La la la la, la la la la. HUL brings back bikini-clad girl under a waterfall for Liril

14 Jul,2015

By Sagar Malviya


A bikini-clad girl dancing under a waterfall in the middle of a secluded, lush green valley, frolicking to a catchy tune would surely evoke nostalgia for most folks, except maybe those born in the 21st century.


Now, Hindustan Unilever has gone down memory lane to choose one of the hottest Indian ads ever to relaunch its soap brand Liril – more than a decade after it went off-air but perhaps, never forgotten. The Liril girl is back!


“These are the roots of Liril. They don’t change. And what we’re doing is paying homage to the Liril that we all know, bringing alive the very same elements that have been part of our popular culture through time,” said George Koshy, general manager for personal wash category at HUL.


The marble green soap brand made waves 40 years ago when model and Air India air-hostess Karen Lunel wore a swimsuit and danced under a cascade to the catchy jingle.


“It is an iconic ad in Indian memory and even newer people are interested in history if there is a back story as interesting as that of Liril. In a low-involvement category like soaps, Liril will stand out and surely gain share now,” said Alpana Parida, president at brand consultancy firm DY Works.


After 1985, the brand was defined by models Pooja Batra, Preity Zinta and Deepika Padukone — each seen playing in the water and swimming under the waterfall. But they were merely shadows of the original ad.


Also, it wasn’t the same after the 90s, when the lemon product was diluted with variants such as orange and icy blue, followed by a name change to Liril 2000 a decade ago.


So what does Alyque Padamsee, former CEO of Lintas and the creator of the ‘Liril girl’ have to say about the modern rendition of the ad?


“I feel vindicated because there are some appeals that are timeless. Freshness in a tropical country has an eternal appeal which is now being revived,” said Padamsee, adding that Liril promised a few minutes of freedom from the daily grind of the Indian housewife.


The new campaign, featuring Brazilian model Anabelle and created by Lowe, was launched on social media last week.


“‘Must have taken a lot of guts to go back’, was one particular response and that sums up our approach – stick to the core,” said Koshy.


While the image of the lime and lemony zest soap brand and its ad may not have faded away, its market share did — falling from a high of over 14 per cent three decades ago to less than 2 per cent now — in the Rs 16,000-crore soap category.


Source:The Economic Times

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