Brand Saga: Dabur Chyawanprash, the age-old concoction that stood the test of time

Dabur Chyawanprash advertising journey

Possessing the consistency of a jam, the tangy sour-sweet Chyawanprash has been our companion for 70 years. We take a stroll down the memory lane to cruise through the Dabur Chyawanprash advertising journey.

In 1949, Dabur took the onus to blend the 2,500-year-old Ayurveda formula with its brand purpose and gave birth to India’s first-ever branded Chyawanprash. The Dabur Chyanprash advertising journey has been giving us major health goals since and continues to boost India’s immunity.

The Chayawanprash Secret

The name ‘Chyawanprash’ finds its origin in ancient history when a forest sage Chyawan Rishi was helped to remain youthful and improve vitality by the twin Ashwini Kumar brothers (the royal physicians to the Gods during the Vedic era) who invented this polyherbal preparation. It is said that the ancient recorded recipe for Chyawanprash can be found in the Charaka Samhita, the Ayurvedic classic, where it is appreciated as being superior to all other herbal rejuvenating tonics.

Touted to be a health supplement, the tonic is made up of a super-concentrated blend of nutrient-rich herbs and minerals. It is meant to restore drained reserves of life force (ojas) and to preserve strength, stamina, and vitality while stalling the course of aging with prime ingredient, Amla.

Birth of First Branded Chyawanprash

Dabur’s roots can be traced back to 1884 when it was founded by Dr. SK Burman in Kolkata with an aim to provide natural, Ayurvedic cures for diseases like malaria, cholera, and plague to those who had no access to medicines or healthcare. Ayurveda was one of the affordable and effective options for the common masses and therefore the loyalty dates back from the mythological age to the modern world.

Later a manufacturing plant was set up by the company as the demand for his cures increased and laboratories were established. After launching the Dabur Amla Hair Oil, the company was got its eyes on the ‘Chyawanprash’ popularity- the tonic that provided immense energy for leading a hectic yet healthy lifestyle. These Chyawanprash was usually available at the local ved’s clinic, however no name brand concoction was present.

One of Dabur’s five flagship brands and a nutraceutical that comes under its natural healthcare segment, Dabur Chyawanprash was first introduced in tin packs and was later rolled out in packages. As Chyawanprash already enjoyed a huge fanbase, it wasn’t that difficult for the company to market the branded product wherein it kept the ingredients and original recipe intact as those of its original founder’s.

Advertising Burgeons

The era of the 1970s saw an emergence of televisions and soon did the world of advertising realized the potential of a new medium – apart from print and radio. Professional ad agencies began setting shops and new avenues of advertising were being discovered.

The same year also witnessed ‘Doordarshan’ becoming a household name in India and brands hopping onto the opportunity, kickstarting their advertising on the channel. Dabur claims that it was one of the first companies to explore television advertising and ran one minute long TV commercials telling stories about families’ well being after consulting with advertising professionals and storytellers. And thus started the television chapter of Dabur Chyawanprash advertising journey.

The company came up with advertisements starring theatre and film veteran Late. Shriram Lagoo where he can be seen revealing the secrets about his healthy life owing to Dabur Chyawanprash which came with 36 essential nutrients and herbs including Amla.

The earlier TV advertising also included concepts about ‘Rishi-Munis’ preparing the Chyawanprash with natural ingredients and herbs, the secret to their vitality and strength.

Targeting the kids and the old, Dabur kept its communication revolving around how its of utter significance for the generations to consume Chyawanprash on a daily basis to boost immunity.

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The ads also delivered a strong message that the consumption of this preparation is said to improve immunity levels, protect against infections, increase energy, stabilize blood circulation, boost concentration levels, resolve respiratory problems and provide various other benefits.

Amla, as its main ingredient was marketed at various levels working as an anti-oxidant with high vitamin C content, which helps lower cholesterol levels. One of the old TVCs by Leo Burnett Delhi written by the agency’s then Director Tarvinderjit Singh displayed how a kid with daily Dabur Chyawanprash consumption can leave behind the young adults in breaking the Dahi handi.

Riding the Celeb Wave

Even after impressive storytelling through advertising, Dabur Chyawanrash witnessed a dip in sales during the 2000s. That’s when it roped in megastar Amitabh Bachchan to be the face of the brand and drive its growth.

Joining hands with McCann Erickson, Dabur rolled out its largest-ever advertising campaign for Dabur Chyawanprash worth INR 10 crore featuring the brand ambassador.

The brand repositioned itself as a ‘holistic health provider’ rather than ‘immunity builder’ wherein Bachchan was entrusted with the brand’s vision of making it a household name yet again by changing consumers’ perception about the product. It should also be noted that at the time, Big B was already endorsing Emami’s personal care range when the competitor brand roped in Shah Rukh Khan to endorse its Sona Chandi Chyanwaprash.

Dabur was also threatened by the entry of Himalaya in the then INR 200-crore chyawanprash market with high-end advertising. Although Dabur occupied 65% of the pie, it kept reinventing itself to suit the consumer’s needs and with Senior Bachchan on board, it was confident to win the attention back.

Later, when it realized that there existed a misconception among youth that Dabur Chyawanprash only served the kids and the elderly for resistance against ailments like cold and cough, the company brought on board star cricketer MS Dhoni to break the notion. Hence, the Dabur Chyawanprash advertising journey saw a new chapter.

The commercials mainly concentrated on answering the question Mujhe Dabur Chyawanprash khane ki kya zaroorat hai?”  and the tagline was also changed to –  ‘Fit body, Active mind’. By this time, Dabur Chyawanshakti, positioned as a stress reliever and energizer for working adults.

With a new messaging that to win in life, one needs to have an active mind and a fit body, Dabur Chyawanrash also underwent a revamp with new packaging boasting of red in abundance which also signified the activity and alertness. Dabur Chyawanprash also has a new logo which reinforces the new targeting.

At the same time, the brand went onto rope Bhojpuri star Ravi Kishan to do ground promotion activities in schools, colleges, and outdoor consumer engagement programs with an aim to reach the ‘galli-nukkads’.

In 2010 the brand came up with mango and orange-flavored Chyanprash to attract more young attention and break the perception that anything ‘healthy’ was ‘not tasty’. Today it is also available in mixed fruit and chocolate flavor.

In 2013, the brand took a holistic advertising route by choosing BTown diva Madhuri Dixit as the brand ambassador to promote the phenomenon of ‘double immunity’ for the entire family through Dabur Chyawanprash targeting all genders and cutting across age groups.

Being an icon in her field, Dixit’s image exemplified the modern-day Indian mother who successfully balanced her professional and family life and the brand claimed that there could not have been a better choice.

A low calorie, sugar-free variant, ‘Chyawanprakash’ was launched in 2015 for diabetics. Ratnaprakash, another variant, was said to restore the stamina and vigor of youth by fighting fatigue and lethargy and Anil Kapoor was roped in to endorse it.

In 2019, Dixit was replaced by Kajol to drive home the message that consumption of medicines for everyday infections like cough & cold can cause side effects that can lead to low immunity power and to build your immunity, consuming Dabur Chyawanprash is advisable.  

In May 2020, celebrating 135 years of its existence, Dabur weaved a musical tribute to thank all the consumers for being a part of its glorious journey and helping it make India healthier and stronger.

Making  India Strong Digitally

With dark clouds hovering in the sky and the world locked down owing to the COVID 19 pandemic if there is anything that the globe is talking about is boosting individual immunity power. With a history of over 70 years, Dabur Chyawanprash has bet big on Ayurvedic formula as a cure to respiratory ailments and low immunity.

At present, if you type ‘Dabur Chywanprash’ on Twitter, the result is here for you to analyze its significance in the current times.

The brand has been active on the platform creating campaign awareness, occasional posts, and talks around improving immunity this summer.

The same is reciprocated on other platforms like Instagram and Facebook which includes cross-posting content around moment marketing, precautionary messages, sharing facts file tagging it as ‘immuno-pedia’, and more.

Dabur Chyawanprash wishes you a Happy Mother's Day.

You 2X our happiness, and go above and beyond to keep us strong! Dabur Chyawanprash wishes all moms a very #HappyMothersDay. #MothersDay #DaburChyawanprash #DoubleImmunity #AndarSeMazboot

Posted by Dabur Chyawanprash on Saturday, May 9, 2020

The brand has also roped in celebrity influencers as part of its #AndarSeMazboot campaign on Instagram finding modern immunity booster solutions for babies.

Dabur has always been called one of the ‘thought leaders’ in the advertising industry with its campaigns putting out a strong message about how to lead a healthy lifestyle and why is it important to do take care of oneself, even more in current times.

Dabur Chyawanprash advertising journey has been a testament to the fact that traditional brands too can adapt to the changing times & do it well.