Rin vs Tide , the Strategy

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According to latest news report, the Calcutta High Court has restrained HUL from airing the controversial campaign against Tide. HUL has been given 72 hours to comply with the order ( Source)

The high decibel comparative ad of Rin generated huge buzz in the market. The direct comparative campaign evoked mixed reaction across the media. That single controversial ad generated crores worth of buzz about the brands in question.

The current high profile aggressive stand of Rin has a background story. There was a proxy war going on between Rin and Tide since December 2009. During December, P&G launched the low priced variant of Tide branded Tide Naturals. Tide Naturals was priced significantly lower to the Rin. Tide Naturals was launched at Rs 50 per Kg , Rs 10 for 200 gms and Rs 20 for400 gms. Rin was priced at Rs 70 per Kg at that time.

The reduced price of the Tide variant was an immediate threat to Rin. Since Tide already has an established brand equity, Rin was bound to face the heat. Although HUL had another low priced brand Wheel priced at Rs 32/Kg, Tide was not in the same category of Wheel.

Rin had to cut the price to resist the market share erosion. As discussed elsewhere in the blog, HUL was facing a steady erosion in the market share in most of the categories. In the detergent category itself, the brand faced a market share fall of 2.5% in December 2009. With P&G starting a price war, HUL had to react and it did by cutting the price of Rin by 30% to Rs 50 per Kg. ( Source ) .

HUL also reacted to the Tide Natural's price war in a ' Guerrilla Marketing ' way. It took P&G to the court regarding the Tide Natural's advertisement. The contention was that Tide Naturals was giving the impression to the consumers that it contained natural ingredients like Sandal. The court ordered P&G to modify the campaign and P&G had to admit that Tide Naturals did not contain any Natural ingredients. ( another example of a brand swaying over to unethical marketing...
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