Kingtox, a product of King Chemical Corporation, launched their new campaign in March this year, with the tagline ‘Dimagh Ke Keray Ke Ilawa Har Keray Ko Maray’ and positioned their product as a multipurpose insect killer, a departure from the category norm where most insecticide brands advertise their product as mosquito killers only.
Kingtox was launched in the eighties and soon became the local market leader. However today, the brand’s market share hovers around 12% in a market that sells 40 million units worth of spray annually. International players Mortein and Finis/Baygon have taken the lead with a 39% and 37% share respectively. The remaining 12% is divided among other players and include Cobra and Copex.
According to Kamran Sarfraz, COO, Arey Wah, Kingtox’s creative agency, although the brand had a strong presence in the market and a reasonable sales volume, it did not have a persona of its own and had not been advertised much.
“Perceptions about a brand or the image are built upon what the brand communicates and what it stands for. The new communication has positioned Kingtox as an intelligent brand compared to others. The aim is to create a good amount of TOM, which we successfully achieved.”
For the launch communication, instead of opting for TV (penetration rate of over 70%), Kingtox chose to go for digital (penetration rate 18%), a medium not conventionally used for product launches. For example, Kingtox competitor Mortein have focused on aggressive campaigns on TV and BTL activities (sponsorship of public health initiatives aimed at reducing the prevalence of dengue in Pakistan), which has brought the brand a strong consumer loyalty.
Although Kingtox believe that the post-communication sales numbers speak for themselves regarding the effectiveness of the communication plan, some category analysts attribute Kingtox’s steady value share gains largely to the brand’s competitive pricing strategy and improved distribution channels.
However, S. Zaheeruddin Ahmed, CEO, iD Creations – Arey Wah’s creative partner for the campaign – (read his profile in the May-June 2019 edition of Aurora), believes that Kingtox does not need aggressive communication campaigns on expensive media as this can only keep a brand alive and provide a boost in sales for a limited period. In his opinion, it is the product's attributes that ensure sustained growth.
“Kingtox’s edge is the fact that it is a multipurpose insecticide that kills all insects and not just mosquitoes. Our objective is to drive home that attribute.”
Raza Naseem, Head of Marketing, Kingtox, adds that “the aim of the campaign was to act as a reminder about our years of experience in this category and the importance of using a multipurpose product.”
According to Ahmed, the decision to go for digital was also due to budget constraints.
“The budget was small, so we had to use it intelligently. As an agency, we believe in the power of content and instead of investing in expensive media, we focused on content. If you build strong content you get the media space for free. The huge number of people who shared this commercial on WhatsApp and Facebook proves the power of content.”
Ali adds that their belief in the idea and in the power of content was so strong that they had been pushing the client to go ahead with this concept for the last four years.
“We hit on this idea four years ago based on the product’s ability to kill all insects. However, one of our scriptwriters believed there was one insect it could not kill and this is how we came up with the tagline Dimagh Ke Keray Ke Ilawa Har Keray Ko Maray (kills all insects except the one in your head). The client however was rather reluctant about the controversial nature of the concept, so this year, we made them an offer they could not refuse: we offered to do it free of charge.”
Although Kingtox believe that the post-communication sales numbers speak for themselves regarding the effectiveness of the communication plan, some category analysts attribute Kingtox’s steady value share gains largely to the brand’s competitive pricing strategy and improved distribution channels. In their opinion, Mortein’s mega-budget campaigns could potentially make a dent in Kingtox’s sales.
Nevertheless, Naseem believes that Kingtox’s product attributes are strong enough to sustain a relatively more modest communication campaign. In his view, the challenge lies in the absence of any legislation aimed at regulating household insecticides.
“Such regulations will help improve standards and ensure that only high-quality, safe products are delivered to the market. As matters stand now, anyone can sell an insecticide and become a competitor.”
Despite the challenges, Kingtox believe that the opportunities for growth are significant, given the frequent outbreaks of insect-borne diseases and the benefits that come from using spray-based insecticides.