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LUX Comes Back

The latest ad on the Indian television screen will be the hot and sizzling Ash and Abhishek one for LUX. With this star couple, Lux has come back in style. World over for almost a century, Lux –  the beauty soap from the Unilevers have been positioning with the ‘Brings Out the Star in You’ advertisement campaign.

Lux toilet soap was introduced as bathroom soap in the US in 1925 and in the UK in 1928 as a brand extension of Lux soap flakes. Subsequently Lux soap has been marketed in several forms, including handwash, shower gel and cream bath soap.

Lux soap was launched in India in 1929. The very first advertisement in 1929 featured Leela Chitnis as its brand ambassador. It was branded in India as “the beauty soap of film stars’.

Vintage Ad for Lux

Since the 1930s, many well-known Hollywood actresses have marketed the soap to women as a beauty enhancer. Advertisements have featured Dorothy Lamour, Joan Crawford, Laurette Luez, Judy Garland, Cheryl Ladd, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Taylor, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rachel Weisz, Anne Hathaway, and Marilyn Monroe, among others. The first male to star in a Lux advertisement was Hollywood actor Paul Newman.

As of June 2009 Lux is sold in over 100 countries. (this information is found on the Unilever website and Wikipedia).

Now the question that arises in my mind is why this now? The personal care products of HUL are facing heavy competition from P&G, ITC and many regional brands as well. In such a scenario should it not leverage on its original LUX theme? The couple’s ad seems irrelevant unless the company plans to change its positioning strategy but then again such a thought doesn’t seem to be communicated in the advertisement. Yes! It is a good ad. But will that make me go down to the supermarket to buy the product??

For Reference also read this article on the Most common Mistakes Brand Managers make.

2 Responses to LUX Comes Back

  1. Ramkrishnan Reply

    November 3, 2009 at 1:43 am

    Well pointed out Lata. I work with an Ad agency in Mumbai, and have previously worked with HUL products. During an informal discussion at the office we discussed on a similar point.

    Unless Lux was looking to re-position the brand into Men’s bathing accessory, there wasnt any compelling factor to have Abhishek in the ad. Ofcourse it sets the ad apart from other competitors, but im not quite sure about what message they are sending out through Abhishek?

    My random guess would be to woo Abhishek’s female fans. Will it be worth it?

  2. Meheer Thakare Reply

    November 8, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Ramkrishnan,

    HUL has always been a aggresive advertiser. During the slowdown, HUL was arguably the highest advertising spender in the FMCG market of India.

    In my opinion, as the slow times are fast converting, this ad is a mere crowd attractor to maximise the brand exposure rather than being a fiercely focussed targetted campaign.

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