Our take: ‘Deodorising’ the category

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Published: May 3, 2016 5:06:53 AM

For once, we don’t see a deodorant commercial that portrays the product as a confidence booster or an attraction magnet. Yes, the Cinthol DeoStick ad stands out, and here’s how

The Ad

The ad, more like a product showcase, states that Cinthol DeoStick could have been a spray but has been developed as a cream-based deodorant stick instead. The reason for this is depicted in stylised shots that portray the product as a ‘messiah’ in the deodorant category. Product features are then highlighted, showcasing variants meant for the male as well as the female consumer.

Our Take

The very first word — bro — of the Cinthol DeoStick’s copy sets the tone for the TVC and the demographic the brand is looking to target. The elements we see in the ad look typical to ads in this category, albeit with certain modifications, in forms of the non-preachy tone and the slight tongue-in-cheek humour. From over-sexualised messaging in the category, this one comes almost as a relief.

The TVC has been conceptualised by Creativeland Asia, Cinthol’s agency since 2012. Sajan Raj Kurup, founder and creative chairman, Creativeland Asia, says, “With Cinthol DeoStick, we aren’t just launching a new product, but a whole new category. So, there are quite a few boxes to tick, while still making sure that it is in the Cinthol world we have been defining over the last few years.” The ad has been directed by Raylin Valles, an ex-advertising professional.

The proposition in the category, over the years, has been flitting from fragrance to roll on, no gas and cream based. Other players in the deodorant category are trying to forge new ways of communication, some of the most recent being Set Wet, Nivea (Men) and Fogg. Set Wet has leveraged Ranveer Singh’s charm and revamped branding with quirky copy. Vini Cosmetics’ Fogg has managed to create a mini-universe of dialogue and references on its positioning Fogg chal raha hai — a line which does not say much about the product itself but states its apparently uncontested popularity. Nivea has chosen to address more basic issues of application that consumers face to get the best result out of their purchase.

What’s interesting is that there haven’t been too many deo ads recently that directly weave the product price in the communication, which Cinthol has done in this ad at `69. Is this communication area — to rate high on aspirational value yet seem accessible beyond urban areas — a painpoint in the deodorant category? Worth a thought.

In small but strong measures, Cinthol DeoStick is a throwback to the style of communication which keeps the product (and innovation) at the centre of the conversation before speaking about what it can do for the consumer. Quite a decent attempt at that.

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