- Asian Paints has been a brand with a brilliant connection with the audience and tells their stories through their ads and campaigns.
Asian Paints has been a brand with a brilliant connection with the audience and tells their stories through their ads and campaigns. Today we look at the journey.
In 1942, when thousands of Indians wrote a triumphant chapter in India’s fight for independence through the civil disobedience movement, four friends in Bombay ( now Mumbai) set up a paint producing business in a tiny garage.
The concept was born after the British imposed a temporary ban on importation of paints, leaving the country with very few choices-either Shalimar Paints or costly foreign labels. So with ‘Asian Oil and Paint Company Private Limited’ Champaklal Choksey, Chimanlal Choksi, Suryakant Dani, and Arvind Vakil decided to reach a less explored territory and bring their ambitions into effect.
Today, this 78-year-old company with a random name originating from a telephone directory has captured a market share of 53 percent in India and is the third-largest paint firm in Asia. It is known as Asian Paints and operates worldwide in 16 countries.
The catchphrase ‘Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Kehta Hai’ (which has a clear nostalgic appeal) reiterates its ideology of supplying its entire spectrum of customers with thousands of color shades, themes, textures, and patterns, from middle-class households, corporates, and even NGOs. There is paint for budgets of all sorts and the website also selects a suitable paint according to the budget of a person.
Definitely, its time’s highly respected brand mascot, ‘Gattu’ an iconic development by a legendary RK Laxman helped brand recall Asian Paints for many years. Gattu-a mischievous boy with a paint bucket in his hand-was introduced in 1954 and found his fan base in the middle-class population of India. Gattu helped to introduce the commodity-led painter’s company to homeowners’ real end-users.
“Asian Paints were looking for an idea,” quoted RK Laxman in an ET article. And chain smoking for inspiration, as he gradually saw the vision of a little boy with a paint-brush taking form through the haze of cigarette smoke. And that was how the famous mascot, in his own picturesque terms, was born.
Further explaining the story behind the mascot’s name game, the late cartoonist recalled that the next issue for Asian Paints was what to call him, and then a ‘Give Me a Name’ contest was held offering a Rs 500 reward for best name. Soon mischievous Gattu became famous with his ‘black hair shock eternally hanging over his right eye,’ and the company’s profits grew tenfold.
One of the main factors for the company’s rapid growth is being consistent in quality while adjusting to new industry trends and innovations.
Whether it was the first TV commercial in 1984, a luxury commodity in the early ’90s, or the establishment of call center operations and a website as early as 1998-99, Asian Paints has always stayed ahead of time by predicting future trends. The business also hasn’t shied away from leveraging the fervor of social media and has reached millions of followers through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
In his book, Nawabs, Nudes, Noodles, Ad guru Ambi Parameswaran: India through 50 years of advertising revealed that Asian Paints had soon begun to challenge the supremacy of brands such as Johnson and Nicholson and ICI’s Dulux. They caught the country’s imagination in the 1990s with an ad that a young man was returning home while his mom prepares food. Rajiv Menon film director who later made some wonderful Tamil movies used Tamil festival Pongal to create a perfect look for the film.
After RK Laxman stopped drawing the cartoon, Asian Paints and Ogilvy joined hands to launch a new marketing strategy by focusing on festive occasions with their tag line “Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hain“ (Every home says something about its owner). The consumers were now looking for more and a change. Ogilvy’s creative minds with the brand team banked on festivals like Diwali and Pongal, occasions like childbirth and marriages to take the iconic ‘Gattu’s familiarity and brand image to the next level.
The idea was an immediate success and thus the ad campaign for the proposition ‘Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai’ was born. The company has marketed it as an opportunity to paint homes by making emotional connections. During this time, the ads concentrated more on the home exteriors that concentrated on how paints should keep the outside timeless. Ad veteran Piyush Pandey has narrated the very first Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai ad.
Innovative and socially important strategies have, in fact, always been a selling point for the agency. Remember when Deepika Padukone highlighted the issue of indoor pollution and promoted the ‘Royale Atmos’ non-polluting color? It received a lot of publicity and restored trust in the paints of the business which are healthy for all.
How they are not afraid to join similar segments is another factor that contributes to their impressive actions. They have, for example, made inroads into other segments in the same industry over the years, such as interior and exterior wall finishes, wood finishes and enamel finishes, and industrial paints. Other notable mentions are the bathroom fittings and the kitchen.
It goes without saying that accolades followed and recognitions followed. Asian Paints made it to the world’s Forbes Best Under a Billion companies list in 2004 and was also awarded by the British Safety Council with ‘Sword of Honour.’
Asian Paints as a brand remains one of the favourite of Indian audience and we think their brilliant campaigns will continue to give us advertising goals.