Turning a market upside down: How Haier's new ad showcases USP of product

You could be forgiven for accusing the dyed-in-the-wool Indian of doing exactly the opposite of what is expected of him. He parks his vehicle in ‘no parking’ areas without batting an eyelid, he rides his motorcycle without a helmet and talks on his handphone while negotiating busy roads or while passing through ‘silence please’ zones. It is this penchant for the random that consumer durables brand Haier is looking to use as a tool for persuasion in its new television campaign.

The advertisement draws attention to the idiosyncrasies (“ulti aadat”) of the average Indian and exhorts them to follow the straight and narrow (“seedhe ki aadat daal lo”). Extending the thought, Haier says the consumer can keep standing upright while using its range of BMR or bottom mounted refrigerators. The range has been Haier’s flagship since entering India and its advertising leitmotif right from launch. 

“The current campaign was initiated to highlight the consumer benefits of Haier’s bottom mounted refrigerators and showcase the USP of the product,” says Eric Braganza, president, Haier Appliances India. The BMR, the company has held, is a product designed for the Indian household where the freezer, placed at the bottom, is the least used part of an average refrigerator. According to Braganza, the idea behind the design was to reduce the need for the woman of the house to bend constantly while accessing the crisper drawer, as this is the section which is accessed the most on a given day. “It reduces the need to bend by 90 per cent and also improves the visibility of items in the fridge as they can be seen more clearly compared to a traditional refrigerator which has the crisper at the bottom,” he adds. 

Though the company refuses to divulge the spend on the campaign, it emphasises the fact that the campaign aims to shift focus from the “product” to “us as a nation”. “These little upside down things that we Indians do are wrong but also quite endearing, because it’s just so us! The ad is a light take on our ‘ulti aadats’ — one of which includes bending down to get things from the fridge – that is being corrected by Haier BMR. Hence, the idea — “India, ab seedhe ki aadat daal lo!” says Raj Kamble, founder and COO, Famous Innovations, the marketing agency behind the new campaign.

Since the BMR range of products was launched in the market in 2016, all Haier campaigns have been based on the common narrative of making the consumers’ life easy. “The previous campaign was based on the narrative of ‘ulte ko seedha karna'’ which means reversing trends and making the unconventional conventional. That campaign was more educative in its approach — it introduced the idea that having the crisper section at the top of a refrigerator is the correct way (seedha) as compared to the traditional way of placing it at the bottom. The current campaign ‘Ab seedhe ki aadat dal lo’, is the next logical step, urging people to get used to change,” says Braganza. The campaign also focuses on how Indians have, over time, developed the habit of doing things their own way rather than following the herd. The BMR line-up is available in a range of colours and variants, at prices ranging from Rs31,050 to Rs40,150.

Speaking of the challenges in designing the campaign, Kamble says it was important to identify situations that resonated with everyone and at the same time, didn’t offend anyone. “From driving in the wrong lane to staying at home on the election day to bribing for the child’s admission, we had to make sure we chose the right situations so that the idea doesn’t get lost in translation,” he adds. 

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