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#TouchThePickle shouts out loud P&G’s Whisper

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MUMBAI: Like the two sides of a coin, India too is divided into two mindsets. While a certain part is moving towards modernisation, there are still a few things that are holding us back to be culturally liberal.

P&G Whisper’s new advertising campaign brings out the painful truth of our society.

According to market experts, the Rs 2,100 crore sanitary napkin market in India is growing at the rate of 19 per cent year on year. Whisper is one of the dominating brands in the category that has worked smartly on its pricing strategy over the years.

The brand, in the past, has taken up various corporate social responsibilities (CSR) as part of its marketing initiatives.

It can be recalled that P&G’s ‘Parivartan’ program has been protecting millions of adolescent girls in India from getting trapped in traditional practices of using unhygienic cloth for sanitary protection by providing menstrual education.

The program has been improving the lives of over two million girls annually across 15,000 schools in India. The objective of the program is to help adolescent girls embrace womanhood positively and enable them to adopt the right feminine hygiene practices to stay healthy and stay in school. ‘Parivartan’ ensures that adolescent girls do not miss school on account of periods and initiates a series of cascading effects leading to a more equal gender status in the state.

P&G’s ‘Shiksha’ that was launched in 2005 was aimed at enabling consumers to contribute towards the cause of education of under-privileged children through simple brand choices. It is considered to be one of the most successful CSR campaigns initiated by a multinational corporation in India.

Taking a step further and breaking the stereotypical communication thoughts, Whisper has rolled out a movement titled #TouchThePickle to try and put an end to period taboos that still haunt many Indian girls and women. The movement is initiated under the brand campaign called ‘Kadam Badhaye Ja’.

Click here to watch the TVC

The TVC already has got over 22,600 views in five days. The video which was shared on the brand’s You Go Girl page has received over 17, 908 likes and 494 shares.

On the communication strategy by the brand, the Elephant Strategy+Design founder director and principal designer Ashwini Deshpande wished the TVC was done 25 years ago, but feels it is never too late.

“A global brand with real alignment to Indian culture is a rare sight yet delightful,” adds Desphande.

On the other hand Curry Nation co-founder Priti Nair has a different observation. “When I first heard about the movement I really thought that is a fantastic concept, very radical and memorable. I was genuinely happy and proud that a brand like Whisper has taken this stance. I thought we are finally getting rid of the stereotypical commercials from this category and someone is busting the conservative regressive cultural myths attached to a natural cycle of a woman and wished I could have done something similar. My perception changed after I saw the ad,” says Nair.  

She believes that the brand diluted the huge idea to tick all the points of research work.  According to her, the brand should have taken on the regressive thoughts on menstrual cycle and break them first and then taken on more myths that exist in our society.

“A brand like Whisper which worldwide is doing large mind set alteration would have succeeded doing that in India as well,” concludes Nair.

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