Somasree Bose Awasthi shares insights on how the brand uses cultural nuances to better connect with changing consumer dynamics and choices.
Hair oils and Indians have a long-standing connection. Right from school days to well into adulthood, hair care plays a significant role for many. With changing times, the haircare department has seen some strides.
Marico’s Parachute Advansed Gold, which is an established player in the market, operates in the US$2.96 billion hair care industry. To connect with the ever-changing audience demographic, the brand has time and again leveraged India’s love for hair oil and hair care. The brand has found a way to move away from the traditional set of audiences and made space within the younger generation.
Somasree Bose Awasthi, CMO, Marico Ltd explains how the brand connects with the ‘normal women’ through contextualized marketing.
Nowadays, the Indian audience drifts towards a clean and natural line of products when it comes to hair care. How does Parachute Advansed Gold differentiate itself in terms of marketing from these brands?
Parachute Advansed Gold stands for authentic beauty. The brand stays true to this point in every campaign, including the current one – No baal baanka. The brand has been a trusted ally in the nourishment segment for consumers for generations, which helps with brand loyalty and thus, the brand doesn’t have to work hard on that front.
The challenge today for the new generation is either the external environment like extreme heat or the monsoon weather or celebrations like Holi, etc, that can cause the risk of hair damage. The brand typically contextualizes the content to these celebrations and other nuances, and shares it with the consumers which helps in differentiating from others and connecting with today’s youth.
Last year, the brand revamped Parachute Advansed Gold's packaging as an ode to farmers. What role does packaging design play in the marketing of your products?
Packaging, in terms of marketing, is a concept that has had its basics clear for generations. It's the step where the consumers interact with your brand directly and the first step where the consumer makes the choice of choosing the brand.
Parachute Kalpavriksha Foundation, which was a ‘Pactivation’ initiative, aimed at advising farmers on improving their farm products. The brand took this opportunity to pay ode to the farmers and reflected this in the packaging. Through limited edition packs, Parachute Advansed Gold incorporated actual farmers onto the packaging.
With the revamping of this packet, the brand connected with the audience on the realism front and drove the conversation of how Parachute Advansed Gold is critically close to farmers as well as consumers. This was an attempt to become more personalised and connect with the consumers.
Can you tell us a bit about your target audience? From the very beginning, Parachute Advansed Gold's campaigns have always featured a woman in the lead role. With growing awareness, haircare has attracted a lot of the male demographic as well. How does the brand plan on communicating with them at large?
When the brand converses with the audience, it typically aims at the real decision-makers. Parachute Advansed Gold found that in many cases, this role is dominated by the woman of the house. Hence, the target audience for the brand continues to be the woman.
Can you share the marketing mediums for the brand?
To reach the correct audience base, Parachute Advansed Gold particularly aims at television but doesn’t restrict itself to that. Taking all the aspects into consideration, Parachute Advansed Gold has moved towards digital, OTT, video formats and more as well.
As television remains the biggest medium to reach the audience, more than 70-80% of the marketing budget is allotted to television. We are going with whatever works best to maximize our reach to the consumer at an optimal cost.
Recently, the brand has also tried their hands at interruption or disruption marketing, where the brand created a series of contextualized ads. A segment was created which was linked into the show’s scene that talked about how our product can protect women's hair from any kind of damage.
This activation wasn’t just limited to primetime TV but was adapted to OTT platforms as well, hence widening our consumer bases.
In the past, the brand has partnered with many celebrities. Lately, the brand has let go of the known faces and stuck to the 'ordinary woman' look. What was the reason for this, and how has this helped the brand?
The strategy has always been to talk to consumers, whether with celebrities or without celebrities. As the brand communication shifted and Parachute Advansed Gold took on an authentic avatar, we stuck to the ‘normal woman.’
The brand chose to represent the woman that we actually wanted to talk to and hence went authentic
How does Parachute Advansed Gold adapt to the different regional markets and cultural preferences through their marketing?
Although ‘Meri baal, Meri jaan’ campaign was a national campaign, to reach and connect with the audience at large, Parachute Advansed Gold chose specific cultural nuances. For example, to converse with Tamil Nadu, the brand launched a campaign titled ‘En Mudi En Adaiyalam’. In key markets, we have been customizing our communication.
In the coming year, what can be expected from the brand on the marketing front?
A lot more media focus can be expected from the brand in the coming year. Parachute Advansed Gold will be focusing more on the contextualizing, especially around key occasions that matter to women.