RB buys out Kohinoor; TTK out to Skore a point with the youth

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skore1Gone are the days where condoms were bought in a discreet manner. The usage of the terms like ‘raincoat’ have been replaced by the brand and their ‘colourful’ utilitarian identity. What earlier on television would be an ad about a conventional Indian couple walking away into the sunset – hand in hand – has been replaced by promiscuous, bold and defiant ads that aim to leave a sure shot memory of the brand behind. Skore Condoms was a new entrant in the market with a raunchy approach of ‘Good news for bad boys’ and ‘A lot to be won’ in its advertisements and positioning. Pitch finds out more about the parent company TTK’s plans, rationale and strategy.

“The brand is a new entrant in the condom industry and there have been a lot of changes in the industry. Youth is the major focus today and Skore is taking all those changes into consideration with respect to the changes,” claims Vishal Vyas, Senior Marketing Manager, TTK-LIG.

TTK-LIG was a joint venture between TTK and SSL International (the UK based company that makes Durex condoms) and was a manufacturer and brand owner of Durex and Kohinoor in India. In 2010, Reckitt Benckiser took over SSL globally and Kohinoor and Durex were purchased as a part of that takeover.  “In India per se, Reckitt Benckiser is handling both the brands, as TTK has broken the JV. TTK-LIG was a 50-50 per cent JV earlier and the other 50 per cent has been bought over by TTK. But, since SSL was already under RB, Kohinoor and Durex are being handled by RB in India,” adds Vyas.

As a result, TTK had to fish for a new brand and Skore filled in the need.

Vishal Vyas, Senior Marketing Manager, TTK-LIG

Vishal Vyas, Senior Marketing Manager, TTK-LIG

With the ever growing rubber industry in India what is the rationale behind adding another to the rat race?  Vyas says that the brand felt that there was a gap in the market, especially in the youth segment.  “We wanted to launch a brand that talks the language of the youth and TTK has expertise in the condom market since 1960s, manufacturing as well as marketing. Hence, with this brand, we are trying to fill the gap that is there is there in the youth segment,” he opines.

Targeting the youth in the 18 to 25 age group, at present Vyas claims that the brand is in launching mode which is happening through Print and TV. However, apart from ‘announcement’, being a youth brand, he feels that it is imperative for Skore to get acceptance. Hence, the crux of our promotion strategy is to be part of the youth culture through various youth engagement activities. Skore hosted a digital campaign called ‘Get a cover activity during world’s AIDS day’ which encouraged youth to write about the use of condoms. The brand also tied up with UTV BINDASS for Emotional Atyaachaar as one of the main sponsors as well as with MTV Roadies as associate sponsors. Vyas believes that one of the major medium for engagement today is digital and the brand has aggressive plans of various engagement in digital space post the launch phase.

After announcements on print and Facebook, Skore went in differently into the market creating excitement to help sales and distribution to various retail outlets. “We launched a print advertisement in each city on the day of the launch. Going by the name Skore and focusing on the youth, we went with announcements in the India-Pakistan cricket series. This was different as not many condom brands take that property. Hence, it gave us good visibility in the market with a good amount spent,” Vyas says.

cover-skoreAccording to a report by Global Industry Analysts, the global condoms market is expected to to reach 27 billion units and $6 billion by 2015. In lieu of this, Vyas states that the Indian condom industry is mainly social and commercial. The social segment is not growing and the activity now is in the commercial segment. In 2012, the commercial segment recorded a growth of eight per cent and being a new player, Skore wants to outgrow the market to meet its targeted market share.

The rationale behind choosing cricket and the television as a major chunk of Skore’s media mix as Vyas states is that the youth and that too men are drawn towards the sport. “Now we are filling and pushing the visibility and frequency through GECs, movie, news and music genres, because the male is not hooked to one slot. He keeps surfing all the time,” he opines.

Without divulging the plans for outdoors and on ground activations, Vyas reiterates Skore’s main USP is its target audience which is the youth. According to him, no other brand targets the youth specifically in this segment and Skore wants to be a brand that connects and talks to them. Quality wise, he says, “We were the guys who were manufacturing Kohinoor and Durex in India, and we had the first electronic testing facility. We are one of the best manufactures in the world. Quality wise, I don’t think anybody can beat us in the world and in India.”

Skore expects to woo its TG with its range as it wants its consumers to have a fashionable experience. Positioned at a mid-premium pricing, as of now, the brand has variants called  Shades, Assorted Colours, Exotic Flavours and claims to have coloured, flavoured and dotted together.

“We have an ambitious target in the condom industry, says Vyas, aiming at a 10 per cent market share in an year’s time. “The brand is looking to be noticed rather than worry about ROI. If we talk about SOE (Standard Operating Environment) we will be among the brands that are in the top rung.  Since we target the youth we have to be value for money,” he appends.

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