Case Study: How Combiflam Plus lockdown campaign attempted to fight pain with humour

Combiflam case study

Combiflam Plus lockdown campaign case study explores how the brand leveraged influencers to establish their product as the perfect partner of Lockdown headaches.

Combiflam Plus lockdown campaign – #LockdownWaaliLife, was executed on Facebook, TikTok & Instagram. This case study decodes how the brand approached humor & empathy as a communication route to garner 50+ Mn reach & more on social media channels.

Category Introduction

Combiflam Plus operates in what is called the oral analgesic category. It is almost INR 3,800 crore market in India and comprises of more than 1200 SKU’s. The category has been growing at a CAGR of 7-8% for the last 5 years. Most brands use the trade and HCP model of promotion, and very few brands talk directly to the consumers (DTC).

All the DTC brands are positioning themselves for Headache relief because most studies show that headache is the biggest pain suffered about all body aches by consumers. With Covid-19 and the fear around it all, leading to multi-fold stressful situations daily, the need for pain relief has also increased.

Brand Introduction

Combiflam is a household name for pain relief, and it has been in India for more than 35 years. The brand recently launched an extension ‘Combiflam Plus’, a scientifically proven formula of Paracetamol and Caffeine that is apt to manage strong headaches.

This variant will play in the competitive space with many established brands that are salient in media too. The brand aims to drive awareness and consideration for Combiflam Plus. The growing digital space is ideal for driving both awareness and consideration for the brand.


With Combiflam Plus, the brand wanted to associate themselves with headache relief. They had dual goals of driving awareness and consideration during the lockdown, so it was important that the brand communicated in a non-clinical language to consumers and demonstrate how relief from headache plays a critical role in their daily lives.

The brand adopted the route of empathy and humor to communicate the message where influencers played a critical role to convey the message of #LockDownWaaliLife on social media channels.


Combiflam Plus wanted to build from their earlier communication of ‘We understand India’s pain’.

Hence, during the lockdown, it intended to tell consumers to stay safe and stay strong. While the brand could not do away with all the associated pains related to lockdown, it wanted to position itself as a necessary pain-reliever for headaches at various occasions.

Creative Idea

Behaviourally, the pandemic and the lockdown gave rise to not just increased headaches, but also new causes of headaches. It hasn’t just affected consumers physically, but mentally as well.

While Combiflam wanted to convey that ‘Combiflam plus understands your pain’, the brand didn’t want to add to this emotion. Rather, they saw it as an opportunity to lift their spirits up, the same way a call with a friend makes us feel better.

This gave birth to #LockdownWaaliLife. It showcases the lighter side of how the lockdown had affected the lives of people. The campaign had to be relatable, showing consumers how similar incidences happen in their house too, by leaving them with a smile.

Also read: Case Study: How ASICS ‘Comeback Stories’ leveraged social media to spread message of hope


Being a pharma-OTC company, it is easy for the brand to sway in a direction that is more serious and science-driven. But the brand understood that at a time like this, a brand comes much later, but the safety, security, and being relevant to the consumer in this testing times is far more important.


The growing digital space allowed for contextualizing the brand messaging to the platforms where consumers are watching. Thus, the rollout of #LockdownWaaliLife was done through influencers across Instagram, TikTok, and contextual static posts on Facebook.

Combiflam Plus highlighted the struggles and tussles of working-from-home and working-at-home, both at the same time. The situations were keeping the millennials in mind, who spend a fair share of their time on these channels. Various everyday instances showed how the current scenario was leading to new pains and ended by simply highlighting the role of the product to make lives better.



  • The campaign has achieved a total of 25 Mn + views, on both Tik Tok & Instagram put together.
  • It is a 340 UGC content generated along with a campaign engagement of 8%.
  • The social campaign led primarily by Facebook managed to garner 50 Mn+ total reach and 2Mn + engagement
  • Purchase intent was up by 13% percent amongst the exposed cluster as compared to the control, (as per research conducted by Nielsen in May 2020, 400 consumers, among 25-44 yrs NCCS A/B, in Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Pune, Indore, Jaipur, with campaign exposure captured at a claimed level )


  • The campaign helped strengthen Combiflam’s belief that staying contextual and relevant will break the clutter and help build the brand with audiences, instead of advertising just the product benefits.

CMO Quotes

Nikhilesh Kalra, General Manager, Consumer Healthcare, Sanofi, said, No amount of messaging on how to stay safe during this pandemic is enough. Everyone has received strong and serious messages from the Government, news, and social channels. However, this has required a lot of adjustment and consequently physical and mental pain for us. Many of us are not used to doing household chores along with the rigor of working-from-home or studying-at-home or whatever-at-home.

Combiflam Plus understands the pain that Indians go through in their day to day life. This campaign demonstrates this understanding. In a light and humorous way, we are telling everyone that while we may not be able to make all the lockdown-related pains go away, for any physical pain Combiflam® Plus is always there for you.”

Elizabeth Dias and Srreram Athray, Group Creative Directors, Ogilvy said, “Combiflam Plus stands for pain relief. And with the lockdown in place, everyone is experiencing the pain of varying kinds. So, we thought it would be a good idea for the brand to help relieve some of this pain through a bit of humor and empathy. When we all go through the same pain, we can discuss it and have some fun. Since traditional media was currently out of question, we used some entertaining people and social media to take the message into everyone’s homes.”