Nippon Paint has a sponsorship alliance with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). To commemorate this, Nippon Paint unveiled a new Blobby in the shade of red with a golden hat resembling the colours of RCB. The company has further launched a new paint shade called the ‘RCB red’, a distinct tone of red wall paint, in keeping up with this association. Nippon is already associated with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for the fourth time this year. With this, Nippon Paint is adding to its growing portfolio of sports sponsorships in India. Recently, the brand has partnered with Choksey Chemicals Pvt. Ltd (CCPL), a leading Indian manufacturer of construction chemicals.
In conversation with Medianews4u, Mark Titus, Director Marketing, Nippon Paint India (Decorative Division), spoke about their sponsorship alliance with RCB on leveraging sports marketing to reach relevant consumers, marketing objectives and more.
On sponsorship alliance with RCB and the marketing objectives
This is a high impact sponsorship for us, and it will create an exponential increase in terms of awareness and brand recall for us in Karnataka over a short period. We are going to leverage this partnership across platforms to create strong engagement with the current consumer base. This type of partnership helps us create a deeper bond with our consumers in Karnataka and the RCB fans due to the regional nature of the association.
We are very happy to be collaborating with the Royal Challengers Bangalore as their associate sponsor for the 14th edition of the IPL. Nippon Paint’s logo will appear on the back of the players’ helmets as a part of this sponsorship deal. To commemorate this, we have unveiled a new Blobby in red and black, complete with a golden helmet that matches the RCB colours.
In keeping with this association, we have also launched a new paint shade called RCB Red, a distinct tone of red wall paint. Following this announcement, we have launched a series of TV, print, and digital campaigns. We have also found contests for RCB fans on our social media pages, as well as a unique consumer promotion that gives fans a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet their favourite players.
On leveraging sports marketing to reach relevant consumers
We believe in the power of sports marketing because it allows us to capitalise on consumer enthusiasm for the sport and reach captive audiences. We ensure that the partnerships that we get into are not restricted to the playing field alone but amplified in our campaigns across platforms.
We are collaborating with CSK for the fourth time, and the franchisee is exceptionally close to the people of Tamil Nadu. We believe that Nippon Paint has become an essential part of the CSK brand over time.
Additionally, our recent announcement with Royal Challengers Bangalore adds to Nippon Paint’s growing portfolio of sports sponsorships in India, which includes three-time IPL champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Chennaiyin FC, Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), Pro-Kabbadi – Bengaluru Bulls, Karnataka Premier League amongst others.
On product launch during the pandemic
Nippon Paint has a strong wellness product line, and our “sanitise your walls” campaign in the interior emulsion category was a huge success.
Working from home has become the norm, and with more time spent indoors, family members are more concerned about the health and safety of our indoor environment. Nippon Paint has created a Health and Wellness range of wall paints to meet this new safety requirement. These include, among other things, breakthrough odour-free technology, low VOC paints, and paints with antibacterial and antifungal properties, as well as easy washability, durability, and scrub ability. The range consists of Nippon Paint Odourless Aircare, Nippon Paint KIDZ, Nippon Paint Satin Glo+ and Nippon Paint Satin Glo Prime.
Despite limited operations, our R&D and product development teams worked tirelessly during the lockdown period and launched two innovative products, ATOM Fibra & Breeze Star. Both products are performing admirably in their respective segments.
Nippon Paint (India) also entered the health and wellness segment by launching the ‘MEDIFRESH’ range of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) products, including hand sanitiser, facial masks, and hand gloves. Nippon Paint wanted to cater to the burgeoning market by providing affordable and effective products to combat the spread of Covid-19, as personal hygiene becomes a top priority for consumers around the world. The products are made under the Nippon Paint MEDIFRESH private label and are designed in accordance with current WHO guidelines.
On brand’s performance during the pandemic period
Nippon has always put its stakeholders, particularly painters and dealers, first. We have been very active amidst the pandemic and have remained connected to all our stakeholders during this period. We strongly believe that our continuous activity during the pandemic has helped to enhance the overall brand equity.
Painters were the worst hit amongst our stakeholders, and right from the beginning of the lockdown, we have been able to support them. People were too afraid to let service professionals into their homes during the peak of the pandemic. As a result, daily wage earners like painters were left without work and a source of income. Nippon Paint helped the painters and their families during this time with relief measures such as the Amudha Surabhi digital currency, e-vouchers, and the distribution of basic grocery items. The initiative included painters from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. This initiative benefited shakti women painters and their families as well. We also did a lot of training on safe practices. We did safety certification and COVID insurance for top painters.
We also conducted a painting skill contest for the painters who reside in Chennai and saw the participation of more than 120 contestants. The contest adopted the World skills/ India skills framework of a decorative painter. The winners have received a lifetime opportunity to travel to Singapore and receive free skill training at the Nippon Paint Academy in Singapore.
We helped the dealers in the sanitisation of their premises so that they could safely resume work. We also held virtual meetings with the top management to build confidence and assure them support from the organisation. We also enhanced credit terms for them so that they were able to tide over the toughest period
For the Consumers, we were generating messages of positivity through which we stayed connected and engaged with our consumer.
During the pandemic, we issued a series of Public Service Announcements (PSA) on hand hygiene, the importance of social distancing, ways to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, and how to wear a mask properly, among others. On these topics, TV ads were broadcast on major TV channels, and social media posts were shared on the official handles.
We also used murals and artwork in public spaces in Chennai and Bengaluru to raise awareness about Covid. These works of art emphasised the importance of social distancing, masking, and thanking healthcare providers. For instance, we supported the Bengaluru City Police, and Corona Warriors added a splash of colour to their awareness campaign.
For the Specifiers, We did many international webinars on relevant topics to stay engaged with specifiers. We are internationally connected as a brand PAN Asia and were able to utilise those associations and get many interactive international speakers to come and address the specifier; this was very well received. During the pandemic, we have also signed MOUs with IIID’s (Institute of Indian Interior Designers), IIA (Indian Institute of Architect) for supporting AYDA (Asia Young Designer Award), which is a flagship property of the Nippon Paint Group.
For the Students, We have launched Paint Academy – it is the first-ever Self-paced online learning module on colour psychology, paint technology, and applications. It has been exclusively curated by Colour experts, the R&D and product team of Nippon and industry experts for the budding, aspiring architects and design professionals to impart the knowledge of colours, colour psychology, spatial perceptions, basics of paint, the role of painting in architecture and applications of paint. Leading institutions have already signed the MOU to make Paint academy’s Colour Psychology available as an elective for final year students.
On recent tie-up with Choksey chemicals
We announced our partnership with Choksey Chemicals Pvt. Ltd (CCPL), a leading Indian manufacturer of construction chemicals and waterproofing materials, a few months ago. CCPL will manufacture and supply superior waterproofing and sealant grades for Nippon Paint India as part of the new partnership. Similarly, Nippon Paint India will serve as CCPL’s Exclusive Sales & Marketing Partners in the Retail, Building & Construction segments, promoting select products from Nippon’s “WALLTRON” portfolio, which provides a Total Construction Solution. This partnership is expected to improve product visibility, distribution, and sales across India, resulting in long-term benefits for both companies. CCPL’s strong product portfolio and technical expertise, combined with Nippon Paint India’s hi-tech paint solutions and distribution strength, will provide both brands with a timely opportunity to explore new markets, add innovative products, and maximise each other’s potential. This is in line with Nippon Paint’s global vision, looking to expand its portfolio beyond paint and coatings to waterproofing, architectural, floor, wood, thermal insulation and tiling coating products.
On Nippon’s CSR activities
Speaking on the CSR activities undertaken by Nippon Paint, Titus said, “Nippon Paint has always prioritised social causes around the world. This is in our DNA – all of our R&D and product development is focused on reducing environmental impact, reducing health risks, and so on. Education, Empowerment, and the Environment are the three Corporate Responsibility Pillars through which we make an impact. These pillars’ initiatives are aimed at the public, the painter ecosystem, and all of our key stakeholders.
Most recently, Nippon Paint collaborated with Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) to beautify three Metro Stations (Wimco Nagar, Kaladipet and Toll Gate). Under the TNSDC (Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation) scheme, Nippon Paint has assisted over 20,000 painters in obtaining RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) certification.
Nippon Paint’s nshakti initiative is a professional wall painting training programme for rural women. Its sole goal is to help rural women find work and become financially self-sufficient. The nshakti initiative aims to break down gender stereotypes while also providing a source of income for rural women. Since its inception in 2018, the initiative has successfully trained over 400 women.
“Nippon Paint has always been at the forefront of ensuring environmental friendliness and sustainability in both our eco-friendly products and manufacturing processes. Nippon Paint has also made a significant contribution to environmental conservation through a variety of green initiatives such as tree planting and water body cleaning,” added Titus.
On focus areas for 2021
We have a completely packed calendar for 2021, and it has already started with the IPL! Aside from that, we have a slew of innovative new products coming out later this year, and we will be running multi-platform 360-degree campaigns to promote them. The upcoming festival season in the second half of the year is also expected to be busy, and we have planned a number of marketing initiatives to coincide with it.