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Friday, October 3, 2008

Dettol Instant hand Santizer

Dettol: Instant hand Santizer

Usage Contexts and Attributes of the Product: Possible Advertising Themes

The product being advertised is an Instant Hand Sanitizer. A hand sanitizer’s value proposition is that it kills 99.99% of the most common germs that may cause illness. Its relative advantage compared to a normal soap is that it can be used anytime, anyplace, without water or towels. Its disadvantage is that though it is very effective at killing germs on the hands, but it is not effective at removing dirt. Conversely, soap and water are very effective at cleaning dirty or soiled hands, but are not good at killing germs.

So, a result, communication for an Instant Hand Sanitizer must concentrate on two points:

• 99.99 % Germ Killing Formulation
• No need of water/towels, making it anytime, anywhere

The Target Audience for usage of an Instant Hand Sanitizer must also be made aware of the need of using such a product. This need must be such where an ordinary soap and water combination would not do. This can be created by using a usage context where having hands germ free is important. Examples of the same could be:

a) Before handling/eating food
b) Before handling infants
c) In hospitals, for doctors and nurses, before and after handling patients

In these scenarios, a realization amongst the TG can easily made that a Hand Sanitizer would be a much more effective option compared to a soap, which does not kill all the germs.

The second theme could be focussing on the anytime/anywhere part as the usage of the product does not imply use of water or towels. Again scenarios where such a product can be useful must be shown to highlight the anytime/anywhere aspect of the product. These could be:

a) Use by people on the move like
a. Travellers
b. Adventurers, Mountaineers etc
c. Bikers
d. Sales people
b) Use of people outside home
a. Office goers
b. College students

The realization that this product should be used over more traditional products like soaps should be done for the TG. The penetration levels of the product are very low. So, creating awareness about the product and its relative advantages over soaps is very important.

The Advertisement for Dettol Instant Hand Sanitizer

We spoke about two themes on which hand sanitizer advertising could be based on. These were:

a) Speaking about the 99.99% germs killing attribute
b) Speaking about the anytime/anywhere attribute


The advertising of the Dettol Instant Hand Sanitizer does not focus directly on any of the above mentioned themes.

It shows a man’s hand and the various things it is put through in the course of a day. The ad tries to show this without showing any explicit user scenarios or using any text. The creative is about an outstretched hand, which through its various projections, each holding an object, represents a particular user activity.

These range from:

• Eating out
• Handling home appliances and gadgets like the remote
• Driving, filling up gas
• Using the phone
• Working, writing, using the computer

All these contexts are possible sources of germs. The bottle of the Dettol Instant Hand Sanitizer kept besides the outstretched hand is the supposedly the solution the outstretched hand is looking for as a solution for all the ills the hand has to go through in the course of the day. The campaign for Dettol Instant Hand Sanitizer illustrates the fact that germs are everywhere. As explained before, numerous occasions throughout the course of the day are all possible sources of germs.

The text in small font on the bottle itself, stating the product as the Dettol Instant Hand Sanitizer is the cue which helps relate the outstretched hand, affected by the germs causing environment and the bottle, which supposedly is the solution that the hand is looking for. Apart from that there is no body copy in the print ad which states the benefits of the product or its usage. What is highlighted though is the Dettol brand itself, which is easily noticed on the bottle. The strong brand of Dettol lends credibility to the product and gives an impetus to the target audience to look at the AD more carefully.

Target audience

The hand shown in the ad and the contexts in which the hand is shown are typically male. Dettol had in fact made a separate ad for women showing a woman’s outstretched hand with contexts typical to a female. But, the problem of germs is not gender specific. So, in that way, the ad targets both men and women.

One segmentation, which the ad talks about is Psychographic Segmentation based on type of activity. It talks about outdoor activities like driving, eating out and also things like working on the computer or making calls. These and also the shirt worn by the outstretched hand, which is a formal shirt, point to a target audience of office going men or men who are outside for some work or the other.
The relevance of the product is there for such a TG, based by them being involved in activities, in which an anytime/anywhere product for keeping hands germ free is needed. Though the fact that the product is anytime/anywhere is never mentioned is one of the shortcomings of the ad and would be taken up later.


The implied positioning of the product is that of a solution to keeping hands germ free. It is a problem solver to the everyday scenarios which happen in the course of a man’s usual day in life and lead to germs.

Positioning: What it should have been

Positioning should have been on one of the relative advantages that Hand Sanitizers have over soaps.

a) Soaps also kill germs. So, the current positioning of just germ fighting directly competes against soaps, because many of them including Dettol Soap are positioned as Hygiene or germ fighting soaps. On the other hand, a positioning of fighting 99.99% of germs goes much beyond what hygiene or beauty soaps can offer.

b) Anytime, anywhere usage is something on which soaps can never match Hand Sanitizers, because they need the use of water. A positioning on being the anytime/anywhere answer to fighting germs would have created a unique image in the TG’s mind and increased adoption. The print ad in question is too vague to suggest any association with being anytime/anywhere. The only apparent association is of simple germ fighting for the outstretched dirty hand by the bottle of Hand Sanitizer.

Connection between message and target audience

As has already being explained, the print ad shows various scenarios in which a man’s hand is exposed to germs. These are typical to the TG of office going men or men who are involved in outdoor activities. Thus, they can relate and identify with the situations shown. The bottle kept alongside the hand having the Dettol brand is the solution to the everyday problem of keeping hands germ free.

Objectivity of the advertisement

The objective of the ad is to illustrate the need for using the hand sanitizer and the possible benefits obtained through its use. The need for a germ fighter is brought out by showing the out stretched hand in different everyday contexts, But, the specific benefits of using a hand sanitizer, namely, it killing 99.99% of the germs or that it can be used anytime anywhere are not brought out in the hand.

The picture shown is a “fair and accurate representation” of the qualities of a hand sanitizer. There is no body copy or endorser who is talking about any benefits going beyond the core proposition of a hand sanitizer. In that respect, the print ad is very objective, as in it talks about (or shows pictorially), what the product can actually deliver.

Creativity shown in the Ad

Without using any body copy or text, the print ad manages to convey the association of dirty hands and the product. The image of the outstretched itself, appearing in multiple forms, each in different everyday context is unique itself. In would lead to high memorability of the ad and hence recall and association with dirty hands.

Scope for improvement in the advertisement

a) Positioning: This has already being talked about before. In summary, instead of a simple germ fighter, the product should be positioned on the relative advantages it offers over a soap. These include:
a. positioning of fighting 99.99% of germs
b. on being the anytime/anywhere answer to fighting germs

This is especially important for a country like India, where the concept of hand sanitizer is very novel. So, talking about a need which is distinct from the simple hygiene need being successfully fulfilled by soaps is required.

b) The TG appears to be the entire set of men being involved in outdoor activities. In a country where penetration and even awareness of such a product is less, greater trial can be achieved by specifically targeting early adopters who would be more likely to use the product. These could be:
i. Doctors, nurses
ii. Adventurers, Mountaineers etc

Friday, May 16, 2008

SBI Life Insurance

Creating the “pull” in Life Insurance

Insurance has a very strong sales focus. There are other financial services like mutual funds where people themselves take the initiative and contact the companies or agents. But for life insurance, invariably the buyer is never the initiator. The agency model of life insurance companies involves a number of insurance agents who work under a sales manager. These may be house wives, retired people or even professionals looking for some extra income. Their job is to contact people, understand their specific needs and offer a customized insurance plan to them to cater to their needs.
Needs could be a) Retirement planning b) Protection against untimely death c) Saving for future children’s needs d) Saving a lump sum for an event like buying a house ect e) Investment option for superior returns ect.
These needs are there for every one of us. But it is the insurance agent who makes us realize them. This realization is the first step towards convincing the consumer to go for buying the insurance policy. The pull factor, so important in sectors like FMCG, as represented by the famous AIDA model is not there in life insurance. The communication and advertising strategy in FMCG aims at creating the Awareness for the product, sparking the Interest of the buyer towards the product and invoking a feeling of Desire for the product in the minds of the buyer. This leads to Action in the form of the consumer buying the product.
In life insurance on the other hand, awareness is created by the insurance agents. The desire and interest part is absent. This is also so because up till recently and even now insurance was and still is associated with the happening of a negative occurrence. Such an association can only arouse an obligation to buy the product to fulfil a responsibility, never a positive desire or interest.
Now with so many private insurers battling it out in a very competitive market with low penetration levels, the pull factor has also become very important. If there are sixteen plus new players with similar products, how would you stand out? In a market where a new product can be very easily replicated, what would be your differentiating factor?
The need for brand differentiation and the need for life insurers to reach out to consumers has led to huge investments by life insurance companies on promotions, advertisements ect. For an industry where the perception is that a “product can only be sold, never bought”, these efforts are creating a “pull” factor for the first time in India.
Another dramatic shift is the repositioning of life insurance as a positive thing. No longer is life insurance associated with the image of a widow, as seen in earlier LIC advertisements, who said that after her husband’s death, “LIC ne hamain bahut sahara diya”. Now, it is about Sachin Tendulkar talking about “Kal par Control” and about securing your child’s future though Aviva’s plans. It is about the elderly couple as seen in ads of Max New York Life and others who are alive and together in their old age and enjoying every bit of it, all thanks to retirement planning through insurance.
It would be a long way to go when a significant portion of the population would go out and buy life insurance on their own, like they do for FMCG or Telecom products, but the efforts of private insurers are helping create a “Desire” and “Interest” in the minds of the Indian consumer for life insurance.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Out Of Home

Think Out of Home..Think India Railways...

Here is snapshot of a Mumbai Local train, with an advertising message of a popular TV show, painted all across its body. Sure, innovative advertising technique and a great way to earn precious revenue for the railways.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

BSNL Ghar Ki Pehchan

ADS I Like....BSNL...Ghar Ki Pehchan...

The backdrop: With mobiles becoming all prevalent, everyone in a typical urban family has a personal cell phone. In such a scenario, the requirement for a land line connection becomes very less. This is one of the reasons why people in large numbers are surrendering their land line connections. While the mobile subscriber growth is increasing exponentially, the number of land lines is actually decreasing.

The Land Line as a Ghar ki pehchan...or a Symbol of the house...

BSNL addresses this by projecting the land line to what it originally was...a symbol of the house. Like the way we have our home address, we must have our home land line number. It represents the house as one unit. The execution of the ad in a humorous way with Preity Zinta as a prospective bride, for seeing whom the bridegroom's family has come, sure underlines the message and makes it memorable. The highlight of the ad is a highly dramatic moment in which Preity replies to the bridegroom family after she learns that they unfortunately do not have a land line connection. Preity says..."Aapke pass BSNL land line nahi hai, Ghar ke pehchan nahin hai...DAD main ess ghar main shaadi nahin karungi!!!” The arranged marriage theme and the use of Preity Zinta as a shy prospective bride, who takes exception to the fact that the guy's family does not have a land line connection, would help make the AD appeal to a diverse strata of society. The core benefit of the product is stated as more than just a communicating device, but as a symbol which represents the entire house. The augmented product, includes in Preity's own words, features like Broadband, Multi Play and Fixed Line Prepaid, give additional reasons for people to take or at least retain the BSNL connections. The stating of these features removes another misconception that BSNL does not provide features which a private provider of land lines might provide.

Impact: The AD by projecting a BSNL landline as a "Ghar ki Pehchan", would give people, looking to surrender their land lines, a reason to retain their connections. The whole concept of the Ad goes well with the earlier "BSNL: Best hai Mere Liye Campaign" which tries to break the stodgy and dull image of BSNL and helps people see it in a new light.

The AD sure gives people a reason to keep their land lines, but how much would it be able to arrest the decline in land line connections due to the onslaught of mobiles is hard to say. But, BSNL's effort sure is commendable.