Ubaid Zargar

How Dabur Herb’l onboarded Darth Vader as its chief innovative officer

The brand has collaborated with Disney India to feature the Star Wars character on their special edition packs.

Toothpaste brand Dabur Herb'l Charcoal has joined forces with Disney for its Star Wars franchise, onboarding the primary antagonist Darth Vader as its chief innovative officer. May 4th, a day celebrated by fans across the world as 'Star Wars' Day, marked the unveiling of a limited edition Star Wars pack from Dabur Herb'l, featuring the infamous villain of the sci-fi world.

This collaboration sees the marriage of Dabur Herb'l's Activated Charcoal toothpaste, touted for its whitening prowess, with the timelessness of Star Wars. The result? An oral care adventure targeted at the young adults of the country.

Trivia: May 4th is celebrated by Star Wars fans in part also because of the famous jedi line 'May the force be with you', a catchphrase that rings similar to 'May the fourth (May 4th) be with you'.

The brand first announced the collaboration via a LinkedIn post looking for a new chief innovative officer. After a few days, it announced the new recruit, and it was Darth Vader himself. The brand even created a separate LinkedIn profile for this new leader.

Darth Vader's LinkedIn profile
Darth Vader's LinkedIn profile

Soon after, Dabur unveiled the partnership with Disney through a separate ad film, made much like a superhero movie teaser.

But why Star Wars? And why Darth Vader?

As per Binit Kumar, who is the DGM marketing and category head, Oral Care, Dabur, the idea was to onboard a character that would represent the uniqueness of Dabur Herb’l Charcoal toothpaste. The differentiator for the product is its unconventional black colour, compared to the category standards of white and red. 

Binit Kumar
Binit Kumar

“This is why we went with Darth Vader. It is a character that is hugely popular, and carries a similarity with what separates our Charcoal toothpaste in terms of its colour aesthetics,” he says.

And that makes sense since the brand is primarily catering to millennials and Gen Z consumers, a cohort within which the recent TV shows from Star Wars universe, such as The Mandalorian, and The Book of Boba Fett, have gained a lot of popularity.

With the onboarding of Star Wars as its franchisee partners, Dabur Herb’l is aiming to create some differentiation, while also playing the long game of sustained relatability on the back of Darth Vader.

“We feel the force with which Darth Vader has become a cult-favourite character, a toothpaste with a proposition of charcoal will also have a good fan following after this collab. We are looking forward to adding more elements to this campaign as we go along.”

Given the brand’s target audience, the campaign is going to be primarily digital in its media usage. “There are also going to be collaborations with influencers. We are also looking into getting some meme-marketing going for it.”

The new limited edition packs will feature a QR code in addition to a Star Wars theme. The QR code is built to direct consumers to a WhatsApp chatbox, where upon answering a quiz, they stand a chance to win goodies.

In terms of distribution, the new packs will hit shelves across e-commerce platforms first. “The products will be Available on Amazon, and will soon be available across all e-commerce platforms and modern trade.”

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