Dettol Squeezy is more economical than a sachet: RB India

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | May 21, 2015
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The latest campaign by RB's (formerly Reckitt Benckiser) hand wash brand Dettol promotes its newly launched carry pack, the Squeezy bottle, priced at Rs. 30.

The much-discussed "Dettol Dettol Ho" jingle is back, this time to promote an affordable 110 ml carry pack launched by the brand, priced at Rs. 30. Last year, RB India launched 'Dettol - Banega Swachh India' - a five-year program to address the need for improving hygiene and sanitation in India, making a commitment to invest a sum of INR 100 crore across the next five years.

Dettol launched the '#MaaMaane Dettol Ka Dhula' campaign to this end and the new video is a part of the series executed by McCann.

Taking a break from its signature visual imagery of mothers and young children, the campaign features men and women across age groups at outdoor locations like fairs, weddings and railway platforms being urged to use Dettol from the Squeezy bottle, before gorging on the food. The film captures slice-of-life situations from both urban and semi-urban India.

Explaining the idea behind the campaign, Prasoon Joshi, chairman - Asia Pacific, CEO and chief creative officer - India, McCann Worldgroup, says, "One of the key insights is that, whether in kids or adults, habit formation happens through repetition. And, in a country of oral tradition, we have always used music as a powerful way of teaching, we have used music and singing to remind as well as teach people about the habit of hand washing."

Speaking about the objective behind launching the Squeezy pack, a RB spokesperson informs that currently the penetration of liquid hand wash category in India is only at 13 per cent. One of the key barriers for consumers to move from a bar soap to this format is the cash outlay of entering this category.

"Dettol Squeezy is an innovative format available in an easy to use and carry pack, and it provides approximately 100 hand washes, making it an efficient solution to drive good hand washing habits," the spokesperson says.

Currently, a regular pump bottle of Dettol liquid hand wash is priced at Rs. 69 for 215 ml and comes in four variants (original, sensitive, fresh and skincare). The company also offers ph-balanced hand washes priced at Rs. 78 for 250 ml which comes in two variants (Energise and Cool).

RB denies that the product is being rolled out to target price-sensitive consumers from Tier II and III markets.

The liquid hand washing category is still extremely small in India and people prefer to use local soap brands which are priced cheap. However, RB India states that its Dettol Squeezy bottle, which provides approximately 100 washes, in a Rs. 30 pack, is more economical than a sachet.

"Dettol Squeezy gives almost three hand washes for less than Re. 1, which is even more economical than a sachet," says RB's spokesperson.

Apart from price, the company is also highlighting the Squeezy bottle's portability feature, which the regular pump bottles do not provide. However, the Squeezy pack still needs water for usage and hence it doesn't solve the problem that a sanitizer does, a product category still finding its foot in the Indian market.

We are told that the formats of the both the products are totally different. "Hand sanitisers and liquid hand wash format not only offer different benefits, but are also meant to be used on different occasions. While sanitisers are ideal to instantly kill germs, they do not aid in washing off dirt," explains RB's spokesperson, adding that the sanitiser format is still at a nascent stage in the country, but growing at a fast rate.

Although one of the leading players in this segment, RB India's biggest challenge continues to be driving habit change among consumers. Through its campaign 'Dettol Banega Swachh India', the company aims to focus on driving behaviour change in support of the Swachh Bharat initiative launched by the government, and promoting healthy hand washing habits. Through a series of actions under this program, Dettol has spread the message of hygiene and sanitation to over 140 million people in the country and raised Rs. 281crore through a 12-hour fundraising Cleanathon with NDTV, in December 2014.

For the record, every year, over 120 thousand children under the age of five die from diarrhoea, a disease which can be easily prevented. The most basic thing one can do to keep illnesses at bay and to lead a hygienic lifestyle is to adopt healthy hand washing habits. Since 2006, through various awareness programs, RB India claims to have reached out to over 10 million mothers and children, and educated them about the importance of hand hygiene and sanitation.

Mass appeal; dull jingle

Ad experts believe that while the campaign will hold consumers' attention, the jingle needs to be worked on.

According to Sambit Mishra, creative head (Mumbai), Rediffusion Y&R, although the commercial is not path-breaking, it is "massy and fun."

"I do believe it might help convert some non-Dettol consumers into the Dettol fold," he says.

Referring to the flak that the "Dettol Dettol Ho" jingle received over social media when it debuted during the World Cup, he believes the tune of the jingle needs a lot of work.

Saurabh Uboweja, brand strategist and CEO, Brands of Desire, says that the campaign reaches out to a vast audience convincingly, without appearing unfocussed. "This could cause habit transformation in the Indian society. First, throw away the bar soap and the messiness it creates. Secondly, use soap, not just after using toilet, but also before every meal," he says.

However, he has reservations about the brand being touted as "economical" and a probable replacement of cheap hand washing soap bars.

"I think it is still a little expensive, given that you are promoting at least 12 washes a day in a family of four, washing three times a day. This could be a deterrent despite the handiness of the pack," Uboweja explains.

He too is of the opinion that the jingle needs be made more interesting, so it can create high recall.

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