Brand Nirma – How communication strategy changed with time for this detergent brand in India

The detergent brand that started out of Karsanbhai patel’s  100 Sqft workshop in 1969 is highly popular with the middle call homes in the country.
The waIn the recent past, Nirma appointed TapRoot India as its AoR, with the aim to revitalise its communication. The result was the ‘underwater’ commercial, which showed dancers moving with flowing fabric – a metaphor for clothes being washed in a bucket.

An important point in the ad was that it did not use the iconic Nirma jingle. This was a first since 1982, when the first Nirma ad was made.

Now, Nirma wanted its communication to get back to talking about the dirt tackling properties of the detergent, as well as use the legendary ‘Washing powder Nirma’ jingle, composed by Vedpal.

This task was given to ThoughtShop, the creative agency founded by Vipin Dhyani on a project basis. The brief to ThoughtShop was to create a clutter breaking commercial, but retain the values of Nirma. The brand was firm that it did not want to carry on with the montage film route; it needed a different take on dirt removal.

Dhyani, founder and creative director, ThoughtShop tells afaqs! that since he was expected to incorporate the jingle into the creative idea, he wanted to use it effectively.

The ad opens on the shot of a vehicle rolling into a puddle. A large amount of slush is about to fall onto a woman who is passing by. But just as the slush is ready to land on the woman, she sternly turns towards the puddle. Pointing her index finger at the slush, she says, “Nirma. Washing powder.”

The slush pauses, surprised at the woman’s words. She continues with the words of the jingle, in a firm tone and without any music, and the slush begins to feel threatened. Finally, she walks away untouched by the slush, which plops back into the puddle, much to the surprise of the onlookers.

The film has been shot by Amit Sharma of Chrome Pictures.

Without any change to the product itself, the TVC conveys the fact that dirt had better stay away from Nirma. Though Dhyani was skeptical about whether the big bosses at Nirma would like the firmness of tone in the jingle, he was pleasantly surprised when they were glad with the strict stand.

The special effects of the puddle were created by Joseph, who is a Singapore based VFX artist. The film was shot in Pushkar, Rajasthan and the puddle was added later.

The puddle was first created of a wire frame. However, in order to create the wire mesh, water balloons hanging from a rod were burst with nails and studied, so that the correct mesh could be made. Given that water doesn’t have shape or form, it was more difficult to animate water; and the process took about a month.

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