Monday, June 30, 2008

Guerilla warfare!


A term made famous by the duo of Al Ries and Jack Trout, guerilla warfare signifies a tactic that can be quite beneficially used in advertisements by new players entering the market. Under this, if you really are offering a better deal, it’s best to attack the leader headlong. And the louder you are, the better!

When Whisper entered the market, it took its competitor Carefree (J&J) headlong in true guerilla style by vociferously showing how it was qualitatively superior to the market leader – and all this without once naming the product. “Expensive BAS***DS!” was the advertisement that the budget airline Ryanair came out with, indicating in not so subtle a way how BA – that is, British Airways – was more expensive than Ryanair. British Airways did try to take them to court, but the judge concluded that the average consumer would not see the price comparison as misleading, and in substance the advertisement was true! So not only did Ryanair win the case, they won a lot of customers too.

When Captain Cook first launched its salt in India, it made an extremely loud reference to Tata Salt by showing a package that looked exactly like the Tata product. The ad showed how Captain Cook was better than the competitor’s salt because it was the only “free flowing salt.” This was an attribute that Tata Salt lacked, and Captain Cook made its mark in the marketplace by highlighting this aspect.

At the guerilla extreme, Duracell showed two Bunnies racing in its commercial, where the bunny powered by Duracell battery won the race hands down, while the other bunny with a black battery lost the race. The voice-over at the end of the commercial dramatically stated, “While Duracell Alkaline keeps on running, Eveready Super Heavy Duty can’t keep up... With up to three times more power, Duracell always beats Eveready Super Heavy Duty.” How much further overt could one get? This Eveready damning ad ran on Australian TV; and even though Eveready sued Duracell, it was of no use since the court concluded that the ad was not showing anything that was untruthful.

Copyright © : Rajita Chaudhuri and Planman Media.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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