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Fevicol: A marketing analysis


Fevicol is one of the very most iconic brands in the Indian market. The uniqueness of its success report promises a fascinating case study of not only brand setting but also of advertising marketing communications, whether it is in the printing or electronic multimedia. Fevicol is possessed by Pidilite which has been processing it since 1959. The adhesive brand, which is immediately identifiable to many Indians, has been so popular that this has turned into a area of the popular culture. Very much so that it is now synonymous for any sort of adhesives and people use the term "fevicol" to point adhesive regardless of the real brand. It has to be agreed that Fevicol has already reached this stage by offering quality products continuously over five generations. However the credit for its success also would go to the impressive, award winning advertisements of fevicol which have been immensely popular amonst the masses. In such a brief study, an effort is being made to explore the branding procedure for fevicol in the Indian market through an research of the advertising created by it.

The Indian advertising industry has had a unique background owing to its unique socio financial and political set up. However, after the globalization process was started in the early 90's, it is becoming more in sync using its global counterparts. The advertising industry in India grew at 17% in the year 2008 despite recessionary influences in other areas of the world (Nair, 2008). The Rs20, 717 Crore or roughly $4. 5 billion industry has been growing at an instant rate within the last decade and it features local advertisement businesses as well as Indian subsidiaries of global advertising giants like Hindustan Thompson Associates (HTA), the Indian arm of J Walter Thomson, also Ogilvy & Mather (O&M), Leo Burnett and Lowe Lintas (Austin, 2001).

While advertising used to be very simplistic in India till a decade ago, the global trends are actually fast finding up. The audience is more advanced and demanding now that they were ever before. They not only be prepared to get useful information, but also want to get amused through the ads since they are spending their treasured time observing them (Douglas & Craig, 2001). But at the same time there are linguistic, ethnic and traditional principles and expectations that drive the buying decisions in India (Pandya, 1977). So, "Honesty" can be considered a prerequisite for providing a product in India. The there should be a constant and credible advertising work all the time (Wells, 1996). Recall value as well as persuasion are important differentiators in the Indian market (Kotler et al. , 2008).

International advertising quite simply includes dissemination of commercial information to the prospective viewers in multiple market segments. But these goal audiences differ from country to country based on the cultural influences that dictate that they perceive certain symbols, interpret certain stimuli and react to humorous or mental appeals (Chandra, Griffith & Ryans, 2002). India is also a unique culture which has a very different taste from the traditional western audience and despite a larger exposure to foreign marketing in recent ages these profound rooted cultural distinctions will not vanish in the near future.

Asian cultures tend to be considered "high context" cultures where in fact the information presented is really as important as the information embedded (Hofstede, 2001). People here are more appealed by impressive images and information gathering often involves personal contacts including friends, neighbors and family. In such ethnicities, selective reinforcement of various social tasks or values will help in molding the cognitions as well as behaviour that dictate your choice make process in the marketplace. Very often the symbols and ideals of multi countrywide corporations are created based on the cultural norms of european civilization and hence they neglect to hold more traditional societies (Sehgal, 2000).

The international brands have a tendency to standardize the marketing communications all over the world for his or her convenience. It means that they can use the same marketing communications worldwide thus saving their expenses. But it is not a very simple process and local adaptation is necessary many a times to draw in the native people in a variety of geographically and ethnically diverse markets. Studies show that different creative areas of adverts get standardized or adapted at an alternative rate. For instance, wording and voiceovers are quickly adapted, while aesthetic elements are standardized (Mazzarella, 2003). But so far as the Indian market is concerned, it's been suggested that more adaptation would be helpful in the forex market. In fact, new entrants can take and standardized approaches by targeting the top socio economic mounting brackets which are more familiar with western ideas and are comfortable with that too (Chandra, Griffith & Ryans, 2002). But also for the lower income segments and distant geographies in rural areas, more localized solutions are needed.

Localized Marketing communications:

India is one of the marketplaces that demand extreme localization yet can not be ignored because of the sheer size and opportunity it provides. In a survey conducted through the 90's, Business Today attained certain characteristics that are expected from advertising in India. Basically they are expected to provoke either humor or surprise by creative imagination and by drawing unexpected organizations. But one should be careful that while people prefer to be astonished, which should come through the storyline in ad rather than through the merchandise itself. Moreover, they should give delivery to aspirations within consumers (Granstrom & Henriksson, 2000). Actually, local brands like Fevicol have chosen these trends previously and shown the correct way by their impressive advertisements. A few of these adverts will be analyzed at length in the next section.

It is also noteworthy that the surroundings is quickly changing in India. Till the 80's Television was not very prevalent in India. Also, it only experienced one state handled TV route. So all the marketers possessed to do was to help make the product visible. However now, with the explosion of satellite channels, there needs to be something extra in these advertisements to keep people glued (Bullis & Douglas, 1997). So, advertising has become a very powerful and expensive activity that will require significant amounts of customization also to own any semblance of success in a sophisticated and demanding market.


The basic purpose of this research is to comprehend the branding process of fevicol by learning its advertising communications, basically printing and television advertisements. Basic principles of content analysis have been found in this study. Content analysis can be explained as a research technique that helps to make valid reasonable inferences from any meaningful matter like images or texts, to the contexts of its use (Krippendorff, 2004). One or two popular fevicol advertising have been handpicked for this research that generally cover the overall image of Fevicol in the Indian market and they have been examined using standard factors like audio and aesthetic devices, commercial firmness, music and dancing, commercial content, information content, appeals, assurances and advertising propositions. Let us first describe these variables before moving forward,

Auditory Devices

These are simply the rhymes, slogans, or taglines that are catchy and easy to remember in order to capture general public attention. An excellent background score also boosts the impact. Kind of music depends on the type of products being publicized and also on the marketplace where it is working (Krippendorff, 2004). When such punch lines get popular, people start using them in daily conversation plus they end up being the part of popular culture and the merchandise also benefits from it.

Visual Devices

Visuals can be of many types. With regards to the product for sale, theme of the advertisement and cultural aspects, they can depict beauty or ugliness. Stunning scenic visuals can also have a deep effect on the people. Nowadays, computer images and animations are trusted to produce visuals which could have been normally impossible to build (Krippendorff, 2004). It especially works for hi-tech products showing the technical efficiency. Also, at times taglines appear aesthetically in the commercials to help people remember it easier.

Selling Propositions

Selling propositions will be the promises made through the merchandise. It depends on the actual purpose of that product (Holsti, 1969). It could be product performance (e. g. mileage of a car), subjective benefits associated with owning the merchandise (e. g. become more successful by putting on a certain top quality suite), comfort (e. g. air conditioning equipment), safe practices (e. g. electric switches) or moral appeals (e. g. inexperienced products like energy saving light bulbs).

Tone or Atmosphere of the Commercial

It basically depicts what certain characteristic of real human psyche has been targeted to elicit certain reactions. For example, using lovable kids to appeal the softer aspect of the buyer works perfectly at times especially for household items. On the other hand, hard selling with a lot of relevant information can also work for certain products like complex equipments. Humor inducing advertising also work very well for nearly all type of products (Getting rid of & Kintz, 1968). In similar ways, the shade can be spiritual, traditional, elegant, glamorous, health conscious, somber, laid back, mysterious, tough etc depending on product type and market. No real matter what the tone is, good information content with value or price information is often appreciated.

Format of the Commercial

TV commercials come in certain formats with respect to the perspective of the originator. Comic or satirical storylines are often lapped up by viewers very quickly. It could contain a solo coherent storyline or multiple vignettes conveying the same subject matter. Ads showing a cut of daily life through the storyline are hugely popular (Ogilvy, 1985). Various other forms might include testimonials bys some satisfied users, superstar endorsement, product performance demo (e. g. before/after using a product), fantasy elements with exaggerated visuals to ignite the creativity of viewers etc.

Music and Dancing

Music is obviously an integral part of the auditory devices, however they can be considered independently along with boogie in the Indian context. A whole lot of Indian advertisements borrow from popular film music and boogie and also use popular celebrities to push the merchandise by showing off their dance skills (Bhatia, 2000). Since Indian commercial theatre often contain luxurious song and party sequences that have had profound effect on the culture and hence can be utilized in advertisements as well.

Evidence :

Critical Research:

Fevicol has come up with many award receiving advertisements over last few years. This study is considering some of such popular adverts to consider this analysis forward.

The advertisement that achieved instant reputation as well as critical acclaim was the main one regarding an overcrowded bus, somewhere in rustic India.

Image Courtesy: Pidilite

As it can be seen in these picture, it engaged a vintage bus struggling to take itself towards its destination. It really is full with people inside and therefore people are seated at the top and also dangling from the doors and windows. But the fevicol brand is visible plainly thus giving an impact that it is the adhesive that is keeping everything from dropping apart. It is symbolic, but the symbolism comes across very strongly.

A very brilliant print ad shown above, made for more up market consumers, has mike Tyson on one webpage and picture of your fevicol jar on the other side. It seems as though part of the Tyson's picture has been torn apart as it received caught up to the fevicol image and in the torn potion, a human ear canal from the site below it can be seen. It's an wonderful example of offering symbolic subject matter and at the same time using pop culture personal references to attract the humor.

Another TVC covered a dancing man moving past some closed shops at night. But as he goes by a shutter that has a Fevicol logo design, his shadow gets caught there and keep dancing al by itself even as the individual moves ahead. It was again a practically impossible but symbolically strong yet amusing presentation.

There are a great many other popular advertising by Fevicol. Among the early advertisements included several muscular men and elephants looking to rip apart a solid wood plank that was signed up with by Fevicol. Of course they are unsuccessful despite shouting the slogan "jor lagake haisha", which a rustic catchphrase employed by people while participating in tug of war and other similar activities. This became an extremely popular saying with great recall value as the commercial gained acceptance. Another one comprised a person trying to break an egg and faltering repeatedly, only to realize that the hen laid the eggs over a fevicol jar. Yet another ad includes a mom in rustic India, striving hard to keep her child from roaming around and declining frequently. She finally succeeds when she places the kid over a drum with a fevicol emblem. The print advertising shown below contains Yama (the Hindu god of loss of life), aiming to pull out the soul of the inactive man but declining as the person is putting on a Fevicol logo design on his TEE SHIRT.

So, there's a common thread between all these advertisements.

Firstly, they have a cut of life situation, ad some impossible yet funny twist and get across the adhesive power of fevicol.

Except for the Tyson ad, it uses rustic or suburban Indian setting up, which is a very clever decision, due to the fact the majority of the users come from lower economical backgrounds. Upper course consumers in India often don't do such activities themselves and pass them onto home helps and therefore they are hardly targeted.

The rustic feel is increased with suitable backdrop credit score, make ups, costumes and establish designs.

Humor is very important in every these ads however they are not permitted to go over the top or distract attention form the original subject matter. It only strengthens the information.

They consciously avoid songs, dances or super star endorsements which can be widespread in Indian adverts.

Overall, it offers an impression that fevicol is the widespread adhesive that can sign up for just anything in the world.

Humor is considered one of the very most universal of emotions and can work for any setup and any market. Although these tailor made for India, a lot of them can still work in any other market as well. This is one way Fevicol has built a brand that is immensely recognizable and successful. Coming to the consumer segmentation of Fevicol, as mentioned above, it includes mainly targeted the working course population in the tiny towns and villages. The overcrowded bus seen the advertisement is an extremely common eyesight in Indian hinterlands and folks living there could connect with them immediately. At the same time the commercials are so intelligently created that they can charm to any other parts of the audience too.

So, Fevicol evidently targets the working category population but at exactly the same time don't make it look too alien or targeted to others. The undercurrent of laughter makes it reach a cord with other consumers too. That's the reason Fevicol becomes an outstanding example in brand placement. It knows perfectly who its focuses on are, but nonetheless makes an attempt to drive a message that is universally attractive and recognizable.


Religious, communal and moral prices are far more powerful and decisive in the societies like India and that's where brands like Fevicol score by appreciating that difference and playing according to prospects rules. It is aware of who its focus on consumers are so therefore creates the commercials with elements that may be easily relatable for the target audience. The humor is a continuous feature that entertains even after repeated browsing and discourages folks from switching channels. It is an adhesive brand and its qualities are communicated very effectively through symbolic cases. It will also be mentioned that irrespective of its positioning, it's been able to build a brand that is recognizable by everyone in the market. So, someone might never use it, but still recognizes what it is and looks forward to the entertaining commercials. This ultimately causes a healthy word of mouth publicity and might be helpful if it diversifies into some other sector in the near future, as the brand Fevicol is known to all.

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