July 23, 2010, people on Mumbai roads had their curiosity aroused with billboards all around mentioning, “A Mystery Shampoo!! 80% women say is better than anything else.’ It evidently was P&G’s buzz creation to launch the new version of Pantene on August 1, 2010. But HUL quickly turned the tables around. They came out with a parallel billboard campaign on July 28 splashing, “There is no mystery. Dove is the No.1 shampoo.” HUL’s timing ensured a big brand recall loss for P&G. Rahul Mathew, Executive Creative Director, McCan Erickson, says, “Ogilvy was smart enough to seize the opportunity. Full credit to them for getting the commercial on air in such a short span of time.” This is the quickest advertising turnaround in Ogilvy’s history. This is the first instance of ambient advertising in India where a mystery campaign has been usurped by such rapid aggression. But then, is liking the ad equivalent to liking the shampoo? Would Dove in reality outbeat the new Pantene in hard market sales figures? That’s another story altogether...

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

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

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