Shoe polishes face the threat of being forgotten on the shelf and soon to being forgotten as a category altogether. This is the premise of the ads. The first film has a school girl highlight how polishing shoes stands in for values such as being responsible and disciplined. The second ad has a father-son bantering over the need to look one’s best and going out in polished shoes.
“Our endeavour is to increase the importance of polishing shoes in the consumer’s life especially amongst children and office goers,” said Aneja.
The last campaign was in 2006 for the completion of 100 years of Cherry Blossom shoe polish, which was launched in 1906 in the UK. The ‘100 shining years’ campaign was based on the Charlie Chaplin theme.
The brand is not only looking to get people to go back to the old ‘polish and shine’ routine, but is also hoping to upstage competitor Kiwi that has upped its presence in the retail stores significantly in recent years.
The ads this time round are more purpose driven and the intention is to make it more relatable. Harish Bijoor, founder-CEO Bijoor Consults said that there are two ways of advertising, functional and emotional. “Normally brands tend to yo-yo between these two depending on the need. In the case of Cherry Blossom, it is a basic shoe polish. But after having built the brand, the next step is to make it the brand of choice. What the brand now does is it look at the functionality of really well polished shoes and whether one can make shoe polishing a desired activity.”
Few dispute the leadership status of Cherry Blossom in the market. One of its rivals said that there are very few brands that have survived with the same leadership for 100-plus years and maintained a near-generic recall in the market. It is critical therefore that the brand not just tackle competition with a message proclaiming to be better, or older, but take a stand that urges people to think Cherry Blossom every time they think of stepping out of home.
“We have a loyal set of customers who would reach out for our brand irrespective of any other options available. With the new campaign, our aim is more to reach out to a wider audience,” said Aneja.