Aishwarya Ramesh

Cipla debunks inhaler-use myths

In light of Delhi's recent pollution crisis, there has been a growing interest around air purifiers, pollution protection masks and inhalers. Cipla has joined the bandwagon with a new ad campaign for inhalers titled #BerokZindagi. The film includes celebrity chef, Vikas Khanna; Arjuna awardee Badminton player, Parupalli Kashyap and digital influencer, Shristi Dixit.

The new campaign #InhalersHainSahi focusses on generating awareness and education about asthma and the appropriate line of treatment with inhalers. The film highlights key issues and myths such as inhalers are not suitable for children; are meant for a certain severity of asthma and are addictive. Scripted by the creative team at Schbang, directed by Nilay Singh and produced by Abhimanyu Balasubramanyam and Abhishek Mishra, the film busts each and every myth associated with the use of inhalers. The larger campaign, which will pan out over the next few months will comprise a multi-media campaign including TV, digital media and radio.

A still from the campaign
(L to R) Radhika Apte, Vikas Khanna, Srishti Dixit and Paruppalli Kashyap
A still from the campaign (L to R) Radhika Apte, Vikas Khanna, Srishti Dixit and Paruppalli Kashyap

Speaking about the strategic intent behind the campaign, Nikhil Chopra – executive vice-president and head, India business, Cipla, says, “Berok Zindagi has been about fostering a mindset that is free of biases about asthma, and encouraging uptake of appropriate treatment for the same in the form of inhalation therapy. The aim is to disrupt the entrenched perception of weakness in an asthmatic and instead celebrate the human spirit of patients who have successfully conquered the disease and live fulfilling lives.”

Nikhil Chopra
Nikhil Chopra

Asthma can be a showstopper. Many asthmatics are unable to live the life they deserve due to the illness. Chopra informs, “Misinformation and stigma has led to non-acceptance of the disease and avoidance of inhaler use.”

Last year’s #BerokZindagi campaign resulted in a 14 per cent increase in awareness levels regarding asthma, Chopra shared, in an e-mail.

“Before the initiation of Berok Zindagi last year,” Chopra reveals, “market research indicated that only 8 per cent of the patients were using inhalers. 47 per cent of the patients were afraid of the social stigma more than the disease itself and 29 per cent of the patients feared addiction from using inhalers.”

Previous communication never included a non-asthmatic. This time, Radhika Apte changes that and pro-actively talks about asthma as a representative of every person who may not have the disease but cares for people who do. Chopra adds, "This year our strategy is to bring in more faces of people with asthma who are achievers in their respective fields.”

"We feel that people are usually more engaged on digital media and we have seen that longer formats do seem to work. The ‘everyman’ element in the film was introduced through Radhika Apte. Some of the content produced last year were in longer formats and these received a positive response. As a result, for this year too, we are confident that long format will work well. This ad is a little over 3 minutes. However, it is designed in a way to ensure that a vital part of the message is delivered in the first half minute itself," Chopra says.

#BerokZindagi is a digital-first campaign that uses influencers to start a conversation. "New age digital media has garnered massive traction today. As a result, while traditional media remains a go-to for their mass reach and appeal, to keep up with the whole gamut of our target groups, marketing must include new age mediums," he informs.

Campaign review

Lucky Saini, vice-president, digital and marketing solutions, Dentsu India Slingshot, feels that the thought of #BerokZindagi is a strong hook for a campaign in this product category but the video misses out on making an emotional connection. “Good storytelling is extremely important to make the message sticky. The brand could have talked about how a champion badminton player became one despite being an asthmatic. Now that's a story I would like to hear..." he says.

Lucky Saini
Lucky Saini

Saini points out that in a world where the attention span on digital feed is as low as 4 to 6 seconds, "This is far too long because after the first 30 seconds, I get the point. I don't see why viewers should be hooked on for 3 minutes only because of celeb faces," he adds.

He continues, "This video became more of a product video and did not really use the celebs well. A short series (15 seconds each) on #BeyondAllOdds achievements could have been explored. This way you spread out the messages and increase the opportunities to garner attention," he says.

Over a call, creative consultant, Pradyumna Chauhan, tells us that watching the ad film reminded him of informational TV spots that aired 10-20 years ago. Thinking out loud, he asks, “Why do you need nearly 5 whole minutes to deliver this message?"

Pradyumna Chauhan
Pradyumna Chauhan

Citing the example of Apple commercials that concentrate on a single key technological innovation as a benefit in one TVC he says, “The Cipla ad film could have been cut into smaller 15 second pieces," he mentions. He opines that the influencers chosen are relatable, but that the overall ad and campaign don't have a particularly strong connect with the audience.