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Remember the old Liril ad?
September 1, 2006
Pic: RK’s Scrapbook
The hottest ad in the early 80’s used to be of the LIRIL girl drenched under the falls wearing only bikini. The ad was all about waterfalls, abundant water and the girl splashing about in total abandon singing “la…la la la laaa..”. The first liril ad was a masterpiece of its own calibre, a product of Alyque Padamsee’s imagination. It was shot in Kodaikanal at a waterfall a little beyond Guna caves.
Karen Lunel , the first Liril girl reigned for a long time and was succeeded by Anoosha Dalal and many more including the latest Preity Zinta . But even though the scenes, girls and the choreography changed, a part of the original music was still retained.
The Liril Girl is one of the brand’s strongest advertising properties. Try as they might HLL and Lowe have not been able to move the Liril girl from her position. As a result, a certain amount of drudgery began to set into the ads. Meanwhile the market was heading towards niche segmentations where products were positioned in consumer’s mind in such a way so as to offer particular benefit. Eg. Pears – The Gentle soap . Liril’s idea of ’freedom from usual routine’ failed to create an idea of freedom as against the ads of competitors that ideated well to the single benefit being offered to the consumer. At this point, Liril weathered rough waters with rejuvenated ads addressed to the new generation woman living a fast paced career oriented life thus recovering the much of lost market share. Liril’s growth was sparked by the new addition – Liril Icy Cool Mint. Ice Try Karoge? This new variant refreshed the 25 year old brand’s equity of freshness and exuberance of youth.
Liril’s bold communication is well known even till date, 25 years after its birth. It’s a symbol of juvenile exuberance and an expression of freedom and freshness. Its sonic branding works wonders on consumer’s brain cells and is tantamount to the graphic, logo and line!
Just the sound of jingle transcends a whole new world of Liril freshness freedom.
How did they succeed in pulling out such an innovative concept? At least 30 years ago, a team of managers appointed by Jagdish Chopra , the then MD of HLL, to create freshness soap in premium price segment attempted a blue soap that promised fresh mountain breeze. A brainstorming session steered by the late marketing guru Shunu Sen was held to find out what freshness meant: like walking barefoot on marble, being sprayed with a jet of water, like icy blue and the like, they came up with icy blue. While test marketing in Nashik and Indore, the blue Liril failed and the idea had to be shelved. So, they took the help of a young, British marketing head and created a green marble soap. It was a regular lime soap owned by HLL.
The team’s aim was to get into households with a bang. Extensive research conducted on young women and housewives helped them gain an interesting insight; it was found that an average Indian woman who lived with her husband’s family had to undergo a lot of pressures in her daily life due to her responsibilities towards her family and the household. Apparently the only time she had for herself was the 10-15 minutes that she was in the shower.
This thought provoked the Liril advertisement created by Neena Merchant , with the help of Alyque Padamsee , the then Director of Lintas featuring a green swimsuit clad girl, frolicking enthusiastically under a waterfall. The moment of liberation that Liril provided was well accepted by the women of India and not only the ad became popular; Liril became premium soap overnight. The brand became a market leader in the category of ’premium freshness soaps’ within a year of its launch.
From ’Come Alive with Freshness’ to ’Ice Try Karoge?’ Liril has come a long way, grown as a brand and found a space for itself in the consumer’s mind.…...

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