Prabhakar Mundkur: Will Kyoorius upstage the Abbys as an award show?

03 May,2018

By Prabhakar Mundkur


The Kyoorius Awards have been steadily gaining steam over the years.  Abbys on the other hand has been under a cloud the last many years for plagiarism, scam ads created only for the awards, and a boycott from several agencies that seem to grow year after year.


Most award shows these days position themselves both as a learning/knowledge forum and an awards night to celebrate the and acknowledge the winners.  Zee Melt, the two-dayprogramme on May 30-31 that precedes the KyooriusAwards night on June 1, promises some of the world’s best speakers from Fernando Machado, Head of Brand Marketing, Burger King to Chuck Porter, Chairman CP+B demonstrating that there will be a lot of knowledge sharing at the event.   But there has been an indifferent demand for these knowledge sessions thus far. Is it our new-found and emergingnationalism that makes us feel superior to everybody else in the world, and our attitude of ‘what do we have to learn from them’? Followed by the oft repeated chorus ‘India is different’.  Or are people just tired of listening to experts on advertising and marketing because there are too many of them, one is not sure.


The jury is selected together with the One Club for Creativity and has the top creatives from across the world.The Kyoorius awards differ from the Abbys in that instead of awarding gold, silver and bronze all winners get a Blue Elephant.


They jury base their decisions on three criteria:

– An original and inspiring idea

– Well executed

– Relevant to its extent


The non-profit objective of Kyoorius certainly gives it a ‘halo’ over other awards.  It does seem like they are doing something right.


RoohAfza goes Retro


RoohAfza was launched in 1906, by Hakkem Hafiz Abdul Majeed in Ghaziabad. But if you think this is a really old summer drink have a second guess.  Pepsi was launched at least 8 years before RoohAfza in 1898.  And while Pepsi has kept up the challenge of staying contemporary forover a 100 years, Roof Afza seems quite content on revealing its age.  A few years ago, the brand tried to modernize and stay relevant but their latest commercial clearly takes them back into their own past.



And if the imagery is old fashioned it is supported by the jingle which has lyrics set to the tune of the 1956 classic YehDil Hai Mushkil clearly taking Roof Afzafirmly into the past.


If their source of business is carbonated drinks the brand has a challenge to appeal to the youth of this country with its old-fashioned imagery.


Nirma – Still the challenger brand but in a new category

The debate on brand extensions and whether it will be a failure or success has engaged marketers and academics alike for the last many decades.  The traditional Western model of brand extension theory we all know does not hold. After all which theorist would have said that a shipbuilding brand would produce the one of  world’s most popular car brands in Hyundai.  Or that a well-known consumer durables like LG could also produce a shampoo successfully?

When Harley Davidson launched apparel and ornaments  the company may have lost focus. In the 1990s, it extended the brand too far. It introduced products like wine coolers, aftershave and perfumes. I guess it’s important to understand that every brand has its stretch limit, even a great cult brand like Harley. For example Harley Davidson found its stretch limit when it introduced a perfume.  For most people the only smells associated with the  Harley brand were sweat and petrol, so I am not surprised the Harley perfume failed.

Nirma on the other hand, did the wise thing when they entered the cement category.  They knew they could not stretch the Nirma brand indefinitely to cement, which is why they wisely entered with a new company brand  called Nuvocon. In 2016, the Nirma Group acquired the assets of Lafarge, giving them access to the use of their two brand names Duraguard and Concreto.  This year Nuvoco has got ambitious by sponsoring the Royal Challengers Bangalore team for the current IPL.

Will Nuvoco be able to dislodge the top brands in the cement category like ACC, Ambuja, Binani, Birla and Ultra Tech?  Well, the Nirma group is used to proving themselves as a challenger brand so they might well repeat their earlier success now in the cement category.



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