Brand Saga: Cinthol’s Alive & Awesome marketing stance targetted at the contemporaries

Cinthol advertising journey,

The 68-year-old brand, Cinthol has evolved with time and now has been working towards the millennial gaze. In the second part of the Cinthol advertising journey, we dig deeper into its latest positioning ‘Alive is Awesome’ as the brand looks to crack the ‘cool’ quotient.

With the likes of late actor Vinod Khanna, ace cricketer Imran Khan, and Shah Rukh Khan, endorsing the soap, Cinthol has had its share of stardom since the early days. The benchmark was set and the vintage soap brand could not afford to undertake a marketing gimmick that would fail to strike a chord with its consumers. The concluding part of the saga takes a sneak peek into the new chapter of the Cinthol advertising journey.

Cinthol Advertising Journey- Alive is Awesome

After making waves with Hrithik Roshan as the face of the campaign, Cinthol forged an innovative tie-up with Shah Rukh Khan starrer Ra One in 2011. The TVC featured SRK endorsing the special edition Cinthol Ra One as the action hero exuberated superhero confidence and style synonymous with Cinthol Deodorant.

The cans carried a special edition fragrance and also had the picture of SRK as his movie character – G.One. To entice the consumers, the brand launched an SMS contest wherein the lucky draw winners every fortnight won prizes and meet and greet.

Cinthol in 2012 underwent a major revamp when it decided to shift the focus on youth and make the brand more millennial-friendly- all while keeping the ‘confidence quotient intact in its communication.

Cinthol joined hands with Creativeland Asia and Nirvana Films to demonstrate the brand new philosophy- Alive is Awesome- and launch a 360 degree integrated campaign to amplify the messaging across all mediums. The campaign marked Cinthol’s invigorating comeback and its entry into the Indian personal grooming market with new positioning, revamped product range.

As part of the campaign, the agency introduced the concept of ‘Alive Bathing’—the spirit of feeling alive every time one held the Cinthol soap bar and made ‘Alive is Awesome’ appealing to millennials by repositioning the concept of bathing as an experiential adventure activity.

Unusual for the Cinthol advertising journey and ditching the celebrities, the one-minute-long commercial this time featured youthful outdoorsy people who are driven by the sheer joy of living. Inspiring a culture of feeling alive and making the brand synonymous with ‘Adventure Bathing’, the TVC showcased livelily, adventure enthusiasts in eight unconventional bath sequences like ‘The Polar Plunge’ (a jump in an ice pond in the Arctic), ‘The Cavedive’ (a jump off a 500-foot high cliff into a water body), etc.

The campaign launched not just the revamped soap formulations in five different variants but the complete range of soaps, talcum powder, deodorant spray, and body wash. The new packaging was clean, bold, and aesthetic and that was the time when Cinthol was touted as a brand with ‘urban’ looks and feels.

The campaign went beyond television and print and was supported by a digital media activation wherein they asked consumers to share a picture or videos of their ‘Alive is Awesome’ moment, augmented in the form of branded content and on-ground events.

The campaign led to 1,150% growth in Cinthol’s social media following, 22% growth in sales, and amassed 300+ user-generated bath videos.

The ‘Alive is Awesome’ strategy was the result of extensive consumer outreach research and was primarily adopted to differentiate the brand from the cluttered beauty soap category which was then ruled by Lux, Dove, and more. Cinthol concentrated on being a premium brand with skincare-induced products. The ‘24-hour confidence’ and ‘long-lasting freshness’, were now culminated to make what young India felt at the moment and the need to revitalize themselves at every stage.

Also Read: Brand Saga: Cinthol – The opera of India’s first deodorant and complexion soap brand

In 2013, Cinthol roped in Virat Kohli to push the new positioning of ‘Alive is Awesome’ and give it a brand new face. Leveraging the country’s love for cricket and Kohli’s growing fandom, the brand yet again partnered with Creativeland Asia and rolled out a teaser online before the campaign went live in March 2013. It showcased a tense situation wherein the batsman could be seen asking the question – Pata hai mere andhar kya chal raha hai?’ (Do you know what’s going on in my head? and CTA label at the end which stated that the users stand a chance to win autographed merchandise, IPL passes, and a lot more if they guessed it right.

Largely amplified through social media, the teaser was led by the microsite where Kohli personally responded to tons of interesting, surprising, and entertaining comments via video in a candid tone. The teaser with the hashtag #InViratsHead started trending on Twitter within hours of its launch where users from across the world shared their answers via the micro-blogging site, YouTube, and witty one-liners.

The teaser campaign was an instant hit which was later followed by the launch of the main film ‘Virat Comes Alive’ helmed by Prakash Varma of Nirvana Films. It revealed a never-before-seen avatar of Kohli and that he wasn’t tensed but was all prepped up to face the 7 ft tall bowler. Complemented by an energetic number, the cricketer could be seen promoting Cinthol does screaming ‘Alive is awesome’ into the camera.

Moving further, in 2014, the brand introduced Cinthol Confidence+, positioned as a complete health soap’, as a new entrant in the then Rs 3,000-crore health soap segment. Targeted at young India which is fearless and infused with energy to achieve its aspirations, the campaign was conceived by Creativeland Asia.

Cinthol Confidence+ kick-started its digital campaign on the occasion of Independence Day and the TVC was flagged off  with an inspiring video that beautifully captured the spirit of young and dynamic India.

The campaign put the young inspiring professionals under the lens of ‘Alive is Awesome’, Cinthol’s brand promise. With an upbeat score of ‘Hum Honge Kamyaab’, the 80-second long commercial showed people from the armed forces, health units, football teams, oil rigs, and even children living their life confidently, unfazed by the dust because they had Cinthol Confidence+ with them. 

The year 2015 witnessed the launch of the #AliveisOffline digital campaign where the brand urged everyone to everyone to explore the offline world and embark on a journey to connect with the world around sans the Internet.

The ad took cognizance of the immense social media addiction among the netizens and questioned their lifestyle to ignore the offline world. Extending the thought to social media, a Twitter activity was launched through online content partners. Cinthol, in an attempt to break the monotony, also tied up with various telecoms to come up with caller tunes that ignited the thought of planning a travel to explore the real world among the users.

A simple ‘no’ can take one place and emphasizing the power of the two-letter word was Cinthol’s new ad campaign in 2016. Godrej Cinthol took upon itself to convey to the world how awesome women are through their #ReadyForAwesome campaign for their new range of fragrances for women.

The film was a celebration of the defiant spirit and took sports as a metaphor to depict today’s women who are poised to own the world against all odds. It’s an ode to the women who don’t believe in giving excuses and consider the world a stage to show their skills and talent.

Cinthol as a brand has been synonymous with having a great time outdoors. The brand ethos is about stepping out of your comfort zone, exploring, and being one with your natural surroundings. In 2017, it rolled out a monsoon-focused campaign for Cinthol Confidence+, conceptualised by Creativeland Asia and Baaash Digital.

The central theme of the campaign was to overcome the fear of falling ill because of germs or getting dirty in the monsoon. The film is effectively narrated by a Cinthol Confidence+ coach who encouraged all to step out this monsoon without the fear of dirt or germs.

In September 2018, the brand launched its men’s grooming range, a collection that boasts of unique, multi-functional products that simplify grooming for men. Now, Cinthol is not just about feeling alive but looking alive too. The brand launched a video series of ‘How To use’ the products as tutorials for the users to comply.

As part of the #TurnDownTheHeat campaign of Cinthol Lime & Cinthol Cool soap variants in 2019, Cinthol roped in young cricket star Shubman Gill to boost the campaign reach.

The campaign aimed at providing respite to the users from the soaring temperatures, thereby delivering a refreshing solution.

2020 has been a pivotal launchpad for businesses for creating new strategies, breaking new ground, and defining new norms. In September 2020 Cinthol launched a reprised version of the brand’s 2012 ad campaign ‘Alive is Awesome’. It came as a year of challenges too for the Cinthol advertising journey.

Supported by a groovy soundtrack, the film shows the perspective of someone who craves to go out and misses new adventures. It addresses the tough times where the outdoors are closed and adventures are uncertain and show how despite all, Cinthol soaps can bring that sensorial outdoor freshness home to you.

Cut to January 2021, the brand launched its first-ever mini web series ‘Cinthol Alive Adventures’ which features India’s top social media influencers. These webisodes are a series of conversations with these travel influencers reminiscing their most adventure-filled experiences.

Cinthol’s Social Media Play

Amidst numerous restrictions and lockdowns, Cinthol realized that as travel in this year became more and more of a distant dream, There was also a strong desire to vicariously feel the thrill that a new adventure or a new exploration promises to offer. This led the brand to create a travel community – which brings together people who love travel & adventure.

In line with the brand philosophy, this community is called #CintholAwesomeExplorers. While kick-starting the community, the brand announced #CintholAliveAdventures, a UGC digital campaign offering people a chance to relive past adventurous experiences and get rewarded with Virtual Reality (VR) headsets.

The creative idea was to re-introduce the brand manifesto of ‘Alive is awesome’ using tantalizing imagery of a life pre-covid, where the thrill and rush of adventure made moments feel intensely alive.

As part of this campaign, the brand made a list of influencers across various backgrounds who have the spirit of adventure in common. The team went through each of their profiles to make sure they aligned with Cinthol’s spirit and spoke to them about their journey. After a detailed analysis, 16 people were finalised to join the community and share their inspiring stories.

Currently, the brands social media pages boasts of numerable travel stories, anecdotes and vlogs from the influencers and the brand’s travel community as part of the ongoing #CintholAliveAdventures campaign.

Apart from campaign announcements and product promotion, the brand also leverages social media walk the talk, live in the moment, and create topical creatives, occasional and seasonal greetings.

Mainly concentrated on germ protection looking at the current times, Cinthol is utilizing its digital presence to educate and spread awareness around how the soap can not only keep users safe from the virus but also washing hands with Cinthol at regular intervals can also make them feel Alive and Awesome. It’s quite evident how crucial digital has been for the Cinthol advertising journey since the brand has been one of the early adopters to leverage the medium to its core.

The evolution of the age-old brand has resulted in reinvented products to strike the chord with the new-age consumer, and so has the Cinthol advertising journey that has stayed true to the brand’s philosophy to exuberate ‘confidence’ and make the living awesome.


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