Benita Chacko

Shark Tank America's TikTok famous Scrub Daddy meets Yashraj Mukhate's Rasoda ft. Kokilaben

The influencer and composer comes together with Rupal Patel aka Kokila Modi to highlight the dishwashing sponge’s features.

What comes to mind when one mentions Scrub Daddy? A yellow smiling sponge? And how has that image established itself in our minds? While the maker of fun and innovative cleaning tools first came into the spotlight due to its appearance in America’s Shark Tank, it is truly the viral TikTok videos that helped it rise in popularity.

So when its hero product enters India, what better way for the brand to do it than through an influencer who is known for his viral content- and that too with the one who helped him become popular? Partnered with Unilever’s Cif, the smiley-faced, texture-changing sponge announced its debut through an Instagram post of influencer and composer Yashraj Mukhate, who shot to fame after his composition "Rasode main kaun tha?" went viral. What’s more- he has partnered with Rupal Patel aka Kokila Modi, the central figure of that hit song.

In the video, Mukhate is seen washing dishes while Kokila Modi, portrayed by Patel in the Star TV show Saath Nibhana Saathiya, addresses him from the television. Modi then emerges from the TV screen to educate him about using the right dishwashing sponge. She suggests Cif's Scrub Daddy to him and then the duo break into an impromptu song and dance performance.

The brand highlights the features of the product through Mukhate’s composition. “Garam paani mein yeh soft, thande paani mein yeh hard,” the lyrics explain.

Mukhate shot to fame after his video featuring a small scene from the daily soap in a rap format gained popularity in 2020. The new ad plays on the same trope and immediately brings to mind the old video. Its caption “Aaj se rasode me Cif Scrub Daddy hoga!” ensures that nobody misses the reference. If anything is still lacking, Modi’s similar-looking sari will do the needful.

Pairing him with Patel is interesting because, in the show, she is often shown reprimanding her daughter-in-laws about domestic chores. She is portrayed as a perfectionist who expects others to achieve the same level of perfection in household work. 

The ad brings to mind another viral video from the same show, where Kokila Modi’s daughter-in-law, Gopi Bahu, washed her husband’s laptop at the sink and put it out to dry on the clothesline. 

Launched in 2012, Scrub Daddy established itself as “Shark Tank’s most successful product till date”. According to a Unilever blog post dated March 2023, it has consistently doubled year-on-year and “recently crossed the $670 million mark in sales, and its products are now available in more than 20 markets worldwide.”

It later became one of the most successful brands on TikTok, amassing over 3 million followers.

In an AdAge interview, the brand’s social media managers Davis Miller and Kerrie Longo said that the biggest contributor to Scrub Daddy’s rapid growth on the platform has been their consistent focus on producing “self-aware” content. The article mentions that the two were hired to overhaul the brand’s TikTok strategy to appeal to the platform’s large Gen Z audience.

In India too, the brand, with Mukhate, seems to be targeting the Gen Z audience. However, priced at Rs 399, the product is significantly more expensive than the regular dishwashing scrubs in India, which are priced as low as Rs 20. 

Unilever’s Cif entered into a partnership with Scrub Daddy in March 2023, to launch a line of co-branded products across the world. It marked Cif’s entry into a new category.

“This partnership is the perfect match. Both brands are well-known for making high-performance cleaning products in their respective areas of expertise, so together they offer a great combination for consumers,” the Unilever post quoted Kewal Sanghvi, senior business development manager at Unilever International.

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