Sohini Sen

Godrej's Ezee guns for a warm and fuzzy winter

Through an eye-catching print campaign in Hindustan Times, the liquid detergent brand urges North Indians to donate their spare woollens. The media mix includes radio, digital and BTL channels too.

A steaming cup of tea, a warm hug and some nice woollen sweaters are items that readily come to mind when one thinks of winter in North India. But for numerous underprivileged children, the very same season spells struggle.

Godrej's Ezee guns for a warm and fuzzy winter
Godrej's Ezee guns for a warm and fuzzy winter
Godrej's Ezee guns for a warm and fuzzy winter
Through an ongoing print campaign Godrej's Ezee, a liquid detergent brand, has been trying to urge people to bridge this gap by donating their old woollens, this winter.

Godrej has been involved with the cause for the past few years; each winter, the company runs a 'clothes donation drive' in Delhi. What is different about the sixth edition of this drive, is its recent print campaign (see image).

The 'Godrej Ezee Raahat Ek Abhiyaan' campaign was first published on November 14, 2014 - Children's Day. It was a front page ad in Hindustan Times, campaign partner for the donation drive. The interesting part of the ad is the way in which the product benefit is woven into the cause - the brand promises to wash the donated garments with Ezee, so that when they reach the children, they will be in great condition.

The print campaign will run across Hindustan Times (main paper), the HT School edition and Hindustan (Hindi) once a week for five weeks. The campaign targets residents of Delhi, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar, Lucknow and Kanpur.

Other than print, the media mix includes radio (approximately 60-80 spots a day, in Delhi and Lucknow), digital (social media and mobile marketing) as well as BTL (such as school visits) media. While demographically-speaking, the brand's TG comprises women, who're 25+ years of age, from SEC A and B, the brand team, through this campaign, hopes to stir pretty much anyone who has woollens to spare.

Sunil Kataria, chief operating officer, sales and marketing, Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL), tells afaqs!, "Care lies at the core of brand Ezee. Thus, alleviating the winter-related hardships of underprivileged children became the social cause for Ezee. What started as a small initiative few years back has grown thanks to the generous support of the people of Delhi, NCR."

JWT India is the creative agency behind the campaign. "The idea," shares Shweta Iyer, associate vice president and senior creative director at the agency, "was to remind people of the feeling associated with a warm, cozy hug, and to then tell them that by donating their woollens they are, effectively, giving an underprivileged person a warm hug."

She adds that going forward, the hashtag #ezeehugs will be promoted online and different kinds of hugs will be labeled and celebrated as "ezeehugs."

Ezee currently leads the liquid fabric wash segment and, reportedly, has a market share of 75 per cent share. In its campaigns over the years, the brand has focused on product benefits like its no-soda formula, the way it helps keep the colours intact, and the way it helps fabric stay soft and bouncy.

This year, however, the brand decided to focus on growing the category, we learn. Going forward, the brand also plans to tackle a specific hurdle - Ezee is perceived as a brand that can be used to wash winter-wear only. The brand team hopes to change this perception and is already seeing signs of hope.

"Consumers are finding value in using Ezee beyond woollens," says Kataria, adding that people are increasingly using it to wash their delicates, linen clothes, baby clothes, and their silk and chiffon items too.

The brand, we learn, is also looking to capture the Western market in India. This will be an interesting push to observe, considering the fact that many cities in this region don't experience winter at all.


Godrej's Ezee guns for a warm and fuzzy winter
Godrej's Ezee guns for a warm and fuzzy winter
We asked a couple of industry experts to comment on the call-to-action quotient of this campaign. Will it get people to come out and donate clothes? And will people remember the brand while donating?

"The campaign doesn't do anything for me," says OR Radhakrishnan, executive creative director, Enormous Brands.

Here's why: "It is not noticeable enough. And it lacks emotional value. Usually, we donate for a cause or for an organisation; we do not donate for a brand. The CSR bit that ties back to the brand is a strategic move, but that's all it is. It will be good for boardroom conversations but not for moving people to act," he says.

According to Zohar Furniturewala, executive creative director, Scarecrow Communications, it is a "clever-looking campaign."

"Most CSR activities are just hogwash. While some of them might be relevant, I feel it hardly makes a difference to the brands behind them," he says about CSR-based ads in general. However, in this case, he feels "the connect between the brand (Ezee) and the CSR activity is not far-fetched, and is therefore, very relevant."