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McNROE launches seven men’s grooming products, earmarks Rs 20 crore for marketing

For new products under the Wild Stone Edge series, the company is doing away with its famous ‘Kunal’ protagonist in brand’s commercials

Tapping on the scope of growth in the men’s grooming category, McNROE, a company known for its fragrance brands Wild Stone and Secret Temptation, has launched the Wild Stone Edge Collection, a set of seven products such as perfume, deodorant, shower gel, face wash, hair gel, shaving foam and aftershave lotion.

McNROE will also launch a slew of products under its Secret Temptation brand in the future.

Bringing fragrance as the disruptor in the men’s grooming space

The male grooming industry is currently at Rs 16,800 crore in India and growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 15%, according to industry body ASSOCHAM’s report.

A lot of personal care brands have their extensions in the male grooming space such as Garnier Men, Gillette and Set Wet. There are a few online players also. For example, Beardo and The Man Company are making most of the growing men’s grooming category. Therefore, it was a natural extension for the company’s male-focused brand Wild Stone to extend its products in the category.

Along with the men’s grooming category growth, the competition is also stiff with the MNCs and online brands having an already existing brand loyalty in the category. But McNROE has its strategy set in place to beat the competition with its brand USP of fragrance.

Ankit Daga, the second generation of promoter Narendra K Daga, said, “Fragrance is a huge differentiator in the men’s grooming products and something that many have not looked at. You don’t want to be smelling like coconut oil and have an amazing deo and be lacquered with an aldehydic moisturiser that you bought in a pink bottle. There are no brands in the category that talk about the fragrance. Functionally we will deliver other benefits, but the fragrance is the disruptor that we will bring to the table.”

Sushant Panda, Advisor at McNROE, added, “The men’s grooming category has been doing strong for the last 4-5 odd years. Most of the big men grooming brands have their origin in women’s grooming and they have chosen to extend their grooming heritage to men’s. The opportunity for us is to talk to the man directly.”

Why did the brand decide not to use its famous ‘Kunal’ in the ad campaign this time?

The company has decided to launch a series of ad films to introduce the products in the market. The ad films are titled, #JustFriendsNoMore, which revolves around a young boy-girl who start off as childhood friends and stay #JustFriends until the girl starts getting attracted to the boy, with a change in his personality and looks – as he starts using Wild Stone Edge, and the campaign continues to hold the original tagline ‘Log to notice karenge’.

The latest Wild Stone Edge film:

The irony is that the brand has decided to move away from its iconic ‘Kunal’ storyline, which brought the spark back into the brand a few years ago. One would not get to see the ‘Kunal’ character in the upcoming brand films as the brand wanted to look further young.

Daga said, “It’s always challenging to come on the back of the very successful campaign. Letting go off Kunal was a challenge for me. Kunal was a brand asset that we created and to persuade the management to let it go off was difficult. For me to make them unlearn is a challenge.”

Panda added, “The purpose was to make the brand look younger and that is why we brought in Kunal earlier and are now letting him go. The product essentially revolves around a college guy. We have designed the fragrance in such a fashion that it is much more modern, peppy, mild, light and yet stays for a longer time.”

The Kunal ads:

Marketing strategy for the launch

The brand will spend around Rs 18-20 crore on the marketing of the products and will focus more on TV and then digital. The target audience for the brand are the youngsters. While targeting youngsters, most of the brands tend to focus on the digital medium, but for McNROE, TV will play the lead in their media strategy.

Panda said, “While the digital medium does add value to a younger person’s life, the largest reach still comes from the TV. Although the kind of programmes one takes on TV, changes. TV still delivers numbers in a fantastic manner. We are using TV for reach and conversations will happen through digital.”

The brand is also for the first time working with Facebook directly to drive engagement. “We are trying to co-create content and at the same time get people to talk about the brand more through content and different mechanisms they have overall,” said Daga.

The brand is also open for content partnerships if they are approached with the right scripts, which can help them fetch eyeballs among the consumers.

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