creating an image of Gabbar as a villain with a soft heart.
Similarly, Munni from DABANGG has catapulted Zandu brand into premium category and the competitors are left licking their wounds as presently there is no counter strategy for them to leash in the phenomenal outreach of Zandu balm riding on the bandwagon of jhatkas and matkas of Malaika Arora Khan. Brand positioning is defined by the ability to seize the initiative and what better way to seize it than to let it ride on the bandwagon of the most popular and raunchy songs in the recent memory.
Brands have a shorter memory recall with the public and the extension of this recall is facilitated if it is woven around the most popular medium of performing arts i.e. cinema. As it is surrogate advertisements have now become a part of the filming process but they have not been able to deliver the results. If one were to recapitulate old Hindi film songs where taxi repair shops were shown, one can notice strategically placed billboards of companies associated with automobile industry. The most famous recall could be the ever romantic song “Ek ladki bheegi bhagi si” from CHALTI KA NAAM GAADI. Imagine if the oil company had used Kishore Kumar as a brand icon to sell the engine oil. But at that point of time marketing as an aspect arising out of the telltale signs of cinema was never in vogue. But post Zandu Balm inclusion in a song, be ready for more such songs.
One only hopes that henceforth the song writers, would be given due recognition and not continue to languish otherwise as discounted category. They would also be a part of the strategy about positioning a brand through a song by the media planners who may incentivize the song writers by coaxing them into writing songs featuring name of brands in a captivating manner.