Abid Hussain Barlaskar

ENO nestles near acidity causing recipes on YouTube

As Indians look for recipes on Google, GSK’s antacid brand ENO picks out relevant searches and positions brand creatives besides the results.

Although ENO is pretty far from being a food brand, it is an antacid, a healthcare product category deeply connected with food and cuisines. A Google report released in early May revealed that searches for food recipes on the Internet jumped by 20 per cent during the Coronavirus lockdown months.

This spike in food related conversations made sense for GSK’s antacid brand ENO to hop on to the ‘recipe’ trend train and take charge.

The brand released the third phase of its #WhatARelief campaign. As a part of the digital initiative, ENO ads are served as dynamic creatives on YouTube. Dynamic creatives are programmatic video ads updated in real time based on preset parameters, like a particular recipe search. One of Google’s latest advertising tools, it was unveiled to marketers at the company’s annual event ‘Google for India’ last year.

ENO nestles near acidity causing recipes on YouTube
ENO nestles near acidity causing recipes on YouTube

The ENO team first picked up the top recipes being searched on YouTube and then developed six-second creatives for recipes related with acidity. The chosen recipes included Samosas, Butter Chicken, Manchurian, Kachori, Chhole Bhature, Biryani, Momos and Shahi Paneer. The ads play as a pre-roll for particular recipe videos on YouTube. For example, the copy of the ad targeting a Samosa recipe video search reads, “Aaj menu mein Samosa hoga, acidity nahin!”

“Google helped us with the trends on recipe explorations and shortlisting the top recipes that were being searched on YouTube. From the list, we picked up the top recipes which had the high correlation with acidity (for example, spicy, fried ones, etc.). The top nine were finalised and we built customised creatives for each recipe,” explains Vijay Sharma, area marketing lead, OTC and expert marketing ISC, GSK Consumer Healthcare.

Vijay Sharma
Vijay Sharma

Sharma started his career in sales with Siel in 1993. He then moved to Hindustan Unilever, where he spent close to 12 years in the sales and marketing domains, in roles like ASM, marketing manager for Kissan, Dalda & Flora brands and as the business head for Project Shakti (HUL's go-to-market model to drive rural reach). After HUL, he moved to Career Launcher as president and CEO and has also worked briefly as an independent consultant before joining GSK as Rural Lead in 2011.

With more time on their hands, a strict no-no to ‘outside food’ and the absence of domestic helps, Indians were bound to experiment with their meals. ENO’s campaign aims to position the brand as ‘a trusted ally against acidity’. And, as Sharma puts it, the effort was “immensely successful”.

The trend continues to dominate social media and is pretty evident from the Google search trends over the last one month.

Search trend for the term 'recipe' in last 30 days.
Search trend for the term 'recipe' in last 30 days.

The antacids category is divided into three sub-categories - powders (like ENO), liquids (like Digene and Gelucil gel) and tablets (like Digene and Pudin Hara). The category is valued at over Rs 2,000 crore, with ENO commanding a dominant market share of more than 50 per cent. GSK’s ENO powder competes with Dabur’s Pudin Hara Fizz, Sun Pharma’s Pepfiz and Mankind Pharma’s Gas-O-Fast.

The brand is targeted at both males and female in the age bracket of 22-45 years. Despite being an OTC healthcare product, it is primarily sold in grocery and departmental stores. The consumer segments span across SEC (socioeconomic classification) A, B and C.

"Consumer interest and relevance for a brand like ENO spikes especially during festivals and marriages."

Consumer interest and relevance for a brand like ENO spikes especially during festivals and marriages. Social occasions with high involvement of food play a critical role in the category, as incidence of the problem (that ENO is a solution to) is related to indulgent eating. This has traditionally reflected in the brand’s advertising. It has often been placed against backdrops like celebrations, happy occasions and junk food.

Sharma says that the recipe searches on YouTube are still at a significantly high level, compared to pre-COVID numbers, as in-home food experiments continue to be an expression of relief. “There was just a single guiding thought behind the entire campaign, that consumers should continue with their food experiments, backed by the trust of ENO against a worry of resultant acidity.”

However, apart from latching on to the ‘recipe’ chatter, the brand has captured its own share of work-from-home, DIY cooking and indulgence conversations. While the first of the series was about the combo of work-from-home and late lunches, the others were about overeating and being holed up inside the home with limited physical workout.

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