afaqs! news bureau

Asian Paints releases first sanitiser ad, details multiple usages for all

It sanitises surfaces we absentmindedly touch, used in-house objects, delivery packages, our hands, and made for out of home use too.

Asian Paints has released a new ad and only this time, it isn't for a new wall paint or service but for Viroprotek, its hand sanitiser.

Ever since the pandemic took global precedence and India initiated thelockdown, hand sanitisers took centre stage as one of the most effective precautionary steps to halt the virus' spread.

So much was the demand for this product that as per Neilsen, hand sanitiser sales in India grew a whopping 290 per cent in the last week of March, up from 27 per cent in the first week of March and over 150 new players began to make sanitisers. Business Standard said the category in India which stood around Rs 150 crore in terms of size will soon double to around Rs 300 crore due to the increased demand because of COVID – 19.

Asian Paints is one of those new entrants and it turns out, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Chemicals was the reason for the brand's entry. It was behind the brand to do something apart from donating to the CM and PM relief funds according to its CEO and MD, Amit Syngle in a previous interview with afaqs!

But it isn't the first time the brand has released an ad that wasn't strictly around its paint offerings. The brand also offers 'Interior Design' services and has released ads for it. In 2019, it released an ad for its kitchen and wardrobe solutions brand, Sleek.

The ad is from Viroprotek's point of view and how it sees itself as the 'Ghar Ka Pehredar'. What's interesting in the ad is that it points towards many distinct uses of the sanitiser - sanitising surfaces at home, objects used in-house, home delivery packages, and the out of home use of sanitisers.

Jyothsna Yalapalli
Jyothsna Yalapalli

Jyothsna Yalapalli, strategic planner ( worked with JWT, Lowe Worldwide, Havas Worldwide, The Womb, and McCann) remarked how COVID-19 has driven most of us to be cautious/annoyingly cautious (bordering fear) about everything that goes through or is touched by our hands... such as lift buttons, doorknobs, table counters, among other surfaces, or everything that comes from outside (groceries, food, Couriers etc).

And while she admires the swiftness of Asian Paints to step up and to consolidate its portfolio in the hygiene space... "I feel this communication (surfaces-hands protection) still is anchored in the insight from where the brand has emerged as an icon. The communication breezes past the fear surrounding “Surface-Fear-Contagious pandemic” and functions more like an informative piece. It may reinforce the brand’s standing in “Home-Surfaces”, but remains short of triggering-action towards the brand."

She further said that people are either minimizing every kind of contact with the external world or using cheaper alternatives like gloves and masks (reusable) etc when they are stepping out or coming into contact with anything external....and are habituated to other popular hand washes when it comes to keeping their hands clean and summed it up to say that the brand hasn't really cracked the sani-insights.

Neeraj Sharma
Neeraj Sharma

Neeraj Sharma, head of strategic planning, Rediffusion Group said it makes sense to pack all usages in one because once you're in the sanitising mode you need a hand sanitiser, a disinfectant and so on.

He further added that the emotional layering bringing the product and keeper of the house together is also more effective, "... Than the same overused 99.99% germs claim."

Sharma also mentioned the insights that matter. One, the known/trusted brand so that you are sure about alcohol percentage and second, availability whenever you shop from Amazon, 1mg, Bigbasket or a nearby store.

Speaking about the ad, Syngle said, "Customer-centricity is at the heart of Asian Paints. We intend to deliver products that matter to the consumer. Currently, the health and hygiene space is the most relevant one. So after launching Royale Health Shield, we now seek to address the growing requirement of hand and surface sanitizers with Viroprotek.

Just as consumers strive to protect and care about everyone at home, Viroprotek promises the same. Hence, the idea for the film comes from our customers and their behaviour at home. From sanitizing our most exposed body parts i.e. our hands and feet, to ensuring everything around the house is germ-free; Viroprotek is a responsible and the ideal pehredaar of your home.”

Sukesh Nayak, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy India, the agency behind the ad said, “From taking care of every home to taking care of people living in those homes. ViroProtek Sanitizers from Asian Paints will proudly stand for the safekeeping of every home.”

The hand sanitiser industry was never the one that advertised too much or was in the limelight, now it's the star of the show and Asian Paints has got the first big release. We wait to see if and how the incumbents (Dettol, Lifebuoy, Savlon...) respond in this post-lockdown COVID era.


Agency: Ogilvy Mumbai

Chief Creative Officer Worldwide and Executive Chairman India: Piyush Pandey

Chief Creative Officer India: Sukesh Nayak

Chief Strategy Officer: Prem Narayan

Office Leader India (West): VR Rajesh

Planning Team: Akhil Menon

Account Management: Manish Tilwani, Haripriya Mark, Akshatha Shetty

Creative Team: Pashyn Sethna, Amit Hoiyani, Amol Suryavanshi, Vaibhav Paradkar

Production House: Corcoise Films Director: Prasoon Pandey Producer: Cyrus Pagdiwala

Have news to share? Write to us