Despite a late entry in deodorant segment, FMCG major ITC believes it has made up for lost time with its 'effective' advertising strategy for Engage brand.
Within a few months of launch, Engage has turned out to be the leading deo brand in a metro like Kolkata, claims Nilanjan Mukerjee, Head - Marketing, ITC.
Engage is pitted against established brands such as HUL's Axe and Raymond's Park Avenue.
"Since we entered the deo category from scratch, we have been in search of a differentiator as the category is cluttered. The top five brands have already captured 25 per cent of the category and so we had to be effective with our advertising campaign. Our campaign was capped at 15 seconds with 'playful chemistry' as the theme," says Mukerjee.
ITC's heavy spends behind the campaign has helped the company. "We had to make a dent in the deo category, where there is hardly any brand loyalty. Coming in late by nearly 100 years into the personal care category, we had to storm the bastion and had to get the attention of consumers with an effective campaign," he added.
While ITC has been splurging heavily on advertising across all its brands, it has been exercising caution about the medium. In-store promotion forms a significant part of the ad spends.
"In tough times, every rupee spent is important and there has to be a return on investment. We took the same theme of the campaign to shopping aisles, as 8 per cent of consumer spends on the deo category comes from the shopping aisles," said Mukerjee.
According to industry estimates, the Rs 1,400-crore deo category has slowed down with growth rates dropping from 25 per cent last year to 15 per cent at present. Unlike soaps, the deo category is smaller but has more brands. "According to data from Nielsen, there are 1,863 deo brands and almost 259 variants. We would be facing competition from big brands such as Axe and Wild Stone," he added.