Kent goofed up! Here are the lessons in positioning we can learn.
Since this lockdown started, we have all understood the need for certain household appliances that we would like to buy to be better prepared. I am sure a dough maker is one of them, especially if you have a family of 4 or more.
So, this was a great time for Kent to advertise this product. However, the agency truly messed up the positioning for the launch and received a lot of backlash on social media. It was a lost opportunity IMO, because there is surely a need for this appliance.
What could the agency have done differently?
1. Identify the correct insight
From this ad, one can make out that there was little time spent on understanding the true benefit of having the dough maker at home. What was the problem it was going to solve for the customer? Was it an issue of safety from maids or of personal convenience? The agency got this horribly wrong. Because the key insight is that most people are finding it difficult during lockdown to make dough themselves. It is a tedious exercise and if you had to do it thrice a day for 4-6 people, it is very inconvenient and annoying. Especially if you are also making all meals yourself plus cleaning after. So the right insight would have surely addressed the issue. Current insight of “safety from maids” is irrelevant, insensitive and also not specific to a dough maker in any way.
2. Identify the correct audience
Now, this dough maker is a 10,000/- product. Which costs less than a good microwave or even the Kent RO water purifier in our homes. Therefore, it is something that an upper middle class or even a middle class family can afford as a necessary item after their lockdown experience. Anyone with an income of 15-50lacs p.a. perhaps. This TG most probably had part-time help (in normal time) who has either gone back home to their village or is not allowed inside the buildings to come work due to the lockdown. Therefore, the product could have urged the customers to make “life easier” for themselves and even for the maids when they return. This product is not likely to be bought by the Upper class because they have house help living with them throughout this lockdown. So, in such a situation, the messaging is not really addressing the right audience either.
3. Identify the correct campaign thought
Once the insight and TG is in place, the actual story-telling and positioning comes into picture. And brands need to factor in the unusual times we live in as well. So, how do you communicate the true benefits of a product during a crisis? What is the best way to encourage more people to buy this item during a slowdown? How to capitalize on its features to show true value in the customer’s life? IMO, the messaging Kent used was very narrow and controversial. It was discriminatory to some and unrelateable to others. This typically happens when the agency is thinking tactically and not strategically. But when brands are choosing to advertise during a pandemic, sensitivity is important and a long term view is too. Gimmicks and divisive ideas have no room at a time like this. I would have just suggested a true to the product positioning that says…
“GIVE YOUR HANDS A BREAK”
“LET US MAKE LIFE A LITTLE EASIER FOR YOU”
“YOU DECIDE THE RECIPE. WE’LL DO THE HARD WORK”
There are so many positive ways to sell this product. The options are endless. But it was a lost opportunity and the agency and client are both to blame. Kent did apologize officially and removed the ad from their Instagram page.
Advertising can play a key role in reducing fear and creating a hopeful environment for all during #covid19. And brands that show that character will build true value with their target audience. Many of us are craving positive content and also supporting our house help with paid leaves. So the world needs more empathy and inclusive campaigns at a time like this.