Jaquar water and light show

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Jaquar, the well-known brand of bathroom fittings, entered the lighting segment in 2016.

That year, the brand launched its first advertising campaign for the lightings division. I couldn’t find the agency behind this ad, but suffice to say, this is a by-the-numbers communication.

It’s a simple ad that literally showcases assorted lighting products in a plain way.

Probably realizing that they need to do a better job of launching the lighting products separately so that people truly get it that THE Jaquar now has lighting products too, the brand did a full-fledged, big-budget (meaning: celebrity) launch in 2017.

The launch, by Crescent Communication, led by Deepika Padukone, was a glamorous affair. The launch film had Deepika literally catching the light from nature (the final line says, ‘Inspired by the sun, moon, and stars’!) and bringing it inside an opulent home with enough gold (or gold-colored things) around to scream ‘premium’ (in line with Jaquar’s existing image in the bath fittings segment).

If I remember right, there was considerable print and outdoor push too, during this phase.

The next year, there was a follow-up to the launch, one that had some semblance of a story. This too featured Deepika and a start that resembled a classic ghost movie plot involving an unseen child running persistently away from Deepika’s vision. There is no one else around and the lights start glowing on their own as she moves around the house. (in the movie, you know by now not to enter the house and just exit as soon as possible)

But all’s well that ends well, of course.

The next ad campaign was in end-2020, during the pandemic high and that year’s IPL. But this was fairly functional since it focused on just one product – Jaquar Prima LED bulb + a free Nippo battery. It was clearly a sales-led campaign and the narrative (by Social Beat) was transactional, straight-to-the-point predictable, and eminently forgettable.

Now, for the 2022 IPL, it seems Jaquar has finally realized that its brand perception and imagery is completely etched on the bath fittings range and that it needs to be something specific to shake up that perception to also include lighting.

All this while, the brand was simply informing people that they are into lighting too. But this was being done without utilizing the brand’s tremendous recall in the bath fittings segment. It almost seemed like the brand was trying to win people afresh without capitalizing on the recognition built so far as a brand name, though in a different segment.

But the new campaign, launched for the IPL this year, by the agency Enormous, seems bang on target!

It is humorous and revels in the fact that Jaquar is a well-known bath fittings brand. And it informs that Jaquar also has an extensive lighting range, now.

But most importantly, the narrative plays with our current predominant perception of the brand. If you do a name-based association, most people would tell you that Jaquar is a bath fittings brand. And that’s not something to be ignored just because they are now advertising the lighting division.

The narrative takes that perception by the horns and mines good-natured humor out of it. In a way, we, the audience, are the ones thinking what the person in the ads is thinking. The very-advertising exaggeration amplifies our thinking to generate mirth. And then the penny drops, when a character (responsible for the fitting) realizes what may be going on in our mind, and offers clarity.

Now, after watching these ads, you simply cannot forget that Jaquar is also into lighting products whether you were aware of it or not prior to this campaign!

In terms of the functional benefits, the 3 ads cover 3 kinds of use-cases: home lighting, office lighting, and outdoor lighting! But the narrative device remains the same, and it seems funny each time since this is the kind of terrific visual gag that can evoke laughter and curiosity effortlessly.

Given that Jaquar has taken this route of embracing the fact that they are better known as a bath fitting brand while advertising the lighting range, after launching the latter 6 years ago, I assume that market research would have informed the agency/brand about the predominant perception the brand holds (beyond sales and distribution-led push for lighting products at the retail level). It’s great to see the brand and the agency using that perception as an advantage for the first time in the life of the lighting division instead of thinking like two different silos that work independently with separate budgets. Of course, independent thinking and budgets could still work on transactional campaigns (like the 2020 IPL ad), but there is an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed: Jaquar’s primary perception in the market.

That seems to have been brilliantly addressed finally, in this new campaign.

Kudos to the brand, and congrats to Enormous for pulling this off!

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