Odomos: Giving a slip to mosquitoes

By Poojya Trivedi , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | October 08, 2010
Dabur, to promote its mosquito repellent oil, launched an on ground initiative reaching almost 80,000 people in 130 villages across Uttar Pradesh

Mosquitoes have become a menace and to counter the problem, various remedies are currently in use - from repellent sprays and coils to creams and oils. However, the mosquito repellent oil category is unorganised and largely dominated by local products. Entering this segment is Dabur, with its flagship mosquito repellent brand, Odomos.

This summer, the healthcare company rolled out the mosquito repellent oil under the brand name Odomos Oil, to provide rural consumers better safety from mosquito borne diseases at an affordable price.

To strengthen the brand presence in rural areas, the company rolled out an educational campaign called Machhar Mukti Abhiyan in Uttar Pradesh. The campaign aimed at educating the rural population about the various mosquito generated diseases and their prevention.

"Although the campaign was TV-led, due to problems like lack of electricity - the media coverage is not 100 per cent. To reach out to our audience, we launched this on ground initiative," says Rama Dhamija, brand head, Odomos, Dabur India.

The campaign aims to reach more than 1.20 lakh people in 232 villages in two phases. The districts it aims to cover are Allahabad, Varanasi, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Saharanpur, Ghaziabad, Bulandshaher, Aligarh, Bijnor, Moradabad, Rampur, Bareilly, Kanpur, Farukhabad, Itawa, Agra, Jhansi, Lucknow, Shahjahanpur, Faizabad and Gorakhpur. The campaign is managed by the activation agency, Jagran Solutions.

In its first phase, which began on August 29 and ended on October 3, it reached about 101 villages in UP, interacting with almost 30,000 people. Districts covered in the activity include Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Bijnor, Moradabad, Rampur, Kanpur, Farukhabad and Etawah.

The brief to given to agency emphasised on educating about the mosquito related problem and to gain market share by highlighting the various ill effects of the cheap oils available in the market. "The concept had to be educative and interactive, touching the heart of the rural audience and allowing them to participate actively," says Ambika Sharma, chief operating officer, Jagran Solutions.

The objective of the campaign was four fold: first, to educate the rural population about the various diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and their prevention. Secondly, to educate the audience about the danger caused by cheap products available in the category. Thirdly, to establish Odomos Oil as the most trusted brand for the cause and finally, to induce brand trial and purchase.

To achieve the objective, the agency used flip charts to highlight various facts such as death caused by mosquito borne diseases, details and symptoms of these diseases, how to prevent these diseases and how Odomos Oil can help. These flip charts were used during the activity, which was spread over primary health centres, Asha Didis (health workers), haats, street plays and movie screening.

Various primary health centres were set up in the villages, where people could get more information on mosquito borne diseases and their cure. This was supported by health workers, who gathered the women of the village and educated them on the ill effects of using home remedies to cure mosquito borne diseases and further tell them about the product. This activity was conducted in 47 villages.

To mark the brand's presence in the haats, the agency used 'dhols' and 'nagadas' to spread the message and make announcements. People carrying these drums roamed the entire haat and brought the consumers to the kiosk area. The presence was further escalated by 15'X6' replicas of the bottle, placed near the kiosks, which were visible from a distance of a kilometre.

Again, to make the interaction fun and exciting, 'nukkad nataks' (street plays) were organised at regular intervals. The nukkad natak has primary characters such as Sukhiya (user of Odomos Oil) and Dukhiya (user of local oil). Through the play, the ill effects of local oil and the safe features of Odomos Oil were depicted.

Talking about the interactivity status of nukkad nataks, Sharma says, "Street plays are infotainment and entertainment is the heart of the country. Therefore, they are highly engaging. Secondly, we are able to use local theatres and language, which makes the connect very strong and this is not possible in any other medium. Finally, unlike TV, it is not just delivering the message but doing so in an interactive manner."

To sample the product, the agency screened movies in the evening in open areas - when density of mosquitoes is high. The movies were screened for 130 days in 130 villages. During these screening sessions, the audience was asked to apply Odomos Oil and watch the movie without any disturbance - giving them a first-hand feel of the product and its benefits. Also, in between the movies, ads of Odmos Oil were inserted at intervals of 30 minutes for four-five times, for further recall and influence.

The market in the category is dominated by cheap variants and local products with lots of ill effects. "The reasoning behind launching this kind of product was that oil costs comparatively less than cream. Also, per application usage of the oil variant is very low compared to the cream variant," says Dhamija.

The product is targeted at users of coil and local variant oils in mosquito repellent category in the rural areas. Odomos Oil has been competitively priced so that it becomes affordable for rural consumers. The creams in the category cost almost 50 per cent more than oils. A 40 ml bottle of Odomos Oil costs Rs 17, whereas a 50 mg pack of Odomos Cream costs Rs 30.

As for the market of Odomos, Dhamija says, "Odomos recorded a growth of 40 per cent in the first quarter as compared to the comparable quarter last year - and almost doubled the sales last month in comparison to the same month last year." He further adds that Odomos is one of the fastest growing brands in the company's portfolio.

Talking about UP as a market for the brand, he says that along with Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, UP figures amongst the top three markets. However, the other two markets are more urban driven, whereas UP is more rural driven.

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