It’s obviously too early to say if the new Onida ads will do good for the brand. I caught glimpses of one of the ads on TV and saw all 3 on YouTube. On first pass, will they be noticed? I think the sheer curiosity of what the ‘devil’ is being replaced with will ensure an audience, at least among the marketing & advertising community. But my gut says these set of ads will take a lot of media firepower to get noticed. They look pretty similar to so many of the ‘young couple, consumer durable’ ads with a lot of ham acting – specially in the Microwave one.
To rewind a little, did the Onida Devil had to be retired? In the last avatar that it was – definitely yes. I don’t think the property was nurtured and made to evolve along with changing audience tastes. It was withdrawn for a period and brought back in a half-hearted manner. And in between there were so many contrasting messages about Onida, consistency went for a toss. So a to a lot of potential consumers of Onida, the devil meant nothing. Good call to drop the fellow.
But I thought the property of ‘neighbour’s envy’ conveyed a product superiority and wasn’t just an ad claim. At least it could have been built into every product Onida made – a feature that made it a neighbour’s envy. Quite like the effect a Bang & Olufsen product has on a non-owner. Even in the current set of commercials, the ‘thoughtfulness’ of design is central to the proposition of ‘tumko dekha…’ (by the way, what happens to the line South of Vindhyas?). The attempt to convey Onida as a brand beyond TV is apparent with the sub-branding of ‘Onida-Cook’ and ‘Onida-Theatre’. Is this a good first step to take on the Korean majors and the halo of foreign brands? I think so – more so because of the glimpse of product features at hand and less because of the ads.