- According to a report rolled out by Nielsen, Surf Excel is the superstar product of HUL and recorded sales of INR 5375 crore last year.
- Its market share is around 17.9% and accounted for roughly 14% of the company’s net revenue while 45% of its laundry segment sales.
60 years ago, Hindustan Unilever Limited introduced a washing powder for Indian households. With time this washing powder went through a number of changes in packaging, product, research, and development.
It’s not that that from day 1 HUL’s Surf Excel was a superstar product. In its stint of 60 years, the washing powder has experienced a lot more than what we can imagine. After a chain to ups and downs, Surf Excel in 2020 said the superstar product for the FMCG giant.
In 2018, Surf Excel bypassed the Wheel brand that dominated the HUL portfolio in the laundry product segment.
“HUL’s laundry category continues its growth momentum with performance driven by a relentless focus on core and market development initiatives” HUL’s spokesperson commented.
What Makes Surf Excel a Superstar Product?
If Daag Acche Hain is deeply imprinted in our subconscious mind then its Surf Excel and its continuous initiative to capture a top space not only on the racks of showrooms but also in our subconscious minds.
Ask yourself, how many different times this tag line was narrated? It’s a number of times! We got to appreciate Surf Excel for not only keeping our clothes neat and clean but raising the level of advertising.
Wheel washing powder captured the top spot for HUL and managed to hold the position between the 1990s till 2012. Then Kanpur-based RSPL’s Ghari brand popped up and became a market leader.
Surf Excel added 1.8% points over the past 2 years in the market share, while Ghari share remained unchanged at 19.2 with annual sales of INR 5,756 crore last year.
“We are launching machine wash variants, entering the modern trade channel and expanding geographical reach to generate higher sales growth this year” – Sushil Kuma Bajpai commented.
Overall, HUL owned Rin and Sunlight have a 39.1% market share in India’s laundry care. With the segment having hundreds of local mass-market rivals, HUL seems to be hyperactive in rolling out new products/variants from time to time to stay in the minds of consumers.
What’s New About Surf Excel?
Surf Excel being a washing powder product, it doesn’t want to miss the moments, situations when a piece of cloth gets dirty and that needs to be washed and clean once again.
Can you imagine any upcoming scenario? Well, its India’s one of the most favorite festivals Holi! When its festival time, there is hardly any brand that is not willing to create a strong presence at that time.
Be it a car or a washing powder, all of them try their best to come up with product/service offerings as well as creative ads and campaigns that have a long-lasting impression (till the time they roll-out a new one).
This year, Surf Excel raised the bar of emotional advertising in India. I’ll be talking about 2 commercials here.
The first commercial is definitely the most touching advertisement anyone can dare to roll out. In the commercial, a joint family is separated and the 2 men of the house live separately.
Kid of the house on the day of Holi asks his mother, father, and grandmother to put one color on his cloth and when all 3 of them are done coloring his kurta with 3 different colors he picks up his tricycle and goes to see his uncle.
In its second part, he asks his uncle if he is missing his family this Holi. It’s natural that the kid will be hugged with his uncle and when he does that, the kid tells back to his uncle that all 3 colors that he got imprinted on his kurta (from the kid’s kurta) are given his mother, father, and grandmother.
A very strong message is shared by Surf Excel in this advertisement. Which is, stay united and don’t forget to wish a happy Holi to your closed ones. Daag Acche Hain! Isn’t it?
2nd commercial of Surf Excel begins with a girl out in her colony on her cycle and every other kid throws water balloons, and all kinds of colors on her to make as drained in colors.
There is a time when the entire colony is out of color. That’s the time when she calls out her Muslim friend who wanted to visit the mosque to recite prayers but he couldn’t because everyone else was playing with colors.
Sometimes it’s not only about sales numbers, market share and how much customer base a product has to be a superstar (though these are major contributors towards making a product a superstar product)
It’s also about how creatively and uniquely a product is able to reserve a place in the user’s subconscious mind. It’s just 60 years for Surf Excel in the world of retail and it is giving a tough run to all of its competitors.
While there may be close counterfeits of Surf Excel, but no other product can overtake Surf Excel in terms of rolling out creative advertisements and in its ability to tickle feelings and thought processes of Indian customers.