afaqs! news bureau

Vaseline's ad focuses on softening hands, instead of sanitising them

Hands are the focal point of the new ad - hands that work, hands that protect, and hands that serve. Vaseline's ad claims to care for all of them.

Before the Coronavirus pandemic struck, only a handful of companies were dipping their toes into the sanitiser segment. Once the pandemic hit, companies took a nosedive, head first into a category that has been seeing an uptick in demand since the virus struck.

As of now, there is no proven cure for the Coronavirus, and the only known way to prevent it is by washing, or sanitising, your hands regularly. Vaseline has not yet made its foray into the handwash/hand sanitiser segment. Instead, its new ad focuses on hands, and the work they do.

"The thinking behind this campaign was to express gratitude to the 'pairs of hands' who have gone out of their way for our well-being. These hands are truly deserving of the care that Vaseline provides and that is what we have tried to capture in the ad," says Carlos Pereira, (an adman who used to work with Lowe Lintas) the maker of the ad.

This is is not a huge departure from Vaseline's past (brand) messaging. It has focused on moisturising, and keeping skin healthy in the past. With this ad in particular, Vaseline chooses to highlight what happens to hands that are repeatedly washed while working, while on duty (as a doctor), or while performing other activities (such as making masks).

The ad is Vaseline's way of paying tribute to frontline workers. The company has announced that it will be donating its products to one lakh healthcare workers, and the ad's messaging is hinged on different iterations of the line 'The hands that make sacrifices for others deserve to be cared for.'

India has seen different ads from different companies claiming to protect people's hands from germs, but these don't talk about the state of the skin, or its overall health. This ad is in keeping with Vaseline's past (brand) messaging - being a saviour for extremely dry skin.

Another beauty brand that paid tribute to frontline workers in a recent Mother's Day film is Nykaa. The beauty and lifestyle e-commerce platform conceptualised a campaign on the occasion of Mother's Day for its channel Nykaa TV. The film is titled "Khoj", and tells the story of a frantic daughter trying to find her mother.

As the film unfolds, viewers see the story of a young woman Vedika, who's home quarantined after travelling recently. She is unable to reach her mother, despite repeated calls. Towards the end of the film, it is revealed that Vedika's mother is a doctor, and has been in the hospital, fighting on the frontlines in the battle against the pandemic.

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