Aishwarya Ramesh

Dabur goes to market with Odonil air sanitiser

In a newly released TVC, we see Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon show users how the product kills germs that are suspended mid-air.

The only surface left to sanitise is our souls. In a newly released TVC, Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon introduces viewers to 'Hawa Ka Doctor', an air sanitiser released under Dabur's Odonil brand.

The company claims that using the spray indoors can kill germs. Odonil, as a brand, has been focused on the room freshener and home fragrances space. It has products in various formats, such as pouches, blocks, spray, and zipper. Odonil also sells car fresheners.

The TVC comes hot on the heels of Godrej’s diversification into the space. In July, Godrej Protekt diversified its range to add air and surface disinfectant sprays under the home protection category in its portfolio. Godrej also introduced air and surface sanitisers under its ‘Aer’ range in August. Both these products claim to kill 99.9 per cent of germs.

Also Read: Godrej introduces fabric, air and travel sanitisers under 'Aer' range

Odonil began claiming a stake in the germ-killing space as early as May. We spotted 10-second ads (presumably, YouTube pre-roll ads), which claimed that the TEG (Triethylene Glycol) in Odonil Air Freshener pouches can help kill the germs in the air in bathrooms.

Odonil’s advertising messages have always focused on freshness and different fragrances that offer non-intrusive ways of constantly deodorising a room/bathroom.

The focus has also been on uplifting mood and making families happy. But with the Coronavirus pandemic, the pivot has been to germ-killing abilities and the focus has been on the specific ingredient TEG, which is commonly used in air sanitiser products. In aerosol form, this ingredient acts as a disinfectant and hence, its usage in the marketing messages too.

Reviewing the ad, and the strategy of the communication and product itself, Divya Agarwal, senior planning director, Ogilvy, explains that nobody would have thought of air disinfectants, but then no one would have thought of the current situation we are living in either.

“What's intriguing is while this innovation looks interesting, somewhat an air freshener with added benefit of germ kill, the claim seems somewhat fuzzy - what's TEG, how long it lasts, how it kills, et al, is not clear,” she says.

Divya Agarwal
Divya Agarwal

She adds that the current situation, with the Coronavirus spreading rapidly, has consumers feeling very vulnerable. The companies are trying hard to innovate and fill an everyday increasing need gap; some with product innovation, some with packaging innovations.

“Given current uncertainties, people might still pick it out of an added safety layer, especially to be used after one-off incidents, like someone visiting. This in addition to the increasing adoption of thermal guns and surface disinfectants, especially before bringing parcels and objects inside. Some working as a placebo, some as a precaution,” she concludes.

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