You say it best when you say nothing at all

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Last updated : October 16, 2007
A campaign created by Network Advertising for I-pill, Cipla's emergency contraceptive pill, makes use of subtle gestures and expressions to bring forth the message


conversations don't involve words at all. That's the insight Network Advertising has used in the communication for the launch of Cipla's OTC (over the counter) emergency contraceptive pill.

I-pill is a safeguard against unwanted pregnancies - it claims to decrease chances of pregnancy by 84-90 per cent when consumed 12-72 hours after unprotected/forced sex or contraceptive failure. The launch of I-pill required Cipla's agency of 10 years, Network Advertising, to come up with a creative solution that was subtle yet firm in its delivery.

A family together at
the breakfast table

Finding it difficult
to say the words

Finally, eyes do the job

Understanding the unspoken

The solution

A happy ending
"While contraceptives may have been advertised before, a one-time emergency contraceptive pill is a new territory altogether," says Albert Barton, creative director, Network Advertising. Emergency contraceptives are different from other contraceptives, and are often confused with these, or abortion pills. "So, our communication had to be to the point," explains Barton.

Network Advertising released a series of three commercials a few weeks ago, each featuring a married couple in different situations, but all dealing with the fear of a possible unwanted pregnancy. The first ad has a woman attending to her family at the breakfast table, when she looks across at her husband. Her look conveys her doubts and fears, and the husband, bewildered at first, gradually realises her concern. The voiceover explains that an unwanted pregnancy can be distressing, but I-pill can rescue the situation. After a short product demo with a helpline number (as a super) and Cipla's website URL, the ad concludes with the couple hugging each other in relief.

The second ad has a younger couple in a honeymoon setting, with a similar scenario unfolding. The third ad has a husband shaving in the bathroom, while his wife gets him a cup of coffee. The two share concerned looks, while the voiceover explains that the situation is not irretrievable.

Elements such as the hesitation on the woman's face, or the fear apparent in the man's demeanour, have been used to bring out the tension between the couple. All the situations have been shot in a morning setting to portray the morning after unprotected sex, which is when reality sinks in.

"We deliberately left the dialogues out," says Barton. This serves a dual purpose because not only does it bring out the message subtly, but it also portrays that the couples shown in the ads understand each other perfectly and speak a language only they understand.

"The breakfast ad in particular is a reflection of India's reality," says Barton. This is because, often, couples married for a few years find it difficult to communicate with each other privately if their family is around. The ad hopes to reach out to married couples who don't want another child, or even young couples who don't want to start a family just yet.

Network Advertising also rolled out an information-led campaign (dispelling myths about emergency contraceptives) in newspapers as well as a brand awareness campaign in magazines (featuring insights from couples who face such problems).

Since the launch of the campaign, there have been more than 26,000 hits on Cipla's I-pill website,, with an average of 800-1,000 page views per day. The toll-free helpline number has received an average of 300 calls a day.

First Published : October 16, 2007

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