The brand has deserted its ‘fairness’ proposition and stresses on being “andar se fair” with “bhai ki cream”.
Emami Fair And Handsome, a leading fairness cream brand has undergone a transformation of sorts. One, it has changed its positioning from fairness to radiance. Second, the brand has signed Bollywood star Salman Khan as its new face while its previous brand ambassador was superstar Shah Rukh Kahn whom it had signed in 2007.
Emami released two ads featuring Salman Khan. The one for the Fair & Handsome Radiance Cream marked the change in brand positioning. In it, we see the actor tout the cream’s benefits such as sun protection and “instant radiance” and handsomegiri. The second ad was for the Fair & Handsome face wash that too spoke about radiance.
This is a marked changed from Fair And Handsome’s old communication focused on fairness. Another interesting aspect was the change in packaging too. The old pack carried a ‘before and after’ image of a guy (dark skin to fair skin), the new pack carries the radiance proposition.
2020 was a challenging time for fairness cream brands which came under scrutiny in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. Hindustan Unilever, an FMCG giant announced it would drop the ‘Fair’ from its Fair & Lovely fairness cream in June 2020 and a month later, it unveiled the new name – Glow & Lovely and the men’s range would be renamed Glow & Handsome.
Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director, HUL said, "... the brand communication progressed from fairness to glow which is a more holistic and inclusive measure of healthy skin." This was seen in the brand’s ad/rap song where it equated glow with identity.
Emami, in response to the name change for the men’s fairness cream, said it was shocked because “Emami Limited, maker of ‘Fair and Handsome’ brand of men’s grooming products is the market leader in the men’s fairness cream with legal ownership of the trademarks. We have already launched a week back our brand ‘Emami Glow & Handsome’ digitally and necessary application has already been made to the relevant authorities.”
The battle for the trademark reached the court and as per a Times of India report in August, “The Bombay High Court has granted Hindustan Unilever (HUL) interim relief in its trademark row with Emami over the use of the ‘Glow & Handsome’.”