Regarded as an antiseptic cream not only by the Indian consumers but also in foreign lands like Russia and Ukraine, the Boroplus advertising journey has gained global recognition just like its product reach.
In June 2020, Emami Ltd announced its plans to foray into the personal hygiene portfolio under its flagship brand Boroplus. In the public announcement, the FMCG major also shared its vision to transform Boroplus, which is largely a winter skincare product to an all-year brand with a new range of soap and hand wash, thus reducing dependence on seasonal offerings. Currently bucketing a vast range of products, Boroplus advertising journey has been plain-speaking about the brand and betting big on the natural constituents.
The Boroplus Story
Tracing the history of the parent company – Emami Group- which suggests that two childhood friends R S Agarwal and R S Goenka – left their high profound profession of chartered accountants when the entrepreneurial bug bit the duo. With a meager amount of INR 20,000 in hand, they set up Kemco Chemicals, an ayurvedic medicine and cosmetic manufacturing unit in Kolkata, in 1974. In the early 70s, the Indian FMCG market was still dominated by multinationals like Unilever vying for a larger share.
Kemco was driven towards manufacturing ayurvedic and natural cosmetic products, making them affordable to the working-class population of India. With the thought of a winning combination of blending Ayurveda with the modern knowledge of science and technology, the production of various personal care products based on the formula had commenced at the factory.
In 1995, Kemco Chemicals, the partnership firm was converted into a Public Limited Company under the name and style of Emami Ltd. In 1998, Emami Ltd was merged with Himani Ltd and its name was changed on September 1, 1998.
Studying the traditional Indian mindset and the affinity towards Ayurveda, the company rooted for ayurvedic products and soon found itself in the hinterlands of the country. Ten years later, it launched its first flagship brand BoroPlus Antiseptic Cream under the Himani umbrella in 1984. Many additional brands followed including BoroPlus Prickly Heat Powder. Emami spread across borders and soon, BoroPlus became not only one of the largest selling Antiseptic Cream in India but also in Russia, Ukraine, and Nepal.
The business philosophy of Emami Limited- “Making people healthy and beautiful naturally” and is reflected through its range of products.
The Boroplus Advertising Journey
Although equipped with limited resources and marketing the products door to door, Emami soon became adept in selling beautiful dreams to Indian women interested in finding their own identity. Natural, herbal, and Ayurveda were the buzzwords then and Emami, with Boroplus, harped onto the craze to create antiseptic creams that would work as a healer and a natural moisturizer.
The initial advertising for the brand featured women obsessing over BoroPlus antiseptic cream supported by a background score while it gave a clear message about the product specifications and how it is the one-stop shop for everything regarding skincare.
The brand heavily endorsed the science behind healthy skin and its products made from the goodness of Ayurved. The Boroplus advertising strategy singlemindedly focussed on spreading awareness about how the brand’s research team works in tandem with Ayurvedic experts in India.
The end to end communication carried information about discovering ways to nurture and transform skincare to a state of natural health and beauty.
Boroplus- A celebrity Brand
Emami is popular as a company that established its brands through strong celebrity endorsements. It was also quick to rope in Hindi Cinema’s Shahenshah to endorse products like Navratna and Boroplus winter cream. Big B could be seen asking the consumers to take proper care of their ‘tvacha’ (face) while the brand stood to gain on account of its strong antiseptic and ayurvedic equity.
The TVC was conceptualised by Everest Brand Solutions and took off from the traditional Indian belief of applying kaala teeka to ward off the evil eye.
In 2005, Emami roped in Bollywood diva Kareena Kapoor for endorsing the `Boroplus’ brand whose value had been pegged at INR 100 crore with aim to make Boroplus a complete skincare brand by 2007. It was followed by the launch of more skincare products under the ‘Boroplus’ umbrella including the Boroplus prickly heat powder, advanced cream, et al.
During the year 2009-10 the company launched new products namely Boroplus Winter Lotion and Emami Malai Kesar Soap in the market. In 2010 the company’s net sales crossed the INR 1000 crore milestone.
In 2011, Emami Limited announced the extension of its power brand Boroplus by introducing a sun protection lotion. Keeping in mind the essence of ‘Healthy Skin’ and to embody a strong association with the mother brand, Boroplus Sun Protection lotion was formulated using 7 powerful sun shield herbs. With this launch, the company targeted a larger play in the summer lotions segment and got endorsed by Kareena.
While the dynamic duo of Kareena and Big B was still going strong, Emami brought on board yet another BTown diva – Bipasha Basu as the brand ambassador in 2013. The actress was seen endorsing a new face wash range of BoroPlus and Basu being synonymous with beauty, glamour, and talent, her personality complemented the brand image.
The INR 400 crore Boroplus portfolio then comprised brands-for-all-seasons: BoroPlus Antiseptic Cream, Boroplus Advanced Moisturizing Lotion, and BoroPlus Prickly Heat Powder with BoroPlus antiseptic cream occupying 74% market share.
Adhering to it’s multiply celeb endorsers formula, BoroPlus went ahead to signing Sonakshi Sinha in 2014 for the anti-pollution face wash range of Boroplus owing to her ‘Dabangg’ outing in the film industry and her popularity across the Tier 1, Tier 2 cities.
In the same year, identifying Kangana Ranaut’s mass appeal, Emami signed the ‘Queen’ actress for its body lotion category and skincare products.
Winter lotion – a category on a high growth path, both in urban and rural centers, with more than INR 800 crores in value sales in 2013-14 witnessed a cut-throat competition.
Further in 2015, the company roped in Parineeti Chopra to endorse its newly launched Boroplus Cocoa soft moisturizing lotion which targets young women between the ages of 20-30. The ad film featuring Chopra run in cinema halls and was promoted digitally targeting states like UP, Maharashtra, NCR, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Karnataka.
The year also witnessed Boroplus presenting one of the biggest casting coups – bringing together Kangana Ranaut and Amitabh Bachchan for the first time for a new Rajkumar Hirani blockbuster production – the hype around the ad film for the Boroplus antiseptic cream was built in a similar manner.
The TVC featured the two actors in a conversation on a movie set and made them re-enact iconic Bollywood dialogues which take a funny turn and displayed the amazing repartee shared by the duo. The commercial became a viral hit among the consumers as well as the brand custodians who applauded the casting, storyline, dialogue delivery, and a blockbuster performance by the star power involved.
Celebrating the “new face” #IndiaKaNayaChehera, Emami introduced the BoroPlus Healthy White Fairness Cream in 2018. The campaign was backed by the insight that breaking every stereotype around women. The campaign highlighted women how follow their passions and are fearless in achieving their dreams.
The TVC was helmed by Kopal Naithani, one of the most promising women directors in the Indian ad business.
Cut to 2020, when the pandemic hit the globe, Emami forayed into launching an Aloe Vera gel followed by roping in Juhi Chawla to endorse its new range of hygiene products in September. With the launch of hand sanitizers, hand wash and toilet soaps the brand advocated the necessity of maintaining personal hygiene especially amidst the present global health crisis of COVID-19.
Apart from going strong on the traditional ATL and BTL activities for the brand portfolio, Emami has also expanded its wings and spends on the digital medium to get in touch with the new generation.
Boroplus debuted on Instagram in August 2020 and has managed to amass about 400 followers so far. It can be seen promoting its range of products like moisturizing creams and campaign announcements along with indulging in some millennial conversations on the platform.
Skin ko sardi ki nazar na lage, with super moisturizing, Ayurvedic herbs like neem, tulsi, chandan and more, in every…Posted by Boro Plus Healthy Skin on Sunday, December 20, 2020
A similar strategy has been adopted across platforms like Facebook and Twitter where a hint of influencer tie-ups are visible to amplify the product reach.
The Boroplus advertising journey speaks of trust, authenticity, purity, and adhering to the responsible advertising norms. For over four decades the brand has grown to greater heights protecting our skin from the external scars launching one innovative product at a time.