Shreyas Kulkarni

Baidyanath Chyawanprash's new ad has Pankaj Tripathi batting for its 52+ ingredients, more than Dabur's 41

But, isn't the 104-year old pharmaceutical brand a bit late to the party because the craze around immunity peaked last year? GREY India has conceptualised and executed the ad.

There are immunity boosters, and then there are natural immunity boosters. This story is about the latter.

Baidyanath Chyawanprash comes from the 100-year-old-plus pharmaceutical firm Baidyanath Group. Its latest ad has caught our eye for two simple reasons.

One, it’s surprising to see a brand that’s not named Dabur or Patanjali, to advertise chyawanprash. Two, what actors Pankaj Tripathi and Girija Oak, Baidyanath’s brand ambassadors, talk about in the ad.

Oak, who plays Tripathi’s wife, asks him about the chyawanprash brand he’s got and he responds, “Hey, it’s only chyawanprash, what’s in a name?”

That’s the first major bit. It is the classic “buying something without looking at the product” nod.

The second vital bit is when he remarks “We will win, only need baavan (52) runs.” Oak then says, “Listen, what will happen if we make bayallis (42)?” Retorts Tripathi, “What kind of question is this? We will only win if we make baavan runs.”

This exchange is important because it is not about cricket. Baidyanath Chyawanprash has 52 Ayurvedic ingredients, while its rival Dabur Chyawanprash has more than “41 Ayurvedic herbs,” as per its website. Now we know the upper limit could be any number for Dabur but keeping what Baidyanath said, it’s hard not to connect the two.

And there's the fact that the chyawanprash is made of "shudh desi ghee" and not oil because tradition dictates that's how this concoction is to be created; another layer of weight in Baidyanath's favour.

Talk about bowling a googly in your first campaign. We (afaqs!) asked Ketan Desai, chief operating officer, Grey Group India who made the ad, about the brief from Baidyanath. What did it want?

Desai tells us that the discussions were around marketing challenges, something any brand would talk to its agency about. The fact that it (Baidyanath) doesn’t advertise means that it is not “top of mind” as far as consumers go. The other major talking point’s around “immunity is key”. So, what does one need to say to kind of move the needle for Baidyanath Chyawanprash?

Ketan Desai
Ketan Desai

The ad, we feel, is 8-9 months late because the demand for chyawanprash to boost one’s immunity was quite high in 2020, between the first and the second COVID waves.

Desai agrees on being late to the scene, “but the reality is that the category has grown during this period… chyawanprash was consumed for immunity well before Coronavirus hit.”

He says that immunity will always be a matter of concern for kids, parents and the elderly because of the environment we live in, the pollution, or the food we eat. For around 1,000 years, chyawanprash has been the go-to immunity booster for many people.

Choosing Tripathi as the brand ambassador feels like a smart choice because he fits the role of the espouser of an immunity booster. He hails from the Hindi heartland, rags to riches story, family guy… he’s relatable to many. While it’s a great choice, did these very traits hamper Grey’s script brainstorming session? We’ve seen how movie scripts are written, keeping the actor in mind.

Well, turns out it was not the case. “If it had hampered us, Pankaj wouldn't have been in the film,” states Desai.

He goes on to tell us that Tripathi appeals to the audience Baidyanath wants to talk to and is known for delivering a simple message well. So, for Desai and his team, he's the right fit...

Talking about the campaign, Ajay Sharma, director, Baidyanath, said, “Our mission is to provide the most authentic and efficacious products to the consumer, and to educate them on the benefits of Ayurvedic formulations and processes. This campaign is an embodiment of our mission, and a testament to our commitment to providing the most authentic and complete products.”

“It provides the consumer with the right tools and knowledge to make an informed decision when evaluating chyawanprash. We felt Pankaj Tripathi, with his bonafide connect with the audience, would be the appropriate choice to deliver such a powerful message.”

Added Ramesh Yadav, CMO, Baidyanath, “For chyawanprash to be complete and effective, it must be prepared with the methodology prescribed by original Ayurveda scriptures. Baidyanath, whilst continuing to follow that age-old formula, is further enriched with additional ingredients that have proven to be beneficial in promoting immunity and holistic health in today’s highly stressful times. Backed by years of research, it is the second-largest chyawanprash brand in India, with a large number of loyal user base.”

“To reposition the category and shift the focus of the conversation from ingredients to the process, we were looking for someone who could embody the same values as our brand. Someone who is perceived as authentic, simple, effortless and has originality. It didn’t take much deliberation as Pankaj Tripathi emerged as a natural choice. The fact that Tripathi himself has been a loyal user of various Baidyanath products for many years, made it a perfect match,” Yadav concluded.

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