Shreyas Kulkarni

Dabur Red Paste brings back Chaubeyji to win big in the immunity space

The brand is associating itself with the new 'hot' space as strong teeth will help you bite immunity-building foods such as haldi, ginger, and amla.

There is a time and place for everything. These days, it's the time of 'immunity' against the Coronavirus. People are anxious to safeguard themselves and their families and brands are seeing to it that they're able to allay this anxiety through their communications and offerings.

Over the last few months, we had the expected hand sanitiser and disinfectant brands do their bit for immunity and against the virus and saw a few odd brands too. Fabric companies assured us that they'd destroy Corona, CenturyPly, a plywood company promised to kill 99.99% viruses while Linc Pens launched the 'Pentonic Covid-19 Killer', a sterilizing marker.

In its quest to own the immunity space, Dabur Red Paste has brought back Chaubeyji for three new ads. We first saw him at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup where he would eat a popular food item from India's opponent nations before the match. For example, against Pakistan, Chaubeyji destroys our neighbour's famous akhrots (walnuts) because he uses Dabur Red Paste which makes his teeth so strong that #SabkoChabaJaayenge.

Now, in the three new ads, we see Chaubeyji eating raw Haldi, Amla, and Ginger; all to improve his immunity. What's interesting to note here is that Chaubeyji credits Dabur Red Paste for his powerful teeth that let him chew all these raw ingredients to gain immunity.

Ritu Sharda, CCO, Ogilvy (North), the agency behind the ads: “The ‘#ChabaateyRahoIndia’ series by Dabur Red Paste makes a comeback this year and our favourite ‘Chaubey Ji’ is here to chabao some things that are important for all of us to stay fit.

While everyone talks about chewing on haldi, ginger and amla, we understand that they are hard to bite, and one would need healthy teeth to chew them properly. So, make your teeth strong to make your immunity strong. Chabatey raho india , aur har problem ko bhagatey raho.”

We thought it was interesting how Dabur Red Paste chose the association route to link itself to these 'hot' ingredients when if it wanted, it could have developed a new line of toothpaste that includes such ingredients. Yes, we don't eat toothpaste but you get the gist. Was 'association' the simple way out to win this happening space?

This move reminds us of Colgate-Palmolive’s digital initiative '', a teledentistry platform that provides free online consultation service to patients with dentists; an excellent method for the brand to associate with the dentists and patients without having to overtly sell itself.

Harkawal Singh, Head-Oral Care, Dabur India Ltd Marketing, when asked about going the 'association' route told us, "The ad is anchored on the core benefit of Dabur Red Paste – providing strong teeth and complete oral care. The immunity-boosting foods – Amla, Haldi, Ginger - shown in the campaign are good but difficult to chew, especially if one has dental problems. The message we are conveying with this ad is that Dabur Red Paste users have strong teeth and are protected from dental problems and, hence, can easily chew these hard-to-chew foods.”

We asked about Dabur's choice of using 'association' to gain the upper hand in this space when if it wanted, it could have created a toothpaste with say Haldi in it.

Amar Wadhwa
Amar Wadhwa

Amar Wadhwa, founder and executive director, CrystalEyes (A marketing consultancy) said: Advertising has two elements to it. Content (the functional promise) and Context (insights that make the content relevant to consumers). Contextual advertising always resonates well with consumers. Given the COVID 19 pandemic, most consumers have been concerned about building their immunity. This ad from Dabur Red Toothpaste builds that context to the promise of stronger teeth that can chabao difficult to chew things. It's as simple as that.

A haldi toothpaste, on the other hand, is counter-intuitive. For one, you don't ingest a toothpaste and secondly, haldi leads to yellowing of teeth. I wouldn't be surprised if Dabur Red toothpaste follows this up with a teeth whitening variant based on the same haldi eating context.

Lloyd Mathias, business strategist and angel investor told us:

Lloyd Mathias
Lloyd Mathias

Given the concern around the pandemic, building immunity is clearly uppermost on everyone’s mind. So it’s natural for products to address this need with new offerings and even retrofit existing products around the 'building immunity' theme.

Not surprising then that Dabur’s Red Toothpaste – that typically targets the mass market in the Hindi heartland - has cleverly used the topicality of immunity to drive home the importance of strong teeth, which is Dabur Red Toothpaste’s core proposition.

In this spot, clearly Dabur is taking a light-hearted dig at people’s immunity-boosting home remedies- like imbibing turmeric, to emphasize that if you have strong teeth you can chew anything healthy and protect yourself. The ad is cheeky, cleverly parodies new fads like chewing turmeric, and in a tongue in cheek manner conveys the brand's proposition of the toothpaste for strong and healthy teeth.