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Cherry 'blossoms' into a century

The brand long associated with the iconic Charlie Chaplin via its ad campaigns, will aim to associate fun with shoe polishing.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 18:00 IST

Cherry Blossom, the life-touching brand that has for long added an early morning glimmer to our shoes, is celebrating its centennial year in 2006 with a new campaign showcasing its "100 shining years".

"The campaign is to celebrate those moments that Cherry Blossom has been in and marked occasions in everyone's life, from the mundane everyday routine to getting ready for the first date or the first job interview," said Vishal Gupta, marketing manager of Cherry Blossom's manufacturers Reckitt Benckiser India Ltd.

"Cherry Blossom has quietly touched people's lives and helped them gain social acceptance and this celebration will be to remind consumers about 100 years of shining shoes," Gupta saidin an interview.

As part of the "100 shining years" campaign launched this week, Reckitt Benckiser will reach out to its customers with a slew of advertising campaigns apart from revamping its range and launching a new range of "leather oils".

"The leather oils range will be based on the anti-ageing platform and help in preserving the life of the leather. This is being launched for the first time in India," said Cherry Blossom's brand manager (India) Gautam Suri.

"We will also be revamping our entire range of polishes - both wax and liquid. They will now come with a better formulation and different international waxes that will offer greater value to the consumer at the same cost of the older range."

The brand, which for long has been associated with the iconic Charlie Chaplin via its Cherry Charlie ad campaigns, will aim to associate fun with shoe polishing - a move that it hopes will help inculcate the habit in growing kids.

New and innovative wax formats will address this issue and take away from the messiness of shoe polishing. An easy to use 'quick wax' format will aim to capture a customer base that looks at a convenient and quick way to polish leather shoes.

The brand, which was founded by Charles and Dan Mason in 1886 in the Chiswick Soap Company on the banks of the river Thames in London, came to India 65 years ago.

The Mason brothers found that the brand did so well in a short span of time that they concentrated their energies on the new business while shifting the soap-manufacturing unit out of the Chiswick House to Kent.

The name Cherry Blossom was influenced by the presence of cherry trees in the grounds of the Chiswick House and such was the importance of the brand to the company that a fine array of cherry trees were planted in public view in front of the main offices of the manufacturer.

The brand currently has a 68 per cent share in the Rs 110-crore Indian shoe polish market, with a dominant 75 per cent of the wax polish pie and 62 percent of the liquid polish souk, according to an AC Neilson survey in Dec 2005.

Cherry Blossom has consistently had a huge chunk of the Indian market and was the first to introduce several new products in the country, including coloured wax polish, shoe shampoo and liquid shoe polish.

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 13:10 IST