Sunit Roy
Digital

HUL's new Pond's spot ditches beauty for boxing and bruises...

Giving advertising codes like softness and smoothness focused skin closeup shots a miss, Pond's latest ad is the story of an aspiring boxer.

Who can forget Pond's iconic 'Googly Woogly Wooksh' campaign? It's the first thing that pops into one's mind the moment we think of a winter cream. In fact, in 2016, 9XM, the Bollywood music platform, recreated the iconic Pond's Cold Cream tune 'Googly Woogly Wooksh'. The popular jingle was sung by Monali Thakur and Armaan Malik and was made into a music video.

HUL's new Pond's spot ditches beauty for boxing and bruises...

Pond's Googly Woogly Wooksh campaign

Since then, Pond's - the beauty and skincare brand from the house of Hindustan Unilever (HUL) - has come a long way. The brand has been launching marketing campaigns with socially relevant messages for quite some time. This year, on the occasion of 'International Hugs Day', the brand initiated #PondsKiJhappi. The social experiment conducted by Pond's was a gentle nudge for young people to go over and hug those they love.

HUL's new Pond's spot ditches beauty for boxing and bruises...

#PondsKiJhappi campaign launched in January 2019

HUL's new Pond's spot ditches beauty for boxing and bruises...

Pond's Men Slap Off campaign

Last month, Pond's Men released a "slap-off" ad film to take on the competition in the Indonesian market. The ad, created by Ogilvy Singapore, dropped alpha-male stereotype, and instead, injected sympathetic humour.

HUL's new Pond's spot ditches beauty for boxing and bruises...

Pond’s latest #SeeWhatHappens campaign

No doubt, Pond's has a formidable legacy. But there comes a time for a brand to create a new one. Therefore, in an attempt to take its legacy of trusted care further, Pond's recently launched its #SeeWhatHappens campaign. Through this ad, the brand is trying to become a voice for young girls, speak their language and be the brand that is on their side.

Conceptualised by Ogilvy India and Singapore, the ad is a heart-warming story of a young Indian girl pursuing her passion for boxing. It has been produced by Good Morning Films and directed by Shashank Chaturvedi (Bob).

While the ad shows the girl using a face wash, the message is not about a product. It is, instead, about "unboxing" your hesitations to #SeeWhatHappens.

HUL's new Pond's spot ditches beauty for boxing and bruises...

Kainaz Karmakar

HUL's new Pond's spot ditches beauty for boxing and bruises...

Harshad Rajashyaksha

"Before the campaign was launched, detailed research was conducted to understand the life of a girl, what her day is like and how, despite her brave face on social media, there are fears that lurk in her heart. We had several brainstorming sessions just to rule out what did not feel authentic," shares Kainaz Karmakar and Harshad Rajashyaksha, chief creative officers, Ogilvy India (West) and the brains behind the campaign.

For now, only one film has been released across digital platforms. But the brand believes that the thought is strong enough to give birth to a series of films because it's born from a life-truth.

"With the power of social media, we hope to ignite conversations, just like the film. Women still feel held back by their inner voices and we want to encourage them to share their stories. This is exactly what 'See What Happens' is all about," says Prabha Narasimhan, vice president, Skincare and Colours, HUL.

The ad has gone live across Pond's key markets - India, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia. However, it was quite challenging for the creative team to roll out the campaign in four countries. "Making sure we had consistency and cultural relevance in each market was a huge challenge. We will know how successful we are only in the coming days," admits Karmakar.

Impressive work?

HUL's new Pond's spot ditches beauty for boxing and bruises...

Sharda Agarwal

According to Sharda Agarwal - co-founder, Sepalika (an online platform for Women's Health), established brands like Pond's are required to continuously evolve to stay contemporary and relevant to their target audience.

She says, "While new product features are a sure route to meet this objective, powerful brands are built when they rise above product constructs and inextricably sync with consumers' life goals and aspirations. The #SeeWhatHappens campaign from Pond's, aces this challenge."

As far as execution is concerned, Agarwal opines that countless ads often fall flat because of a forced fit of the brand proposition into the creative. "Pond's latest ad overcomes that hurdle and makes for an engaging view. The pick of boxing as the hidden passion is a good metaphor to nudge girls out of the stereotypical role society expects them to play. The acting by the cast was muted, yet impactful."