Advertising Dermicool

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DermiCool was launched in the summer of 1999. It was the second summer product from Paras Pharmaceuticals Ltd after the successful launch of ItchGuard Sweat-itch Cream in the summer of 1998. The prickly heat powder market was around Rs.75 crores with Nycil having 65% market share. Shower to Shower was a distant second with 17% market share. The market was also on the decline. (1999 sales - 13% drop in volumes over 1998). The category had not seen any major change in terms of product development or innovation. And no new brand launches either. The media presence of the two brands was seasonal, non-aggressive, and merely sustenance level advertising. Hence, there existed an opportunity for launching a new brand of prickly heat powder, which could clearly be differentiated from

Prickly Heat Powder
existing brands with its distinctive product benefit and positioning. Moreover, entry barriers for launching a new brand in this category were low.

Pre-launch Research Findings
Prickly heat occurs to people across all age groups and SECs, and, was not restricted to children. • •

Prickly heat is not a very serious problem, but relief measures are undertaken by all sufferers. The basic relief that a sufferer sought from prickly heat was sensory in nature - a cooling sensation that relieved them from the burning and itching sensation on the affected body part. Cooling sensation thus emerged as a strong differentiator for the new brand. Consumer Insight: Consumers desire a sensation of cooling to mitigate the feeling of burning and pricking caused by prickly heat.


Phase 1 (1999 - 2000)

Phase 2 (2001)

The market dynamics suddenly changed. Success of DermiCool saw new brand launches – BoroPlus Ice by Emami, DermiCil by Cipla and DR. Smyle by Kopran. Besides which, promotion offers (BoroPlus 1+1 free, DR.Smyle 1+ 2 free) and price-offs (Nycil – Rs.13 off) were offered by all leading and new brands.

Quantitative Research Findings – 2000 - 2001 revealed that •

DermiCool is a successful brand with a 12% market share in two years, with major conversions coming from Nycil users! (and expected to continue in the future). Clear communication of ‘Cooling Sensation’ as the sensory benefit contributed to this success. Cooling as a property is unique to and clearly associated with DermiCool. This has created a strong loyal consumer base for DermiCool. Boroplus is seen as a ‘scheme brand’ due to its ‘1+1 free’ offer. It does not enjoy any distinctive imagery in the consumer’s mind. Nycil remains the market leader in terms of brand awareness and usage, although volume sales have been decreasing for the last two years. The ranking of key parameters for the evaluation of a prickly heat powder are:

Thanda, thanda powder

Communication Task
The key task of the launch communication was to differentiate DermiCool from the other prickly heat powder brands. This was done in two ways: • • By highlighting the acute burning sensation suffered during an attack of prickly heat. By creatively exploiting the instant and unique cooling sensation that DermiCool provides for relief. •

Results - 1999 - 2000
DermiCool Prickly Heat Powder garnered 8% volume market share (in a declining market) in its first year of launch and became the 4th largest brand in the category (Nycil, Shower to Shower and BoroPlus being the 1st three). Year 2000-1 saw the launch of new variant by DermiCool – Sandal with a new TVC in which cooling was the focus. The brand’s market share this year grew by 4% (from 8% to 12%), thus making DermiCool the 3rd largest brand in the category while Nycil lost market share (65% to 54%), for the second year in a row.

– Relief from itching / scratching – Immediate cooling sensation – Relief from pricking / burning Both DermiCool and Nycil are perceived as delivering immediate cooling sensation (although Nycil does not promise ‘cooling’). However, Nycil was...
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