Stayfree: Chasing the change

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | December 12, 2011
Johnson & Johnson's new campaign for the launch of its new variant Stayfree Advanced, promotes the brand philosophy 'It's time to change.'

Consumer healthcare company Johnson & Johnson, in its campaign which launches a new variant of its sanitary pad brand Stayfree Advanced, urges everybody, especially women, to shed their old beliefs and adopt new ideologies, in order to bring a change in the world, and in their lives. Stayfree Advanced is targeted at the premium category consumers.

Two television commercials, conceptualised by McCann Erickson, have been released as a part of the campaign. In the first TVC titled Accident, an elderly couple meets with an accident. While a young woman in a car points out the callousness of passersby, her co-passenger promptly rushes out to help the couple, and later, calls for action to bring about a change.

The second TVC titled Morcha, shows two office-going girls, out to have tea. They come across a huge rally, which leaves the road littered with papers and other trash. While one girl criticises this act, the other girl picks up the litter, once again reiterating that actions speak better than words.

Naeeraj Goyal, general marketing manager, women health, Johnson & Johnson India, says, "The femininity of Indian women is changing and menstruation is a part of femininity, which also has an impact on life. The idea is to keep women comfortable and confident during those days of the month. Therefore, going with the philosophy of the brand 'It's time to change', in the new campaign, we have asked women to change and adopt something new (in this case, Stayfree Advanced), if they are irritated by something old."

Speaking about the campaign, Anshumani Khanna, creative director, McCann Erickson, remarks, "The company has launched Stayfree Advanced in the premium category. The idea is to capture the modern mindset of women, which go beyond issues such as mismatched shoes or the right kind of dress. So, going with the brand's belief 'It's time to change', we decided to show women who live a life that is beyond cosmetic changes, and believe in creating a difference."

A tough change

The campaign, however, fails to impress the advertising fraternity, as ad professionals feel it fails to create an impact in the minds of consumers.

According to Raghu Bhat, founder-director, Scarecrow Communications, the ad exhorts the audience to switch over to Stayfree. "However, it is a fairly conventional ad, loaded with 'category codes' of a sanitary napkin creative. Not sure if the jingle is required. A few moments of silence would have allowed the commercial to breathe. It is an honest ad and serves as a competent reminder," he adds.

Giving the planner's perspective, Anirban Chaudhuri, senior vice-president, Mudra, says, "Stayfree, in the past, has often highlighted the fact that the product delivers in challenging situations in a straight-forward manner. This TVC is an attempt to move beyond that and take the brand to a level of activism -- be the change that you want to see (rather than huffing and puffing in irritation). But, the attempt fails to connect the cause naturally to the product delivery of 'no irritation'! And, in such cases, unless there is a real cause to use as a peg, it is better to stay away from chasing one, even if it is the latest fad.

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