Devina Joshi

Kaya: Eliminating the ‘dark’ aspects of skin

One need not have a zit or allergy to check into a skin clinic; healthy skin could just as well do with a skin treatment or two. This is the new motto for Kaya Skin Clinic

One need not have a zit or allergy to check into a skin clinic; healthy skin could just as well do with a skin treatment or two. This is the new motto for Kaya Skin Clinic.

Things weren’t too hunky dory earlier for the clinic. It was being perceived as a place where one went for “solving” skin problems, as most others in the category do. “Quite frankly, the problem-solution approach for skin products/treatments is becoming a blind spot for consumers,” says Rahul Jauhari, executive creative director, Rediffusion DY&R, the agency on the account.

Prashant Dayal, brand manager, Kaya Skin Clinic, says, “We were clear from the beginning that we should not portray the protagonist as a victim or a wannabe. So we tried out a completely different approach to reach out to our consumers.”

Kaya: Eliminating the ‘dark’ aspects of skin
The separation, and a
promise never to change
Kaya: Eliminating the ‘dark’ aspects of skin
A change, but for the good
Kaya: Eliminating the ‘dark’ aspects of skin
All thanks to Kaya Skin Clinic
Rediff won the Kaya business around three months ago. Initial brand research findings showed clearly showed that Kaya needed to change how it was perceived. “As a brand, Kaya is a science-based clinic that has never offered magical solutions or overnight promises,” says Jauhari. “But people were still equating Kaya with the others.”

Rediffusion is out with a TVC that highlights one of Kaya’s key offerings: a one-month skin lightening service. The ad clearly borrows a lot from Bollywood. It begins on a shot of a couple at a railway station, with the girl bidding farewell to the boy. They exchange last-minute words, promising to keep in touch during the one month of separation. The boy asks her not to change, to always remain the way she is, and she assures him she’ll be the same when he gets back.

Cut to the shot of the boy returning a month later, seeking his girlfriend in the crowd at the station. He finally spots a woman standing with her back to him, and tells himself that if she turns, she’s the one (‘DDLJ’, anyone?). She looks at him and we see a fairer version of the girl (who wasn’t dark in the first place), as she enthusiastically greets her boyfriend. A fitting end to the story has him joking with her, “Tumne to kaha tha tum nahin badlogi (You said you wouldn’t change)!”

According to Jauhari, this ad moves away from saving the “dark complexioned girl” by giving her “radical fairness” that opens new opportunities for her. While the strategy is clearly different from that of the competition, the creative setting is much like a typical Bollywood movie. “Yes, we wanted to give the TVC a romantic, Hindi cinema feel for a feel-good factor without going overboard,” admits Jauhari. That is why no miraculous “transformation” has been shown in the ad, he says.

But if the ad was intended to break through the clutter, why add the done-to-death element of the boy being bowled over by the girl’s new avatar? While the Rediff team admits to male appreciation being a tried and tested formula, Jauhari is quick to add that this angle is just an add-on, and not the sole focus of the film. “There isn’t an earth-shattering change in the girl – we have tried to bring out that Kaya is not the typical problem corrector, it is a beauty enhancer for real people,” he explains.

The film, aimed at the urban metro populace, has been shot by Shaad Ali of MAD Films in Aptagaon, near Pune. Elements such as rain were added to give the commercial a “filmi” feel.