When Dads’ brand became Daddy Cool!

Not surprising that every new generation wants to shed the brands that resonated with their Dad/Mom and align themselves to those that speak their language. It’s toughest for those brands that wear their image & personality on their sleeve, to keep the fire alive. In the midst of that are scores of other brands that manage to stay evergreen. It’s definitely innovation in product and fresh consumer roles, that keep the new ‘NEW’ for decades.

Am sure we all know a few that have defied time…continue to shine bright. Managed to stay relevant & desirable. And more importantly, created a fan following across ages. What I have today is a mini take on some such brands that have managed to keep the cool factor despite age.

After the Gilette & Axe wave, Old Spice pretty much lost much of it’s charm among young, smart, cool 20/30 somethings. It wasn’t either reflecting them nor was it creating new desires. Whether their new media, new personality, new attitude campaign managed to garner share of wallet is an undisclosed story.

But this old wine in new bottle did get the OLD out of the Spice out, used a new age medium to create noise, gathered some womenfolk and a vast new populi of aspiring Isaiah’s


A campaign was launched in 2007 after almost 20 years, with the aim of reviving a 150-year-old brand, Canadian Club Whisky, which was perceived by the younger generation in US as their dad’s drink, and hence not cool. The brand had witnessed a continuous decline in sales for 17 years from the 1990s as a result of a combination of factors like erosion of brand value, weakening of marketing efforts, change in cocktail culture toward vodka-based drinks, and the entry of competitors in the market.

“Damn Right Your Dad Drank It” features candid imagery from the 1960s and 1970s and provocative taglines that remind consumers that their dads were once cool, stylish and decidedly masculine – and they chose to represent these traits through their drink choice: whisky cocktails made with Canadian Club. It was also to slight the tendy, martini cocktails people had got used to. Nice take.

Ponds with a heritage of Cold Cream may have stopped where Moms & Grandmoms left. They were so 20th Century that the brand had virtually no role in the modern woman’s hectic lifestyle. Skin care was becoming an institution with skin being plagued by a myriad issues.

Ponds re-entered the woman’s life by restablishing itself through a novel source of authority in the late 90s i.e. Ponds Institute (virtual though) and eventually launched two key performance driven products. One focussed on fairness & the other on anti-ageing. Big benefits for today’s Cleopatra and far removed from the simplicity of the Cold Cream. They also bought in younger celebrities and created new power centres for Ponds

PONDS WHITE BEAUTY (Personally, I find it regressive….nevertheless fairness sells)




What started as a public sector company defied odds on popular knowledge of a Government owned company, to become the largest passenger car group in India today. Maruti (Suzuki) has survived some 25 years with innovation & a drive to continuously upgrade customers at the entry level car, hatchback & sedan segment (Maruti 800 —- Ritz, A-Star, Swift, Swift Dzire, SX4..). One the biggest strengths in a not-so-very automobile savvy market, has been its ‘customer care’ that has helped set new benchmarks of service. Keeping the brand relevant, youthful and desirable albeit within certain price boundaries.



Am sure there are plenty more. This is simply fodder for thought. Would love to hear your stories of brands that have stayed ageless for subsequent generations or then failed to fight time.

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