What a year it has been! While millions suffered huge losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a million others understood the significance of self-care, hygiene and sanitation. Immunity and hygiene emerged as high potential categories in consumer healthcare.
Marketers leveraged this opportunity to launch new products such as ‘Mouth melt Cough Lozenges’ by Zandu and ‘Cofsils Gargle’ by Cipla. A slew of hygiene products such as hand sanitizers and disinfectant sprays were also launched by various companies such as Cipla, Piramal, Wipro, Nycil, etc. Brand communications across various segments from CCA, Dermatologicals to Gastrointestinals were centred around ‘immunity’. Various innovative, entertaining and appealing digital campaigns were launched on the background of the country-wide lockdown. ‘Combiflam Lock out pain’ highlighted the mental stress and pain of maintaining work-life balance during the lockdown while ‘Hajmola #LockdownHazamChatkaraShuru talked about positive perspective of social distancing and lockdown.
CubeX - The Business Intelligence and Consulting Division of Havas Life Sorento has compiled the ads of consumer healthcare brands which were released in 2020 and featured in our CubeX OTC Newsline 2020 in our latest edition of Ad-diction:A Ready Reckoner of Indian Consumer Healthcare Ads 2020 (Volume 09)
As always, we welcome you to share the ads of your brands which we will feature in the forthcoming issues of CubeX OTC Newsline.
We hope the year 2021 brings hope, positivity and joy to everyone’s lives.
Indian households are increasingly focusing on immunity and general wellbeing as their priority in the times of COVID-19 pandemic. Leveraging this opportunity, Abbott intended to enhance its consumer connect through extensive promotions of their adult and children nutrition portfolio, Ensure and Pediasure respectively. The company released a new TVC for the brand Ensure, which intends to educate the audience on proper nutrition and exercise as the critical steps to gain immunity and staying healthy. In addition, one of the family members in the TVC also enacted the role of a healthcare professional to imbibe trust amongst consumers and hence becoming the key brand advocate. In addition, the company launched a TVC for Pediasure that propagated a similar thought of presenting Pediasure as a solution for ensuring proper nutrition and immunity to protect children against contagious infections.
Competitor brand Protinex has also been recently active on traditional and digital media to gain traction amongst consumers. In recent times, Protinex has also been focusing on the narrative of building immunity for their adult portfolio in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amid the current pandemic, consumer healthcare companies are portraying the importance of social distancing and hygiene as the main narrative of their brand communication. Dabur has extensively been running a series of promotional campaigns and has launched new products such as Tulsi drops in the wake of COVID-19. The company released an inspirational campaign #AndarSeMajboot that that highlights social distancing as an optimum way to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The TVC also intends to inspire consumers to boost immunity through Dabur Chyawanprash and to take the opportunity to inculcate new habits & discipline, enjoy family time and pursue hobbies. In the end, the ad includes an advisory from the Ministry of AYUSH on the consumption of Chyawanprash to boost immunity to instil credibility and confidence amongst consumers. Competitor brands such as Baidyanath Chyawanprash have also incorporated AYUSH Ministry’s recommendation in the ad and relaunched the existing communication across all platforms.
Dabur has roped in Akshay Kumar as the brand ambassador for their heritage brand Dabur Chyawanprash. A campaign featuring the actor with the tagline ‘Stay #AndarseMajboot’ has been released. Leveraging the actor’s image of ‘fitness icon’, Dabur focuses on the benefits of ‘immunity’ and ‘inner strength’ provided by Chywanprash. The ad attaches deeper meaning to ‘immunity’, as a quality to be enhanced by individuals to serve for the greater good of the nation. It urges the consumers to pledge for a strong, healthy and safe nation by taking Dabur Chyawanprash.
In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, leading brands in the Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements category have released promotions focusing on immunity. Competitor brands such as Zandu and Baidyanath also talk about the immunity boosting benefits of Chyawanprash. However, with this campaign Dabur has differentiated itself from the competitor brands by focusing on ‘collective action and immunity’ rather than ‘individual immunity’. With the concept of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ gaining ground during the pandemic, it establishes the ‘Indianness’ of Chyawanprash. It also serves the purpose of expanding the consumer base of Dabur by promoting Chyawanprash to people of all ages and from all walks of life.
With such campaigns, Dabur has changed the promotional strategy for Chyawanprash, from a brand meant for children and elderly specially to boost immunity during winters and monsoons to a daily-use food supplement brand for the entire family.
Dabur launched its campaign “Mitte Se Jude Hum” that highlighted its 135 years old legacy in being an integral companion of every Indian household, fulfilling daily health and wellness needs across all consumer segments. The ad showcased the company’s transition from the day of its inception to the current scenario when the world is fighting a pandemic. The ad also highlighted old glimpses of the legacy products such as Chyawanprash, Pudin Hara, signifying the evolution of products over the years to suit the current consumer needs. In a way, this ad also advocates PM Modi’s pitch for “VocalForLocal” by focusing on the ‘Made in India’ and Indian heritage aspect of the products, encouraging Indians to choose local products. Dabur’s competitor Hamdard laboratories also recently released #StayStrongWithHamdard campaign on completion of 100 years, which focused on strengthening immunity to fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 pandemic has renewed consumers’ focus towards building immunity and the significance of staying healthy and fit. As per a Google India report in June, there has been an increase of 500% in searches related to immunity-boosting and health-related products. Companies such as Dabur, Marico are aggressively trying to stay useful and relevant by focusing on these core consumer needs and engaging customers through new product launches as well as creative campaigns. Cipla Health has joined this league with the launch of a new TVC for its flagship multivitamin brand Maxirich. The TVC propagates the importance of staying healthy and presents the brand as an immunity boosting product to fight against infectious diseases. This TVC will also be showcased across TV as well as digital platforms.
Competitor multivitamin brand Revital is extensively active on social media propagating content related to building immunity and maintaining a healthy lifestyle; prior to the pandemic, it was highly focused on building stamina and energy. Other brands such as Becosules and SupraActiv have not been actively promoting their products recently across traditional as well as social media.
Horlicks launched a new TVC that emphasizes on the significance of building immunity to fight against coronavirus pandemic. The TVC intends to educate consumers regarding key nutrients (Zinc, Vit C and Vit D) present in Horlicks which support the body's defence – thus, presenting the brand as an ideal solution to boost immunity. The ad is also targeted towards medical practitioners, who are at the forefront of this battle against coronavirus with limited bandwidth to take care of themselves. The TVC is also a part of the campaign, where Horlicks packs were donated to all major COVID hospitals in 12 key cities to help support the immunity of health care professionals and support staff as they contribute tirelessly towards patient care.
The earlier TVCs of Horlicks had a focus on cognitive development in children and nutrition in women and children. Horlicks has raced to become the leading brand in the category against competitors such as Complan, Bournvita. With the new TVC, the brand is the first to explore a different target group, which is expected to fuel the demand for the brand further.
BigMuscles Nutrition launched its new product Frotein, fruit flavoured protein supplement, with the campaign titled #FitnessRefreshed. The campaign is a part of 360-degree marketing approach adopted by the brand that includes TV advertising, alternate media, in-store and point-of-sale executions. Through this campaign, the brand intends to differentiate itself by expanding options in terms of flavour, as most competitor brands are largely available in chocolate and vanilla flavours.
The brand roped in Bollywood celebrity Ranveer Singh for the endorsement, whereas most competitors appoint celebrity nutritionists, fitness experts and trainers to endorse their respective brands. Major competitor brand Fast&Up has also recently launched plant-based protein supplement range and is leveraging multiple channels to expand its presence in the protein supplements space. Other key competitor protein supplement brands such as MuscleBlaze, TruBasics are more active in social media.
The role of today’s women has become multifaceted. It is observed that during 4-5 days of menstruation, women face a lot of issues. It drains her energy which results in an exhausted feeling of inner debility. Bringing these issues to light, Bollywood actor Raveena Tandon is seen endorsing the first TVC of Divisa Herbal’s Sachi Saheli.
Sachi Saheli is an Ayurvedic tonic helpful for women in those tough days of every month. Apart from the celebrity endorser, a doctor has been used as the protagonist to lend brand credibility. The brand has also been actively promoting on the print medium. However, majority of the print ads are in Hindi.
Comparing to the TVC of the direct competitor Hempushpa, one can see a lot of similarity in both the communications when it comes to celebrity endorser as well the involvement of a doctor in the TVC. Another competitor in the Ayurveda market is Dabur Ashokarishta wherein the last TVC focused on teenage girls and also leveraged a celebrity endorser stating the product benefits.
Hamdard Laboratories launched a 360-degree marketing campaign with the tagline #Breathless to revive its brand ‘Cinkara’, a women’s health tonic. The brand is unveiled in new packaging and leveraging platforms such as television, print, radio, and social media platforms to expand consumer reach. Sunidhi Chauhan has been roped in to endorse the brand and metaphorically represent the narrative of experiencing ‘a breathless life’ owing to women’s multifaceted roles.
Cinkara is one of the only few brands in tonics & cure-alls segment to come up with extensive campaigning. Competitors brands such as Sachi Saheli released a TVC in early Jan 2020 with a similar narrative and target audience. Most of the competitor brands such a Sachi Saheli, Hempushpa, and Dabur Ashokarishta leveraged celebrity endorsements for their campaigns.
Sanofi launched a new TVC to promote Combiflam Plus with the tagline “Sar dard mitaao, clear socho.” Similar to the Combiflam IcyHot commercial, Combiflam Plus also has a quirky and comical take on managing headaches. The TVC highlights multi-tasking women as their target audience, who are susceptible to stress/tension-induced headache and presents the product as an effective solution. Combiflam Plus is being promoted extensively through multi-channel campaigns. In May 2020, the “Lock Out” pain digital campaign was also launched for Comiflam Plus that highlighted the mental stress and pain of maintaining work-life balance during the lockdown. The campaign roped in Instagram, TikTok influencers to connect with millennials who spend a fair share of their time on these channels.
Competitors brand such as Crocin Pain Relief has taken a different approach in terms of the target audience. The commercial largely depicted young working consumers as the target audience and had serious narrative regarding the impact of headaches on the quality of life of those consumers. Competitor brand Saridon is not being extensively promoted, however, is still the largest brand in terms of value sales in the headache segment.
Cipla launched the first TVC for its brand, Omnigel, a potential OTC candidate for many years. The TVC featured a woman suffering from recurrent backache and portrayed Omnigel as a perfect solution for recurrent pain. The ad also highlights the key benefits of Omnigel based on clinical efficacy and its popularity in terms of market standing. The comical undertones of the communication have differentiated the brand from its competitors which are currently focusing on sports celebrities. Also, a refreshing change has been the feature of a pharmacist in a chemist shop, who is the brand’s key advocate. The brand has also been promoted on-ground at the Magh Mela held earlier in the year by creating “Rahat Ratna”, an accessory for the Sahayaks to help them recover from various pains while they are on their toes to help the devotees.
OTC topical analgesics market in India is very competitive with the presence of major brands such as Moov and Volini (valued at Rs.2083 cr; CAGR 11% as per Nicholas Hall’s DB6 Global OTC Database 2019). These brands have shifted from women-centric strategies to explore multi-faceted consumer segments and their association with pain. In addition, almost 75% of the sales are from Ayurvedic brands, hence addition of a new player like Omnigel will further intensify the competition.
Volini launched a digital film with the tagline “No Time For Pain” that featured how lives are gradually getting back to normal due to easing of lockdown rules in the past few days. The film highlighted how everyone built resilience in their own ways to push through the difficult times and the pain to come out stronger. The film presented Volini as a trustworthy and dependable brand by addressing the physical pain associated with the changing lifestyle of people during this hardship. The interesting feature of this film is that it was shot within the confines of home of actors living across multiple states of India such as Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, and others.
Amongst all the competitors, Moov has also been extensively promoted on social media with campaigns such as #MoovToStayFit leveraging the consumers’ Work From Home (WFH) lifestyle and sentiment during the lockdown.
Mankind’s brand Gas-O-Fast has always had an interesting and comical take on digestion problems such as gas, acidity, Indigestion, and heartburn. The brand has been endorsed by comic actors such as Manoj Pahwa, Brahmanand and Satish Shah in their previous TVCs. For their latest TVC, the company has roped in Saurabh Shukla and Biswanath Basu to raise the brand recall. The TVC showcased Gas-O-Fast as a quick and easy solution for the discomfort of heartburn due to spicy food. The heartburn was portrayed as ‘Jalan’ both in a literal and metaphorical sense providing the TVC a humorous angle too. A similar storyline was explored for Gelusil Xtra Cool variant.
Dabur launched its new ad across all digital platforms conveying the measures to cope up with the lockdown. The TVC gives a positive perspective on social distancing, as an optimum way to enjoy family time, change lifestyle, pursue hobbies and talent. The ad presented Hajmola as a perfect companion to all the activities with the tagline #LockdownHazamChatkaraShuru. An interesting feature of this ad is that it was shot indoor by non-actors to stay connected with their audiences while at the same time exerting the importance of social distancing. Hajmola has always tried to stay relevant and contemporary with the evolving consumer across all brand communication (Print, TV, Social Media). Previous campaigns such as #BaatHazamNahiHui followed a similar trend, which was inspired by the social media meme culture with topical puns on current affairs and popular subjects.
Pet Saffa, an ayurvedic laxative brand, released a new print advertisement featuring well-known comedian Raju Srivastava who has been its brand ambassador for the last 5 years. The print ad intends to drive awareness regarding chronic constipation as one of the causes of reduced immunity, which has become an important need state amongst the consumers during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, the brand has differentiated itself by establishing an active presence in social media (Facebook, Instagram) as well as print media and has a brand website to promote awareness with respect to constipation. The digital communication of the brand is largely focused on the condition, product ingredients, and its associated benefits in constipation. Competitor brand Kayam Churna has also been recently active on social media to gain traction amongst consumers, however, has not focused on immunity as one of the key need states addressed by the brand. All Ayurvedic brands in this space have always promoted healthy bowel movement as a sign of good overall health such as Zandu Nityam. The brand targets people who frequently suffer from GI-related ailments as a result of erratic food habits and highlights itself as a holistic solution to gastric ailments and overall well-being.
Emami released a new print Ad for its brand Zandu Pancharishta that features Amitabh Bachchan, who has been the brand ambassador for several years. The print advertisement aims to promote awareness regarding improper digestion as one of the causes of reduced immunity, which has gained relevance as the key need state amongst the consumers during this COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas, previous advertisements of Zandu Pancharishta emphasized only on the formulation that acts on the root cause of the problem, thereby offering permanent relief from digestive ailments.
Zandu Pancharishta has differentiated itself from its competitor brands Hajmola, Pudin Hara by focusing on immunity across its communication, while the rest are still focusing on the product formulation and benefits. Pet Saffa, also focused on the role of constipation in reduced immunity in one of the print advertisements. However, Zandu Pancharishta is utilizing only traditional channels of communication such as TVC and Print, whereas competitor brands such as Hajmola have established active presence on social media as well as traditional media to maintain their brand equity.
Due to COVID-19, regular sanitization and hygiene has become the need of the hour and thus augmented the demand for a range of hygiene products suitable for various consumer need occasions. As per Nielsen India in 2019, hand sanitizers market was reported to be only an INR 10 Crs industry, mostly gaining from urban areas, touched INR 43 Crs in March 2020 itself. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for sanitizers on e-commerce platforms rose by 1400%. The sanitizers & disinfectants market witnessed an influx of renowned as well as local brands offering a wide range of hygiene products to address changing consumer needs. Cipla Health leveraged this opportunity with the launch of brand Ciphands, their sanitization and hygiene portfolio. The company launched the TVC with tagline ‘Har Haath Ke Saath’ that showcased the entire CipHands range of products suitable for various occasions. The TVC highlights the importance of regular sanitization to stay protected from germs & viruses and presents the brand as a perfect solution for everyday sanitization needs.
Competitor brands such as Savlon, Dettol have adopted a similar narrative across their campaigns that predominantly focuses on the importance of regular sanitization and ways to stay safe against contagious infections. ITC and RB have launched a wide range of products and multiple SKUs under brands Savlon and Dettol respectively to suit the consumer needs. In addition, these companies have launched extensive campaigns on traditional as well as digital platforms to raise their overall brand recall & footprint.
Reckitt Benckiser recently launched its Dettol disinfectant spray in India. Close competitor, Savlon launched the spray much earlier as a pen sanitiser format. Similar to the previous TVCs and print ads of Dettol, this ad also leverages the protective sentiment among mothers with the ongoing cold & flu season and showcases Dettol as an ultimate choice to protect the family from cold, flu, bacterial & viral threats. The spray is shown to be versatile that can be used on both hard & soft surfaces and efficiency against H1N1, various bacteria and Cold & Flu virus. An interesting feature of this ad is that it mentions availability at the Apollo Pharmacy, making it easy for mothers to buy the product.
This product launch is also a part of Dettol Ad Campaign #CleanisNotGermFree that focuses on the importance of disinfection and Dettol as a single solution for a germ-free household. An independent research by Reckitt Benckiser that suggested 70% of mothers believe cleaning is equivalent to germ-free, was used as a basis for this campaign. The launch was also done to cater to millennial mothers, searching for convenience as a result of busy lifestyles and cost-effective products.
Competitors brands such as Savlon, Lifebuoy have always targeted a similar audience, featuring children in their communication. However, Savlon in the recent TVCs featured Boman Irani for its Handwash, shifted the focus to inspire children to wash hands regularly.
Dettol launched new TVC conveying the significance of washing hands properly during these testing times of coronavirus pandemic. The TVC features a woman educating the child on washing hands and social distancing as a precautionary measure against germs and viruses. The TVC adopts creative visualization to demonstrate soap’s efficacy in the prevention of germs & viruses. The interesting feature is that the ad was shot at home to promote hygiene practices while at the same time exerting the importance of social distancing during the 21-day lockdown imposed by the Government of India in the event of coronavirus. The video was shot through mobile phone within the confines of homes of the actors by the family members.
Competitor brands such as Lifebuoy, Himalaya have adopted a similar narrative in their recent communication. The focus is on the cultivation of hygiene practices to prevent Coronavirus. The print ads of Lifebuoy and Himalaya feature a list of precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus by washing hands frequently, the use of alcohol-based sanitizer and to seek medical attention in case of fever, cough & cold, difficulty in breathing.
ITC released a TVC with the tagline ‘Advance Suraksha with Savlon Hexa’ for hand sanitizer brand Savlon Hexa, which was launched in April 2020. The ad depicts two-step imperative action to fight coronavirus, i.e. Defence and Attack. The ad featured face masks as a defending tool and presented Savlon Hexa as an attacking tool. The interesting feature that distinguishes it from competitor brands is exerting the importance of facemasks for additional protection and encouraging the consumers to use it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has largely shifted the focus from narratives that revolved around mothers intending to protect children against germs. Currently, approaches/techniques such as the correct way of sanitizing hands and usage guidelines have acquired the centre stage of campaigns for most of the companies in the disinfection and sanitizer market. In the last 3 months, competitor brands such as Himalaya, Dettol, Lifebuoy, Dabur released similar campaigns and have also launched various SKUs & formats to address immediate needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has urged most of the companies to explore new horizons and present relevant solutions within the illness and wellness space. Cofsils brand range is intended to treat sore throat, however the brand intended to make a shift to the wellness space by promoting the preventive aspect against viruses & germs. The Cofsils Experdine gargle is also the first OTC/mass-advertised gargle brand in the sore throat remedies & medicated confectionary category. The product was showcased through a video commercial on TV as well as digital media channels. The TVC promotes awareness on correct gargling practices and encourages the audience to inculcate gargling in their daily lifestyle as a preventive measure.
Sore throat remedies such as gargles have traditionally been an illness offering, however, lozenges are more popular than gargles under this category. Betadine (Win-Medicare) and Wokadine (Wockhardt) are two popular gargles brands in the category and and are not advertised, as per Nicholas Hall’s DB6 Global OTC Database 2019.
Zandu launched Zandu Ayurvedic Cough Syrup in the market. Interestingly, the product formulation is that of a granular mouth meltz format and not syrup. The TVC introduces the smart pack by comparing it to a cough syrup. A man is seen explaining how one can conveniently use the product and highlights the price of the product.
In 2019, a legacy ayurvedic brand Kofol introduced tablets in chewable format for treating cough and sore throat. The ads focused on the chewable product format and its convenience of usage. With Zandu entering the CCA category in a unique mouth meltz format, it would be interesting to see more communications from the brand.
Otrivin, a key brand in the nasal spray category, forayed into the nascent daily nasal wash segment with the launch of Otrivin Breathe Clean, an aerosol saline nasal wash indicated for daily usage. GSK launched this product leveraging the untapped opportunity in the respiratory segment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing exposure of individuals to allergens & pollutants responsible for contagious infections as well as respiratory complications.
GSK released its first TVC that asserts the significance of nasal hygiene accompanied with a handwash to stay protected against allergens, germs & pollutants, hence, presenting the brand as a solution to accomplish the same. The ad featured both adults as well as children as their target audience, hence highlighting its suitability across all age-groups.
Otrivin is the only over-the-counter nasal wash in recent times to launch an active campaign across television as well as digital channels. None of the competitor brands such as Nasoclear are campaigning on traditional channels or social media.
Chereso Pvt. Ltd, a nutraceutical company, has recently released a Print Ad for the product Prosman. The product is intended for the management of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) as per the official website. It contains patented ingredients beta-sitosterol & decoys l ferulate derived from Prunus Domestica, which has an anti-inflammatory effect on the Prostate.
The print ad has highlighted the common prostate-related problems experienced by men belonging to the age group 40+ to make it easy for them to identify and relate to the symptoms. The print ad also showcases information on clinical study data and supportive international patents, lending credibility to the product’s efficacy and safety and thus, instils confidence amongst the consumers. To facilitate convenient purchase, the print communication also mentions the purchase touch points i.e. retail and e-commerce channels including Apollo Pharmacy, Fortis Healthworld, Amazon.in, and its official website.
Currently, various ayurvedic brands are available in the market to ease symptoms of enlarged prostate & maintain prostate health such as Organic India Prostate Care, Simply Herbal Saw Palmetto Capsule, Kapiva Ayurveda Pro Safe amongst others. The brand has differentiated itself by establishing an active presence in social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and Print Media. The digital communication of the brand is largely focused on the symptoms of BPH and enlarged prostate.
Pigeon India, a company providing baby and mothercare products, launched a campaign #StandByNursingMoms on the event of World Breastfeeding Week during Aug 1-7. The campaign was conducted in collaboration with three new mothers from the ages of 28-36 years, who reflected on varying emotions and challenges of nursing mothers.
The campaign is first of its kind launched in recent times and was showcased to emphasize the significance of breastfeeding and normalize the conversations around it. Competitor brand The Mom’s Co, a natural babycare and mothercare brand, also launched consumer engagement initiatives and campaign on social media that largely focused on promoting awareness regarding breastfeeding facts & guidelines and advantages associated with it.