Deepashree Banerjee

Goodknight woos rural consumers with 'Cool Gel'...

Goodknight is something we plug in and switch on. The brand now has a gel meant for on-skin application. We spoke to Ankur Kumar, VP, marketing (Goodknight), Godrej Consumer Products, about his over-simplified advert for the product.

When you hear the brand name 'Goodknight' you'll undoubtedly think about the plug-in-switch-on mosquito repellent system. But the company has been innovating in other segments too from roll-ons for clothes to burning/ incense options. With their latest product launch, the brand is diving into the gel/ cream-based, on-skin application segment and taking a big swing at the competition that's already a household name in this case.

Goodknight woos rural consumers with 'Cool Gel'...

Goodknight's new TVC for their cool gel segment

Goodknight Cool Gel has made its debut and its TVC for the product showcases a typical small-town scenario in north India where people prefer sleeping on rooftops to beat the heat. Unfortunately, the mosquito menace and heat generated from applying "sticky" skin-based repellent creams prevent a family from sleeping till Cool Gel comes to their rescue. The song in the ad is a parody of a popular old Hindi song - Hai re Hai.

Conceptualised by J. Walter Thompson India, the campaign was crafted keeping in mind rural sensibilities to help promote the product which, as the brand claims, is non-sticky and, as the name-suggest, also provides a cooling sensation on the user's skin.

Goodknight woos rural consumers with 'Cool Gel'...

Ankur Kumar

If you recall earlier ads for this segment, they seem primarily aimed at stopping children from falling prey to Dengue by making them understand that it's easier to prevent the disease. However, they come off rather preachy, waving their fingers at parents while making children aware of the consequences arising out of not taking preventive measures before stepping out.

Ankur Kumar, vice president, Marketing (Goodknight), Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL), views this new campaign as more of an initiative aimed at building constructive preventive methods.

Heavily banking on the rural connect:

Kumar elucidates this further stating that out of the 28 crore households across India, almost 50 per cent don't use any kind of preventive methods for keep mosquitoes at bay. "The situation gets more problematic the moment we step into rural India. Out of the 18 crore (approx.) households in rural and far-flung areas of India, close to 10 crore are still not in a habit of using any form of preventive methods," Kumar says.

Kumar stresses on adapting preventive methods as a habit for consumers and thinks that it will eventually pave the way for the brand to ensure the scripting of rural success. "We are speaking to the masses (rural India) through this product," he adds.

Odomos - a long-term rival?

While Kumar chose his words carefully regarding a rivalry between these two industry stalwarts, it's quite clear that Goodknight is strategically taking on the competition in the personal repellent category, especially the cream/ skin-gel segment.

Goodknight woos rural consumers with 'Cool Gel'...
Goodknight woos rural consumers with 'Cool Gel'...

Dabur Odomos Mosquito Repellent ads titled 'Odomos Nahin Pehna Toh Ghar Pe Rehna' released in October 2015

Accessible price points and availability are the brand's main USPs, claims Kumar.

The 14ml 'Weekly Consumption Pack' is priced at Rs 10 and has been created specifically keeping the rural Indian population in mind. The 50ml tube (Monthly Consumption Pack) has a price tag of Rs 45.

Goodknight woos rural consumers with 'Cool Gel'...

Ad showing how Odomos Mosquito Repellent makes your child a dengue fighter

Kumar reveals that as a company, Goodknight takes its R&D investments very seriously. He claims that there is significant investment, on a continuous basis, that is deployed and the R&D team is constantly trying to cater to varied occasions and consumer needs.

Goodknight woos rural consumers with 'Cool Gel'...

An old Odomos ad released in 2014

Goodknight woos rural consumers with 'Cool Gel'...

Rajesh Gangwani

During their research, the team discovered that consumers have developed a dislike for the repellent cream format as it tends to leave the skin feeling a little sticky after application. "Now, that's a barrier we aimed to overcome with this product," Kumar shares.

Speaking about the campaign, Rajesh Gangwani, managing partner, J. Walter Thompson, Mumbai, echoes Kumar's view. "The campaign is targeted towards semi-urban and rural consumers who normally sleep outdoors/ in the open air on warm summer nights. The communication is crafted keeping in mind these rural sensibilities and is delivered through an engaging and catchy sing-song between the family members."

Current market trends in the segment

In developed countries, personal application products, such as mosquito repellent creams and roll-ons, account for a substantial part of the mosquito repellent market. However, as per reports, in the last few years, India has emerged as a market where players across categories have been quite vocal about Dengue protection.

Given this competitive scenario, a certain amount of aggressiveness is clearly evident across touchpoints by the players in the category. In fact, in a desperate need to reach out to the mother-on-the move looking for day-long protection from pests and insects for her kids, leading consumer health and hygiene company, Reckitt Benckiser, re-launched Mortein and roped in Bollywood personality, Madhuri Dixit Nene, as an endorser.

Goodknight woos rural consumers with 'Cool Gel'...

Mortein ad featuring Madhuri Dixit Nene which got released in the first leg of February this year

Reckitt Benckiser's flagship brand in the insect protection space, led by mosquito repellents predominantly, is a major player in the total pest category which generates annual revenue of Rs. 5700 crores. It currently occupies a market share of 11.1 per cent in which it had an early-mover advantage when launched in 1993.

Besides, the market currently has a number of players including the likes of All Out (SC Johnson) and Maxo (Jyothy Laboratories).

Expert Speak

We asked our experts what they make of the ad and the message the brand is trying to communicate to audiences.

Chitresh Sinha, CEO, Chlorophyll Innovation Lab, feels the communication is very product focused. "There really is no emotional anchor or trigger. It focuses on a consumer problem and offers a solution. So the question of rural sensibilities doesn't really arise. There's a lot more that could have been done to generate intrigue in the uniqueness of the offering," he says. Sinha is also of the opinion that what's missing and could help the brand, is to highlight the product USP in a novel way. "They don't really need to break away from their repellent range, but should use it to their advantage to launch the new offering," is what he opines.

"What I see are a range of offerings with a price and benefit difference (e.g. the fabric roll-on has a USP of no application on the skin; there is a smokeless offering that solves the smoke issue; the coil which offers a price advantage, while all solving the core issue of mosquito repellence). It would be nice to highlight the core differentiator of cooling via the gel in a novel way," says Sinha.

Goodknight woos rural consumers with 'Cool Gel'...

Chitresh Sinha

Goodknight woos rural consumers with 'Cool Gel'...

Samit Sinha

"The repelling of mosquitos is an obvious fact and can be highlighted less. The Goodknight brand can also start playing a stronger anchor role in all offerings." Sinha strongly believes that a new brand name is needed only when the core belief changes and not the offering.

"Currently, they are capitalising on the Goodknight brand which has a strong value in this segment. The cool gel descriptor is unique enough to identify and ask for the product in stores. The Goodknight name adds the credibility to the offering."

Samit Sinha, founder and managing partner, Alchemist Brand Consulting Pvt Ltd, distinctly sums it all up as he says that while the product, especially the gel format, signals modernity, the creative looks it's from the last century.

"Goodknight obviously believes that their next source of growth is India's smaller towns and rural markets and thus, this product seems to be targeted towards the upcountry population. The TVC is also clearly aimed there where many people do tend to sleep out in the open during summer nights," Sinha says.

Sinha also observes, "Depending upon the amount of media weight the company puts behind the commercial it should help the brand generate awareness and depending upon how affordably it's priced, it may well sell in vast numbers. However, if another brand with an equivalent product, matching distribution and at a similar price point also enters the market, Goodknight will face a serious threat, especially if the new brand manages to create a more aspirational image."

Goodknight woos rural consumers with 'Cool Gel'...

Report: India's insect repellent market clocks Rs 4,400 crore in retail sales a year
Courtesy: ET

"Goodknight has built a strong equity around mosquito protection over many years and is, in fact, so closely associated with the category that it is almost a generic name for the category. Therefore, it does make sense to extend its brand franchise to the new format," Sinha continues.

"If they had come up with a new brand name altogether, they would have had to make significantly higher marketing investments. While that is a decision I support, in my opinion, this particular TVC does not do the Goodknight brand image any favours," he concludes.

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