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“We believe that advertising is about storytelling”: Rajesh Krishnamurthy

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The hair care category is considered to be one of the largest segments in the personal care industry in India. The estimated size of anti-hair fall segment is Rs 1400 crore and is growing at 9 per cent year on year. One of the leading brands of this category that has a range of herbal products is The Himalaya Drug Company.

It was early last week, when The Himalaya Drug Company rolled out a mass media campaign for its anti-hair fall shampoo. The brand recently is seen being promoted on various media platforms. 

In conversation with indiantelevision.com The Himalaya Drug Company consumer products division business head Rajesh Krishnamurthy speaks at length about the brand’s marketing strategies, the worry about media segmentation, its sales targets and much more.

Marketers are worried about the media segmentation that is happening in India. What are your thoughts on this?

We believe that advertising is about storytelling and we should use different mediums strategically to communicate the story. Each media delivers on a significant objective. Depending on the brand’s requirement at that point in time, we would leverage media vehicles accordingly. With the anti-hair fall shampoo campaign, the media mix involves both traditional and digital, we launched with a television commercial and eventually for more targeted marketing we would invest in the digital medium.

How does this come as a challenge while rolling out a 360 degree marketing campaign? 

The biggest challenge is allocation of resources, as each medium has its own merits and demerits; the media mix has to be strategically decided on the basis of the brand’s requirement, the effectiveness of the medium and the RoI generated. While television and outdoor help us in reaching out to the target audience, the digital medium helps us in engaging the consumers with our brands. Himalaya Shampoos enjoy a strong equity in south India with 4.5 per cent market share. This new communication has been developed to support our key variant and build share in the hair fall problem segment nationally.

 Where does marketing fall in Himalaya’s personal care business?

Marketing is the backbone of our personal care business. A right marketing mix driven by relevant consumer insights strikes the chord with the consumer. At Himalaya, we believe in steady and consistent investment in brand building and driving initiatives through extensive marketing research, be it in product development, understanding consumers and their needs, positioning of our products and communicating effectively.

We had the first mover advantage with our face washes in 2006 and today our Purifying Neem face wash is the leading face wash brand in India. Our products’ USP lies in its ingredients, Neem has been successful in reducing pimples, and today it resonates well with our consumers because of the marketing campaigns devised to effectively communicate the product benefit of Purifying Neem face wash over the years.

With tight competition in the category what are the differentiating areas that you are focusing on?

  

Our strength lies in developing efficacious, natural and 100 per cent safe products which build connect with our consumers. Our products are enriched with well researched ingredients which help deliver the product benefit and this is what differentiates us from our competitors. Research has shown that despite major brands being present in the hair fall space, it still happens to be one of the biggest concerns amongst women today. Our TVC communicates how Bhringaraja and Butea Frondosa offer an effective solution to hair fall; it also brings out the message about how the brand would like to help its consumers make the right choice.

Can you define your TG for this segment?

We have noticed that today’s lifestyle has resulted in more women and men experiencing hair fall at a much younger age, hence our communication is directed towards youth between the age group of 18-25 years.

While many brands of this category are trying to incorporate specific media vehicle in their communication plans why did you decide to take the mass media marketing route now?

We have a strategic media plan starting with a mass marketing vehicle. The essence is to create visibility for the brand and connect with the TG with this commercial. While television delivers on these two aspects; digital media also offers room for interactivity as an added benefit. We have launched our communication on YouTube as well and soon we would launch a digital campaign for anti-hair fall category.

Where does digital stand in your media mix? Can you elaborate on the activities planned for your digital campaign?

Digital is an important medium of communication for us. The audience is young and tech savvy, hence we need to be active on this space to build on Himalaya as a trusted brand. We would launch campaigns involving SEO, SEM, display banners, interactive microsites and engaging social media presence starting with Facebook in the coming months with some exciting campaigns for our TG.

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