Aishwarya Ramesh
Advertising

Forget coffee, Clean & Clear's new face wash promises to awaken users

Clean & Clear's new face wash promises to awaken sleepy teenagers everywhere with a burst of menthol...

That first sip of coffee, the first swipe of the toothbrush, a morning shower with that specially formulated refreshing soap... these are some of the ways in which products have been advertised as wake-up calls for sleepy people everywhere. 'Taazgi' has been a valuable proposition for advertisers who have sold many products off the back of this intangible benefit, for decades. The newest entrant into this segment is unlikely, but not entirely surprising. Clean & Clear has launched a new line of face washes with revamped packaging and added menthol to give users an extra kick of freshness in the morning to shake the sleepiness out of them.

Forget coffee, Clean & Clear's new face wash promises to awaken users

Clean & Clear's new face wash wants to give skin a 'wake-up call'

This is the second time this year that Clean & Clear has revamped its packaging for a campaign. In April, they ran a campaign called 'Unbottle Apna Swag' which saw five variants of the packaging.

Forget coffee, Clean & Clear's new face wash promises to awaken users
Forget coffee, Clean & Clear's new face wash promises to awaken users
Forget coffee, Clean & Clear's new face wash promises to awaken users

Aditya Kilpady, national planning director at Dentsu Impact, points out that Clean & Clear has always been focussed with a well-defined target segment (teenagers) and a sharp promise (pimple care). "The skin needs of teenage girls are different. Skin care brands for teenagers need to highlight the gentleness of the product that solves a girl's skin issues like pimples, dullness, and sun tan removal and hence retains skin innocence. So, the promise of 'energy' seems to be a complete departure from their core. Is it to move away from a 'problem-solution', 'pimple-care only' premise? I will never know..." he says.

Forget coffee, Clean & Clear's new face wash promises to awaken users

"But what's more crucial to know is if there are teenage girls seeking a face wash or skin care product with "energy for the skin"? I would imagine that they would prefer a product that offers gentle yet effective cleansing and maintains skin softness. The brand needs to talk in their language and understand teenage girls' changing skin care needs," he adds.

Forget coffee, Clean & Clear's new face wash promises to awaken users

Aditya Kilpady

Kilpady also opines that the new packaging seems to be trying too hard to impress its TG. He states, "The new packaging seems to be a bit pretentious and theatrical. Using the word 'swag' nowadays seems to be a 40-year-old brand manager's favourite word to impress a 20-year-old consumer."

We also spoke to Sita Lakshmi Narayan Swamy, a brand and consumer expert. She explained that the nature of the skin care category is that it's very tactile. "That's what Liril tried to convey in their very first ad with Karen Lunel dancing under the waterfall - they wanted to convey the feeling of freshness. Freshness is a great benefit to advertise and it appeals to the youth a lot," she points out.

"According to me, the message they're trying to convey is that your skin can use a wake-up call. Everybody washes their face as soon as they wake up - it's not just about feeling sleepy, it's that your skin feels dull too. Even though there's no overt reference to skin care in this advertisement - the name of the brand continues to be 'Clean & Clear.' The promise of the mother brand still holds. This is just an extension of the brand that additionally offers freshness to the users," Swamy tells us.

Forget coffee, Clean & Clear's new face wash promises to awaken users

Sita Lakshmi Narayan Swamy

She states that the packaging changes for 'Unbottle Apna Swag' and the latest campaign were done too close together and that it could possibly end up confusing the consumer. Narayan also told us that the 'Unbottle Apna Swag' campaign felt somewhat populist in its execution using rap. "They adapted it without thinking if it's really true to the brand's genetics. It feels like too much deviation in a short space of time. It seemed whimsical to me. The brand's marketing trajectory has been inconsistent," she says.

Swamy also pointed out that this campaign seemed to be a spin-off from a similar campaign that Clean & Clear USA put out a year ago.

Forget coffee, Clean & Clear's new face wash promises to awaken users

Clean and Clear USA's morning burst commercial

Forget coffee, Clean & Clear's new face wash promises to awaken users

Ananda Ray

Ananda Ray, creative head - Rediffusion, found the ad fun and liked watching it. He mentions that he's not sure what the brand is trying to achieve, but suggests that maybe they want to break away from their past to be seen as a fresh, young brand. "The product has its history and familiarity - this is just a new avatar. Their past ads and the way they've treated this ad are very different. Maybe they want to consciously break away from sounding too functional. That's what the new packs also tell me. It could also correlate with toning down how much the brand talks about the functionality in its marketing. The feeling of menthol is a fresh feeling and maybe they want to capitalise on that," he suggests.

"Teenagers might have a greater affinity to the new ads and the packaging. The previous communications were almost a template of how skin care products used to be advertised. The new ad is about their life and their lifestyle - they're not directly selling the product. The brand is possibly indulging in what we call Guerrilla marketing (which promotes a product through unconventional brand interactions,)" Ray states. He also emphasised on the fact that the brand's marketing is focussing on the feeling of freshness that menthol brings to sell the product.