Clothes were used by men but washed by the ladies. The commercial addressed both while showing the ease of use of Ujala.
Ujala was launched by Jyothy Lab in 1993 in Kerala. Liquid fabric whitener was non-existent. The only player was a powder blue brand- Robin Blue from Reckitt and Coleman.
Ujala was not seen as a competition for Robin by Reckitt, but that was being wrong.
The customer did not have a choice, and the powder had problems. It was messy, large quantities were needed, and there was always a residue of blue on all clothes.
In 1997, after successfully establishing a strong base in the South, Ujala was ready for the larger Indian market.
Reckitt took notice and launched a new fabric whitener called Robin Dazzling. It took the comparative advertising route by claiming that it required a lesser number of drops, when compared to Ujala and it was less water-soluble.
Ramachandran (Managing Director of Jyothy) briefed Anjan Chatterjee (famous restaurateur) ran an advertising agency called Situations. Anjan spent time in the markets to understand the consumers and the usage behaviour.
The result was the jingle – ” Aya Naya Ujala Char Boondon Vala”. Composed by Ajay Bhatia & sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy. It addressed the need of the customers. Clothes were used by men but washed by the ladies. The commercial addressed both while showing the ease of use of Ujala.
Ujala also addressed the needs of the rural population which other brands ignored and hence this was a big plus.
In 1997 for a 100 crore company, Rs 36 crores were spent on advertising. However, that strategy was vindicated as Ujala quickly garnered a 70% market share.
Even now, people still only use 4 drops of Ujala to whiten clothes.