STEREOTYPES, NO MORE

The makers of Wild Stone, Secret Temptation; decided to consciously move away from stereotypes of objectifying women in their ads, Sanjay Srivastava, Chief Business Officer, McNROE Consumer Products tells us why it was important for them

25 Feb, 2019 by NEETA NAIR

Q] Most deodorant brands objectify women… what is your take on it?
We have always believed in clutter-breaking advertising & marketing strategies. Secret Temptation maintains a strong brand legacy for its progressive ideology & long-lasting fragrances. Last year we felt that it was time to re-phrase the brand ideology given the evolution of women and their aspirations. The brand speaks the bold voice of today’s young women who refuse to be cowed down by stereotypes of society and their immediate environment. Spelling confidence through the tag line ‘Own Your Temptation’, the brand boldly encourages women to pursue their desires with conviction and not shy away from exploring their true desires.

Q] Tell us the insight behind #JustFriendsNoMore campaign and the response it got?
This campaign marks our entry into newer product categories, so we had to use a new storyline. Interestingly, today the youth give a great deal of importance to their appearance and require specialized products to address their diverse personal grooming needs. This campaign highlights that importance and reveals the positive impact personal grooming has on one’s personality. We are pleased that the film garnered over five million views on social media within a very short time. The campaign is turning out to be one of the most popular product films in recent times and has brought a breath of fresh air in the digital campaigning world.

Q]#JustFriendsNoMore is an interesting campaign but again it showcases how a woman falls for a guy because he smells good… how soon do you see fragrance brands move completely to functionality in their communication?
Actually it’s a fragrant turn to a beautiful friendship. The story revolves around a young boy-girl who start off as childhood buddies and stay #JustFriends until the girl realizes her attraction to the boy’s enigmatic personality and decides to take their relationship to the next level. Ofcourse, grooming is weaved as a catalyst into the storyline. From being ‘Just Friends’ to #JustFriendsNoMore- their story blossoms from innocent companionship to a mature expression of love & affection.

Q] How much do you spend on marketing every year…. And what is your marketing mix like?
The marketing spends amount to approximately Rs 20 Crores annually. While there is no specific marketing mix, the allotment largely depends on the annual strategy. Having said that, TV promotions make for 80% of the total pie, while online spends have roughly assumed a 20% share in the recent past.

Q] Why did you choose Vicky Kaushal as your brand ambassador and how much has he contributed to the success of your brand?
McNROE has always refrained from endorsing our brands through a celebrity connect, instead we use quirk or out-of-the-box advertising campaigns like the ‘Kunaaal’ or #OwnYourTemptation to attract attention & leave a lasting impression. Similarly, the coal-mine set up for Wild Stone Code- Precious Metals Collection called for our association with a fresh face like Vicky Kaushal, who was training for URI at that point in time. We are glad that his appearance in the TVC has been well appreciated.

Q] What is the market share Wild Stone enjoys in India today?
2018 was a special year as we achieved second position in the Indian fragrance market. McNROE (Wild Stone and Secret Temptation) became India’s second largest deodorant manufacturer with a 9.3% market share in terms of volume (Dec2018, A.C. Neilsen). Brand Wild Stone contributes to 6.7% market share volume for the company in India today.

Q] Apart from perfumes and deodorants, you also launched a men’s grooming range. What kind of response has that got?
The Edge collection comprises a set of five male grooming essentials in addition to the intense aromatic woody deodorant and perfume. It marks Wild Stone’s foray into unexplored product categories like face wash, shower gel, shaving foam and hair gel. Launching Wild Stone Edge has been an extremely encouraging journey for the company.

Q] What are the different, innovative ways through which you are reaching out to the consumer? You had also opened up fragrance centres for women across the country. How are those doing?
The fragrance market in India is still at a nascent stage and we are still trying to educate and raise awareness through our drives.

Q] You also have brands like Secret Temptation and Heaven’s Garden fragrances apart from your flagship brand Wild Stone. How much do they contribute to your fragrance business?
Secret Temptation and Heaven’s Garden contribute to 27% and 10% market share volume each, to our annual turnover. While the female grooming segment is growing at 5x, Secret Temptation drove a 10-fold growth for the category last year through consumer pull. So that’s an interesting learning for us to ponder on.

Q] What are some of the products you are betting on for 2019? What are the new launches for this year and which are the new categories you plan to enter?
We had back-to-back product launches recently. McNROE entered the compact perfume category last November with Wild Stone Move and Secret Temptation Go range of perfumes. We introduced six unique fragrances- three for men and three for women. Besides the promise of convenience and affordability, Wild Stone Move and Secret Temptation Go arrive in waterproof, unbreakable, fist-sized 18-ml packages. Meanwhile, Wild Stone Edge range of men’s grooming essentials has been a major turning point for the organization. This is the first time McNROE has boldly forayed into newer product categories like hair gel and face wash. The response has been so encouraging that now we have decided to include shower gel and shaving foam also in the portfolio this year. As an organization, we will try to push our limits further in 2019.

Q] Who do you view as your biggest competitor? Would you say Engage, Axe or Fogg?
None of them. While we closed 2018 at 9.3% market share volume (A.C. Neilsen, Dec 2018), our intention is clearly to improve the quality of life through our products.

Q] Engage and Wild Stone were the two fastest growing brands in terms of value over last year for the JanuarySeptember 2018 period as per Nielsen data. How soon do you see yourself become the number 1 deodorant brand?
McNROE isn’t pinning to win the market share rat race, delivering a gratifying experience to the end-user is the reward we aim to achieve as an organization. Consumers are much more informed today and constantly on the lookout for a holistic brand experience. It’s not just the quality of the product that matters, but also its fragrance, packaging convenience and affordability.

Q] McNROE Consumer Products, which had sales of Rs 400 crore in 2017 had set a target of achieving Rs 1,200 cr sales by 2022…i.e. of tripling your sales… how do you propose to do that?
The men’s grooming industry is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 45%, and is expected to touch Rs 35,000 crore in the next three years (ASSOCHAM Report, 2018). We recently launched Wild Stone Edge range of grooming essentials for men and hope to increase our bandwidth in this untapped market over the next few years.

Feedback: neeta.nair@exchange4media.com Category: CMO File Volume No: 15 Issue No: 38

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