Medimix: No monkey business

By Rashmi Menon , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | May 29, 2013
The ayurvedic soap brand makes its entry into the prickly heat powder category in a humorous way.

Expecting children to maintain social etiquette is a tough task, especially when they are suffering from a bout of heat rash. And, Medimix's latest campaign, which launches the brand's prickly heat powder, captures this insight with a humorous analogy.

Conceptualised by Creativeland Asia, the 30-second television commercial (TVC) opens with the scene of a classroom, where a boy in the garb of a monkey answers a question by the teacher while busily scratching himself. The scene also captures his bench-mate nonchalantly looking at him. The scene remains the same on Day 2 as well. But by Day 3, the monkey turns into a real boy, still answering the teacher's questions. His friend then asks him, "Aaj Day 3 hai kya?" To which, the boy asks, "Haan! Tujhe kaise pata?"

The TVC emphasises the brand's proposition, '3 din wala ayurvedic formula' and stresses on Medimix Prickly Heat Powder's unique Natural Organic Khus (NOK) formula to combat prickly heat. The TVC is produced by Equinox and the director is Ram Madhvani.

Speaking about the insight, Anish Rajan, manager, new product development, Cholayil, says that the incidence of prickly heat is more amongst young children. While adults manage to control the urge to scratch, children don't show any such inhibition. Rajan says. "The TVC tries to show a very cute monkey. Although the kid is the smartest in the class, as he has answers to all the tough questions, he looks like a monkey as he keeps on scratching," he adds.

The brief was to create something that would really stand out amongst ads in the category, while also clearly communicating the 'effective in three days' proposition. "The ayurvedic formula is made of 100 per cent natural and organic extracts and effective on summer skin problems. It also gives 100 per cent relief from prickly heat in three days, a proposition that is unlike any other brand in the category," Rajan explains.

The brand was also clear that the communication should be executed in a humorous way to connect with children and mothers.

Anish Rajan

Anu Joseph

Considering this is the launch campaign of Medimix Prickly Heat Powder, the brand has introduced a special three-day relief pack priced at Rs 10. The sampling exercise will take place across the country barring the four southern states (Medimix doesn't have marketing rights in the four states). "We are also giving it away as a freebie with Medimix soap. We are doing selective outdoor advertising in the form of dealer boards with prominent retailers," Rajan adds.

The brand is also carrying out extensive cinema advertisements in the northern region and a radio campaign.

Chennai-based Cholayil group underwent a slip in the family in 2007, where AVA Cholayil Health Care got the marketing rights for Medimix for the southern region, while Cholayil Pvt. Ltd. got the rights for rest of India and abroad.

Talking about the marketing challenges, Rajan says, "Firstly, there already exist strong brands in the category (Nycil and Dermicool) and people are very loyal to them. Hence, we had to find a niche that clearly differentiated our product. Secondly, prickly heat is a seasonal phenomenon. We have to educate the consumers fast enough and get them to purchase the product. So, call for action and speed is very important in execution."

Anu Joseph, executive creative director, Creativeland Asia, says, "The brief was to create something that would really stand out amongst ads in the category, while also clearly communicating the 'effective in three days' proposition."

Joseph adds that one of the challenges in the ad was to seamlessly integrate the product window without losing the entertainment quotient. "I believe we have created something that is simple, evocative and effective using a powerful insight," he says.

The campaign's core target group comprises children in the age group of 5-15 years and mothers aged between 25 and 40 years. While Tier 1 is an important market, the volumes are from Tier 2 and SEC B. Besides Hindi, the TVC has been dubbed in Bengali and Marathi as well.

Medimix is the flagship brand of Cholayil, launched in 1969. The company also has Cuticura and Krishna Thulasi under its portfolio.

Aping it?

Chraneeta Mann

Divyapratap Mehta

Chraneeta Mann, executive creative director and national creative head, Rediffusion-Y&R, believes most prickly heat powder advertisements tend to talk the same language with communication that could work just as well for any of the brands. "In that context, I would think the commercial is fairly effective in its cut through. The monkey would be hugely entertaining to the kids watching the ad and yet, communicates the problem of incessant scratching fairly well."

While the promise of relief within three days clearly comes through, what doesn't come across well is that the product is ayurvedic, which Mann says is also a differentiator. "Maybe that could have done with a little more emphasis. But all in all, I think the monkey will do its job," she says.

Divyapratap Mehta, chief strategy officer, Publicis Capital, opines that the TVC will get registered in the consumers' mind and is quite likely to establish the message that Medimix gives relief from prickly heat in three days. It is definitely clutter breaking in the category. However, the execution could have been better, he feels. "Overall, a classic old style TVC establishing the problem and providing the solution in the product. However, I am not sure whether consumers are looking for immediate relief or relief in three days. My guess would be immediate relief. Also, it's unlikely that the Natural Organic Khus (NOK) formula will get established," he says.

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