Inside: RIO Sanitary Pads' PCOS awareness initiative

Aishwarrya Chakraverty
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#RIOTalksPCOS RIO Sanitary Pads campaign

RIO Sanitary Pads launched #RIOTalksPCOS, blending the emotions of 'Raagas' through musical notes with the pain & agony faced by women suffering from PCOS in an attempt to empathize & spread cognizance about the syndrome. Social Samosa speaks to the brand-agency duo to delve into it further.

Marking PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome awareness month in September 2020, RIO Sanitary Pads launched the #RIOTalksPCOS to create awareness around the issue.

One of the most common hormonal disorders, half of the women remain unaware of the 'Polycystic Ovary Syndrome' & experience immense pain during their menstrual cycles. The other half do not consider it relevant enough to be acknowledged with varied perceptions about the syndrome.

To bring cognizance and awareness about the ailment, RIO Sanitary Pads brings a visual & musical retreat by intertwining the emotions of the highs & lows of the Raagas with the agony faced by the women during such days.

It is said that mood and music are closely related, unfolding varied emotions from the artists & listeners, alike. In this high octave classical number featuring Bawari Basanti, the RIO campaign makes an effort to strike the right chords.


Drawing a comparison between two completely unexpected themes and imitating the drastic ‘highs and lows’ that a woman goes through during her periods, has been the prime focus of RIO’s latest campaign during PCOS awareness month.

Kartik Johari, Vice President, Nobel Hygiene, shares, “RIO’s research has revealed that women with PCOS are perennially worried and are unsure of how their periods will behave. The unpredictability results in them using a multitude of methods to prepare for it with a lot of hits and misses.”

The rationale behind the campaign came from expressing the volatility of the period experience, through an unexpected medium, explains Johari, to help people 'listen closely' to the symptoms.


& Objective

People remain unaware of PCOS due to ignorance and lack of education. Keeping this as an objective, RIO Pads continued with its conversation around the topic.

Speaking about the brief, Disha Daswani, Group Creative Manager, Schbang highlighted that the brand had to start a conversation about the unspoken condition around PCOS, first. The challenge was to do something intriguing enough so people would actually watch & listen.


& Execution

Raagas have always had a certain pain and agony communicated through them. Linking that particular rollercoaster of emotions to what women with PCOS go through has been depicted in the campaign. Daswani also shared, “We were lucky to work with Mahima (Bawari Basanti), who lent her beautiful voice to the cause and really took the concept to where it is. The video was also shot in a way that amplifies the feeling of imbalance and discomfort, coupled with a tone that brings out the varying moods of the Raaga.” 

Johari highlighted that Schbang created a quick 20 seconder as a reference, & the ideas seemed to mesh.

Once the asset was launched, key opinion leaders such as Varun Thakur, Rytasha Rathore, Kiran Gandhi, and more, came forward to support the cause. The brand wanted to establish that women are not alone in their PCOS battle.

RIO Sanitary Pads post

Further, the brand continued with its awareness program, launching a series of educational content to help women identify & manage the symptoms better.

Also read: Inside: Mountain Dew’s multi-brand anthem based campaign

Johari tells Social Samosa that all the brainstorming began with the three consumer research studies that were done for the brand.



Along with leveraging research and real-time insights to constantly understand the changing consumer mindsets and behaviors, the agency-brand duo for the campaign also aimed to document every emotion in the video.

In the context, Daswani explained that every detail was essential in getting the emotion that we wanted to bring out. "The ups and downs of the piece that Mahima composed for us, the elements in the screen, the art, the color palette, the grade, everything was thought through keeping in mind the mood of the film to best bring out the message of the film.”

RIO Sanitary Pads consumer post


media & Communication strategy

For the brand, digital has always been like a two-way street. "It has always been important for us to make sure the consumer feels heard, and that someone is taking note of what they feel," Kartik put forth.

RIO, as a brand, makes an effort to connect with audiences as the brand strategy uses these comments as insights for leveraging consumer sentiments. Johari even shared that a lot of consumers come and tell the brand their personal stories through DMs and with their permission, the brand published some of them as a part of their platform communication.

Our communication strategy has always been to say it like how it truly is, further highlights Johari.

While the brand launched a campaign with one symptom, i.e: mood swings and the emotional trauma women with PCOS go through, they followed it up with educational videos throughout the month.

RIO Sanitary Pads social media post

For RIO along with word of mouth, key opinion leaders have played an important role to spread the messages. “If your content is important and meaningful, people are willing to voice and support the cause organically, Johari points out

Marketing during COVID-19

"We had to change our marketing and distribution plans on the fly, and are tactically advancing even now", shared Kartik. 

Being one of the essential products, the need and consumer behavior towards RIO Sanitary Pads did not change during the pandemic, according to the brand. "Lockdown or no lockdown, your periods aren't going to stop!", quipped Johari. However, since the brand launched a few weeks before lockdown, the time-period certainly had an impact on the process.

Initially, the brand campaign was split into 70/30 for TV and Digital. "Our last campaign on TV did give us incredible numbers along with a semi-captive audience, but with offline distribution being affected, we pivoted quickly to digital and made the split 50/50", he highlighted.

Daswani put forth that while communication & transparency are the keys to driving change at such times, social media platforms became one of the best avenues for people to stay informed & connected. Hence, the focus on the platforms remains unabated.

Summarizing the process at such times, Daswani explains, "Collaboration is the key to ensure we deliver the best creative output."

Going beyond

Echoing Ratan Tata's philosophy, Johari cited that 2020 is a year to survive, not thrive.

Moving forward, it is incumbent on all sections of the economy to find ways and means to get back to normal as fast as possible. Further, Johari highlighted that at Nobel, they have found innovative ways to make sure that the customer does not face any inconvenience and they have access to the product at all times.

While we are available across the country on all the big e-commerce platforms, our aim is to cover the offline space as well to ensure that the customers' needs are met, concludes Johari

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