Introduced around 30 years back by Balsara (Hygiene Products), a subsidiary of FMCG company Dabur India since 2005, mosquito repellent product, Odomos has ever since been launched in seven different formats. In a recent minute-long communication, 'Kids Vs Mosquito Rap Battle', the brand is seen promoting one of the packaging formats, Odomos spray, which was launched in the market in 2008.
Commenting on the long-format of the communication, Vineet Jain, head of marketing - home care, Dabur India, tells us that to bring alive the proposition of 'Odomos nahi pehna to ghar pe rehna' campaign, and to better connect with the kids along with new-age mothers, the brand decided to move beyond the 30-second TV commercial. “We used the rap battle music format to appeal to the target group. Though Odomos is a serious brand, the rap format enabled us to put forth our message in an entertaining way without compromising on the seriousness of the problem,” he explains.
As a part of the campaign, the brand had earlier released two TVCs.
He goes on to say that kids were featured in the brand film to break the monotony of the category and content clutter on the internet. He says, “Featuring kids is also a reflection of today’s society where kids are more informed and involved in decision-making than ever.”
Most of the communication by the brand in the past too has been focused on kids and new-age moms.
We asked Jain which of the packaging formats – cream, lotion, spray, gel, roll-on, band, patches - is the most widely sold. Cream-in-tube, he shares. “The brand has always adapted to changing consumer needs. Newer formats are launched to appeal to the new age consumers. The launch of Odomos spray was a part of this move as it is a convenient, easy-to-use format without compromising on the efficacy,” he adds.
The digital only film has been conceptualised by the in-house digital team of Dabur and produced by Tsunami Studio, a Mumbai-based animation studio and production house.
We reached out to three industry experts to understand what what a brand should be cautious of while launching a new format of a product.
According to Sonal Jhuj, vice president - strategy, DDB Mudra Group, when a brand comes up with a new format, it needs to only be mindful of two things a) Do people understand what the new format is and how it is to be used, b) Will this improved format make the product more expensive.
She cites the example of Godrej’s Aer pockets to explain that when a brand offers a more convenient product format, consumers adopt it. “A brand would be expected to explain how a new format works when its usage is unusual or unfamiliar. For example, Surf Excel did the ‘pour-rub-pour’ campaign to explain its usage,” she says.
Talking about the packaging variants of Odomos, she mentions that for many young parents, spray formats have been all the rage along with the sticker format.
As per Rajesh Lalwani, managing director, Scenario Consulting, it’s important for the brand, when going for a product refresh to ensure that the core promise is intact . "The brand needs to be recognisable, even as the packaging becomes more attractive and adapts with time," he elaborates.
We pointed out to the experts that the rap battle ad does not highlight the functional benefits of the product, to which Lalwani says that not everything has to be ‘said’ in the visual medium. He underscores, “Everything is nicely embedded in the visual storyline - the spray action, the rubbing action. They could have focused the camera on the ‘naturals’ part a bit more, but otherwise it’s all there.”
He adds, “In these anxious times, parents are most concerned about protecting their children from mosquito bites given the dangerous diseases they can cause. However, it’s not the easiest thing to get children to agree and dab on protective creams. Enter the new Odomos spray – although the product has been around for a while, the communication and packaging is absolutely fresh.”
Further, talking specifically of the idea and execution of this ad, he says, “Targeted directly to the consumer - the children, the ad communicates in a fresh language they can relate with. The message is delivered effectively via the rap battle – a.) you are not fully dressed until you ‘wear’ the new Odomos spray and b.) the new Odomos spray is your key to moving about freely in the outdoors.”
Jhuj is of the opinion that the spray format is only a more convenient one and not something that requires an explanation on how it works. “I’m certain the agency and the marketing team did not think of this film in isolation. There would surely be a whole consumer journey with messaging specific to sprays, including price point communication. The film does the job of showing the product in use, so the functional benefit is quite clear,” she says.
She finds the film watchable and comments that unlike many rap-inspired ads, the rap actually sounds more authentic and well placed. It will aid recall for Odomos, she believes.
Does Ajay Verma, managing partner, Enormous Brands feel the same way? He is of the opinion that the communication marks a shift in the role of a mother’s responsibility to DIY for children. He says, “The new product format makes it convenient and easy to use - drawing from the codes of the deo generation. This certainly makes the product usage more desirable from the dull, dreary tube.”
Although he finds the ad fairly straight forward, he feels that the new product format could have pushed the envelope further by creating a brand ‘pull’ versus the traditional ‘push’ category it has always been. The trust and protection that the brand has stood for is the asset they must continuously build and reinforce. He comments, “The execution of a rap song is refreshing, but the production is far from desired.”