Competitive Depositioning: Brands attempt to change buyers’ beliefs about the attributes of a competitor’s product.
The attempt may be beneficial when buyers generally have an inflated perception of the quality of a competitor’s product. It also helps brands to get recognized among customers. Such a tactic has a small lifetime. Sebamed had used a similar tactic.
Sebamed India, in an advertising campaign for its cleansing bar ‘Seba Med,’ had targeted HUL brands such as Pears, Lux, Rin, Santoor, and Dove by stating that the pH level of its soap lower than that of the popular HUL soaps. It claimed that other popular soaps have a pH value of 10—similar to washing soap Rin.
Sebamed ads were shared on YouTube, newspapers, and Twitter. “Jab soap ka pH ho 10, toh bas karo bas, Choose the expert care of pH 5.5 with Sebamed Cleansing Bar”. #ScienceKiSuno
Use of soap with high pH causes an increase in skin pH, which causes an increase in dehydrative effect, irritability, and alteration in bacterial flora. HUL responded to Sebamed’s claim with an advertisement that Dove is trusted by dermatologists and stated, ‘HUL brands are best-in-class & deliver fully on the promises. Backed by strong tech, clinical evidence & decades of expert and consumer-backed testing, strong brand loyalty. We will take suitable action as we deem fit’. HUL also registered a complaint against Sebamed with Bombay High Court. Bench ruled in favour of HUL and as a result Sebamed removed all comparison ad posts from all social media sites.
Sebamed’s strategy behind taking on an FMCG giant seems to be one of shock and awe meant to attract attention and, as a new player in the soap category, has achieved a quick spike of interest and inquiry. With this move, Sebamed has been noticed and heard. They have got the market leader to react. What brand strategy will Sebamed use next?#
Can Sebamed’s ad impact sales of HUL’s soap brand Dove?