Brand Saga: A Moov(ing) journey of ‘Aah se aaha tak’

Moov advertising journey

A backache induced ‘Aah’ led a brand and its creative partner to conceive an iconic tagline chanted even after decades. We revisit the Moov advertising journey to unravel its marketing spells over time.

Early morning these days you are witness to maa-papa performing the saaf-safai duties with Diwali round the corner. It comes with its own share of bharpaai – severe back pain. These backaches often get us running to the nearest topical application painkillers which lead to us remembering – Aah se Aah tak. Remember the Moov ads? Relive yourself of some stress while your backache takes a backseat as we unveil the many facets of the Moov advertising journey this week.  

The Moov-ing Start

Paras Pharmaceuticals introduced ‘Moov’ in 1986 as a multi-purpose pain reliever. It aimed at providing relief from pain through a safe topical solution. Although launched with a contemporary packaging of tubes in a carton, the early sales failed to meet the expectations.

Girish Patel, former promoter of Ahmedabad-based Paras Pharma, joined his father’s business at the age of 25 and was being groomed for leadership since he was 16. One of the turning points in his life was when he launched Moov as a joint pain reliever and later sold it as a back pain relief ointment sensing the need to reposition the brand.

In 2010, Paras Pharmaceuticals was sold to British consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc for INR 3,260 crore. The former is touted to be one of the leading FMCG companies in India, with household brands in the Healthcare & Personal care space. With over four decades of experience and a series of successful brand launches including Krack, D’Cold, Set Wet, Itchguard, and MOOV, it has kept the company high on recall value.

Moov Advertising Journey

In today’s day, both men and women suffer from innumerable pains on various body parts irrespective of their age (accept it, your knees are creaking as you read and back pain is a part of life now. Sigh.) Pain can occur while doing everyday tasks, lifting heavy objects, or the wrong posture at work or home (or work from home now) – this formed the base of all communication by Moov since its inception, advertised through mediums like television, print, and radio.

The brand marketed itself as – Your trusted Moov, fortified with the power of “Four Active Ingredients”, that penetrate deep inside, produce warmth to relax the muscles and help you recover quickly.

Moov today is available in two formats – ointment and spray – and is pegged as a 100% natural ayurvedic preparation. In earlier times, this positioning benefited the brand in various ways since consumers vouched for Ayurveda and its application in the health industry.

Not too aggressive in its marketing approach, the brand tried to play subtle and touched only those points that served the brand purpose. It established its core USP as being a pain relief ointment.

In 1993, when the focus was shifted from ‘pain’ to highlighting the ‘relief’ aspect, ‘Aah se ahaa tak’ was coined to put the changed narrative in place.

Triton was mandated with the creative duties for Moov and the agency came on board when Moov when was part of the multi-purpose family, selling just 2.2 lac tubes a month.

Triton pitched in and discovered that 80% of all body aches were applicable to the back and women were the majority afflicted.

After several brainstorming sessions, the duo decided to repositioned Moov from ‘an all purpose cream’ to ‘backache specialist’. As per a case study, the slogan ‘Aah se aaha tak’ played on lips like a national chant.

In 1997, market research revealed that customers considered heat as integral to the relief process. Thus the ‘chain ki garmahat‘ campaign was brought to life.

Moving forward, the burgeoning completion during 2000 led Moov to make itself accessible to larger sections of the society. As a result of which, 5 gm economy tubes were introduced to make the product more affordable

Glaxo SmithKline’s Iodex was the market leader then but, according to the case study by Triton, even the most zealous loyalists admitted to its lack of warmth and presence of black stains. Moov harped on the opportunity and rolled out a non-staining cream in the market.

Also Read: Brand Saga: Manyavar – Tale of timely market entry & bold advertising

It then echoed the sentiments of the Indian housewife through the ‘Rama ki aah’ television spot (2001) by giving her a definitive voice as Moov became her ally. 

In the subsequent year, Moov spray was launched targeting males with a new tagline ‘Jab Koi Na Ho Saath’, further enhancing its brand image as an inclusive one – made it feasible to use it when one is alone.

The ‘Aapke ghar main kaun rehta hai? Kamardard ya Moov?’ campaign in the same year put Moov on an untouchable pedestal where the company’s growth was visible and the ads served value unmatchable, thereby making it one of the leading brands in the category.

Further research revealed that Moov should be used as a regular habit and the company’s communication was based on coercing consumers to do so in 2004. A new tagline was derived in 2007 titled ‘1 minute Moov ki Maalish’ supported by a TVC launch.

One of the most celebrated of Moov’s advertising was the communication that featured a kid asking his father- ‘Sab kaam Mummy hi kyu karti hai?’ The sentiments were echoed nationwide when the commercial went live on television sets in 2008 and was hailed as progressive by many brand custodians.

The plot of ‘Apno Ka Dard’ with the tagline ‘Aah se aaha tak’ conveyed that a child realizes that his mother, the backbone of the house is crumbling in the family’s struggle for a better life. In his own childlike way, he would like to know why his mom (every mom in India) has to labor so much with almost no support.

In 2009, Paras Pharmaceuticals partnered with Big 92.7 FM to promote Moov Neck and Shoulder, an anti-inflammatory spray in the pain management segment. The objective of the campaign was to position Moov Neck and Shoulder as a pain-reliever for working professionals in the age group of 25 years and above in SEC A and B. The campaign reached out to audiences both on-air and on-ground, across Bengaluru.

In the same year, Moov took a strong stand for women and saluted the zest and zeal of the female community with its ‘Janani-Giver of Life’ campaign. According to the company, after spending a decade with the problem-solution approach in its communication, it was time to move on and to build an emotional character.

Devised by Ignite Mudra, the video was a collection of moments, where a woman gives in to her inner child. Until now the Moov was successful in establishing itself as the national brand and its consumer base constituted a large chunk of working women. This would change soon.

An old couple’s advertisement dished out with a fun element that was rolled out in 2011 caught everyone’s attention when Moov launched the heat belt to expand its market offerings and introduced a gel variant. The TVCs were conceptualized by Ignite Mudra.

The brand’s vision to walk the talk and also race with time to garner more set of loyal customers also faced an uphill battle of the onslaught of the market majors but strived to emerge as a significant player by investing in packaging innovation.

The next major stride for the brand came in 2017 when the brand roped in badminton star PV Sindhu as the brand ambassador and launched the ‘Apno Ke liye Moov Karo’ campaign. Recent times demanded the depiction of pain with a fresh perspective where so far it was wrapped in cliché narratives.

In one of the TVCs conceptualized by Mc Cann World Group India, Olympic medallist PV Sindhu is seen standing up to the nation spreading the key campaign message that Moov enables you to live through the expectations of your loved ones.

Leveraging the vast reach of the new age shortvideo platform, TikTok, Moov partnered with it to launch a fitness campaign titled #MakeYourMoov in 2019. The hashtag challenges encouraged users to post a video performing at least one fitness move of their choice.

Apart from amplifying the user-generated content, the brand also adopted influencer marketing roping in stars like Arjun Rampal, Gautam Gambhir, and Reshmi Rai. The TikTok campaign preceded the launch of Moov Advanced Gel with Diclofenac. 

Traditionally, Moov has relied heavily on television for the Moov advertising journey followed by print and outdoor. The homegrown brand has not aggressively explored the digital marketing avenues with little presence on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

Moon rewrote the rules of the game with its contemporary packaging and thought led advertising journey for more than three decades now. All its brand variants have been based on strong insights that reflected in Moov Advertising Journey as well. A testimony to data backed marketing, Moov’s Aah se Aah Tak continues to echo.


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