Revamped Close Up makes a splash across media

MUMBAI: We've heard the Close Up ad jingle - 'Kya aap Close Up karte hai?' for a while now. The latest on that front is the slightly different version of the same - 'Kya aap "naya" Close Up Karte Hai?' And that's not where it ends. Apart from a new television commercial (TVC) to relaunch the Close Up red gel toothpaste, Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) is also looking at a holistic multi media campaign for which innovation will be the buzz word.

The revamped Close Up toothpaste pack

For starters, if one logged on to the Yahoo! India, Sify or Indiatimes portals yesterday (4 June), one found a stunning in-your-face red page branded by the new Close Up. The home page of these three websites were totally branded by the splashy new Close Up.


The new revamped Close Up

Red's the colour- Jennifer Garner in AXN's Alias

If that was not enough, Close Up has also tied up with AXN's Alias. The connection: Just like the protagonist in Alias - Jennifer Garner - changes her identity time and again to tackle different situations, the tie up with it signifies that Close Up too has changed now and is in a brand new avtaar! AXN assistant VP marketing and sales Rohit Bhandari said, "The basic essence of branding Close Up with Alias was to bring out the element of change that Close Up has gone through and also to match the change of identities that Garner goes through in Alias."

Mindshare Fulcrum (the media planning and buying agency for HLL) business group head Atit Mehta said, "There was no thematic communication for the Close Up brand in 2003. Then in January this year, we came out with the new ad for Close Up. Now we have relaunched the brand and the entire packaging has changed. The communication we wanted to send out is that if Close Up can change... anything in the world can change."

The agency brainstormed on how to communicate the change Close Up had undergone. Channels and programmes were identified and a whole lot of activities are in the pipeline similar to one with AXN. Mehta refused to provide any clue to what was in store though. Talking about the tie ups with the portals he said, "We have made the entire Yahoo! India, Indiatimes and Sify sites red in colour thereby communicating that Close Up can change your world. We also have brand placement in a Tamil movie Madura which will release in the first week of July."

The Yahoo! India homepage branded by Close Up on 4 June

On Yahoo! India, the Close Up campaign appeared for a day on 4 June and will be back again next week on 7th, 9th and 11th June. Apart from branding of the entire site for a day, there will be HTML banners on all three websites mentioned earlier.

One question that immediately comes to mind is how did the three sites agree to such "brand takeover". Isn't the mother brand sacrosanct? To this Yahoo! India account manager Rishi Behal said, "Ours is a media platform and this in-your-face ad conforms to our advertising guidelines. It is out of the ordinary and doesn't infringe on the user experience." Talking about how the deal came about, Behal said, "Close Up was relaunching and there was an opportunity to do something different. We are open to innovations."

Speaking on the same, - interactive services president VV Kannan said, "We did a closed group research in various stages of the concepts and at no stage was there a feeling of dilution of mother brand. Internet is probably the only medium with the fastest turn around time in terms of break through innovations. Sify has always pioneered the same and it has never affected the popularity of the site."

It was sheer coincidence that Sify's home page design change coincided with that of the Close Up brand relaunch. "Also we were looking for that breakthrough idea to deliver that 100 per cent impact that will make Net browsers sit up and take notice and register the brand recall. Internet being an interactive medium gives you the leverage and the choices to experiment. Our users feedback has been positive so far," added Kannan. Through this innovation, Sify's endeavour was to give the client the highest RoI by delivering the brand message and at the same time not disappoint Sify users.

"One of the breakthrough innovations that we did for Axe deodorant (which again is a HLL brand) was a watermark on the home page of Sify," said Kannan.

Coming back to Close Up; radio as a potential medium has not been left out. Mehta said, "We have spot buys on various radio broadcasters like Go 92.5 FM, Radio Mirchi, Radio City and Amar FM in Kolkatta. In fact, Go 92.5 has incorporated the Close Up jingle for their own promos for the Good Morning Mumbai show with RJs Jaggu and Tarana." The jingle goes something like this, 'Kya aap Go sunte hai?'

Close Up sure has changed and in the process is changing a few others too! Watch out then, for 11 June...

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