Santoor Soap

Challenging Unilever: Santoor Soap

  • Santoor is now the number one soap brand in South India (Market Share of 15.1% by value)
  • At the all-India level, Santoor continues to be the third largest soap brand with a 7.5% value market share in the first quarter of fiscal 2009-10.

Target Audience: Women, over 25

A typical Santoor woman is someone who is between 25-35, is married and has a young daughter. She is aspirational towards her career and is typically shown as an achiever. Despite being married and having a daughter, she is someone who still wants to look good and young. "Mistaken Identity" is a common theme in Santoor Advertising, where the 30+ female protagonist is mistaken by others as someone in her early twenties because of her younger looking skin. She is shown as someone who is modern, confident, forward looking and at the same time a believer a Indian values and traditions.

Benefits Sought: Wants to look young

Consumer understanding: The key insight behind Santoor is that a women irrespective of their age want to look good and have a younger looking skin. They want to conceal their true age through their appearance. The second insight is haldi and chandan are natural ingredients which are associated with skin beauty.

Positioning: Santoor promises younger looking skin. The promise is through natural ingredients like Chandan and Haldi which have traditionally been considered as good for the skin.

Communication and Creative strategy:

The image being communicated is of the Santoor Woman described above who looks much younger than her actual age. Others admire her for her confidence and youthful looking skin. This admiration is further enhanced because she manages to look so youthful despite being married with a kid along with being successful in her career. This is for many an ideal aspirational image of an Indian woman.

The essence of the creative strategy has remained the same throughout campaigns. It revolves around the idea of "mistaken identity" where the youthful skin of the Santoor woman gives an appearance that she is in her early twenties. The myth breaks only when her daughter comes along running and calls her mummy. Keeping this basic premise, the advertising of Santoor has tried to keep its relevance along with the changing times.

In the campaign launched this year around the elections, the Santoor woman adds another dimension to herself. She is shown to be someone who is sensitized towards her social responsibilities as a citizen, in line with her changing roles. She goes to vote where she is stopped and asked for age proof, as she looks so young(another interpretation of "mistaken identity"). Finally after she has voted, her daughter asks her why do we vote, she replies...."aapke bhavishya ke liye" or "for your future"!

Thus santoor soap has kept its relevance along with changing times and its positioning of "younger looking skin through natural ingredients" continues to strike a chord amongst women. It is maybe the only beauty soap whose core target group is women around 30. In terms of benefits sought it offers enhancement in terms of younger looking skin. This is a benefit which is extremely desirable to the Santoor Target Group. The Santoor soap has done its marketing homework in Targeting the perfect segment with the just right Positioning. No wonder, its the No 3 soap brand across India right now!

The new Santoor election ad can be seen at the following link:


Neha said…
Nice one sid ..keep updating :) this is jus like ur name , how old u may be , but ppl will think "sid", mus be 24-25 age dil chahta hai types guy:) lovely post ...
Unknown said…
This is really a nice research done. We appreciate your interest towards the brand analysis. Even I am keen to learn and do research about the brands.
Great work >>>>>
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