Getting into the 'MOOD''! The progression from 'Condas' to 'Condees'

Let's talk about sex baby, Let's talk about you and me

Let's talk about all the good things, And the bad things that may be. Let's talk about SEX.

This Salt 'n' Pepa number in a nutshell is an instant definition of what category condom advertising stands for in the Indian scenario. Condom advertising today is bold, explicit, in your face and from the minute it hits the first frame, one knows it's the 'rubber' one is talking about.

But are such ads impacting enough for you and me to become die-hard brand loyalists of a particular condom brand? Hmmm, interesting but the chances seem slim.

It was in an effort to break this "mind-block" that Hindustan Latex Ltd (HLL)'s Mood condoms, after almost seven years of advertising hibernation decided to pull up its socks and make some aggressive inroads in marking up market share after a complete makeover in terms of packaging, TVC, redefining TG and the strategic media map. And there lies the story of 'Mood'.

The TVC all set to unleash itself is Lowe's baby and the stakes seem high, really high. Why? Well for starters, this will be the first time in the history on Indian condom advertising that one will be addressing women's sexual satisfaction.

The philosophy: Sexual satisfaction through a woman's eyes that goes beyond raw desire.

The TVC in essence captures that emotions of a woman who has been fully sexually satiated, and her frame of mind the "morning after". With a tune from the well-loved RD Burman classic of the '70s 'Yeh kya hua...' playing as part of the background score, the commercial captures intimate moments between a couple on a bike, which only another woman looking at this interaction can relate to, which is also depicted in the ad. Lowe's national creative director Balakrishnan says, " 'Yeh kya hua..' will break the clutter as firstly it is very unlike a condom ad audio track and secondly will also interest the viewer during an ad break when most viewers either switch of mentally or are in the mute mode."

Balki adds, " The ad is also a very realistic depiction of how the youth today behaves and hence the relevance and connect value increases with the TG."

Another interesting factor about the ad is that it fails to be categorised and has a very soft, sensitive and vulnerable feel. Executed by Red Ice's Sujit Sarkar, the TVC stands out and unlike the other condom brands that usually revolve around hot, sexy temptations woven with raw desire, this one emphasises on the happiness and intimacy of the act itself.

Well, while all this might sound very sexually liberating in concept, is India liberated enough to accept this? Secondly, although condom as a product is usable by the couple and hence both essentially your TG, the final end user is the male so how relevant is it to have a TVC that is targeted at women?

Media Consultant DK Bose answers, " There are three kinds of target audience:

  • Buyer
  • User
  • Influencer

Here the woman plays the role of an influencer."

How does this campaign conceptually stand out ?

Skin has always been a crucial element of condom advertising (Moods depicts no skin). No condom category advertising has explicitly addressed and portrayed satisfaction of a woman. The woman plays the protagonist in this commercial. Bose adds, " In a direct way, a woman's satisfaction is a reflection on a man and hence the evolution of this concept."

The objective: Moods to be a market leader in the next 2-3 years

The Market pie: Focus on urban centres. Youth in general, focussed TG (23 - 35). Currently Kohinoor commands a market share of about 35 per cent followed by Kama Sutra 25 per cent and Moods as of date is 15 per cent.

The Brand: Yes, it has been growing, but has been very low key in its whole approach. Having gone through a through brand re-haul, Moods is out with 12 variants which entail flavours, scents, extra long, all night and more.

Flash Back : Moods yes underplayed itself as a brand, but apart from that one, other major hindrance was the distribution network. That has been the company's focus for a while now and Moods can now boast of the largest distribution network. Also the marketing effort had taken a dip over the last couple of years which also attributed to the status quo market share of Moods.

Discussing this with HLL's Group product manager Pradeep Kumar Balyal, he elucidates, "We are going to kick off an aggressive marketing campaign where in we will focus on large markets and distribution will be one of the key factors in taking moods to newer heights."

The media road ahead: One interesting analysis that the company undertook is looking at their TG's lifestyle closely and looking at the different avenues of communication individuals are exposed to as well as welcome throughout the course of the day.

The 1st comprehensive phase plan for Moods is as follows

The southern arena::

SS Music:

Presenting sponsorship of Hot Hotter Hottest - Mon-Sun (2300) hrs

Associate sponsorship of Backwards - Mon to Sun ( 2100 hrs )

Associate sponsorship of Gaana Bajaana - Mon to Sat ( 2200 hrs )

Jaya TV

Kalki, Ethir Neechal, Tamil Feature Films

Raj TV

Branding of Moods Neram for 6 weeks (Moods Neram till October 3rd Sat/ Sun feature from 9 Oct till 18 Oct)

Vijay TV

Presenting sponsorship of 6 movies of adult content

every Saturday at 2300 hrs with opening and closing credit line.

India Vision

Co-sponsorship of 10 episodes of Arokya Vijarana

ETV Kannada

Associate sponsorship of ETV News for 6 bulletins at 2030 hrs.

Associate sponsorship of Bhanamathi for 10 Episodes on Saturday/ Sundays at 2230 hrs


Co-sponsorship of news at 2230 hrs for 5 weeks

Co-sponsorship of Nammitammil at 2100 hrs for 5 weeks

ETV Telugu

Associate sponsorship of 4 Sunday night movies.

Associate sponsorship of 4 news bulletins at 9.00 PM.

The rest:

Zee Cinema:

Double Maaza (associate sponsorship).

Ek Ka Teen Platinum (associate sponsorship)


Associate sponsorship of Sportscentre news for 8 weeks.

Associate sponsorship of Harsha Unplugged for 7 weeks.

NDTV India

8 weeks associate sponsorship of Raat Baaki on NDTV India

Star Movies

4 weeks associate sponsorship of Saturday After Dark at 2300 hrs.

4 weeks associate sponsorship of Romantic Sundays at 1400 hrs

Star Gold

Presenting sponsorship of Special Gold for 4 weeks and Monday Gold for 2 weeks associate sponsorship of Jhankar Beats for 2 weeks


MTV Select - associate sponsorship for 8 weeks.

Associate sponsorship of Graveyard Shift for 8 weeks.

Airing of Moods commercial clock for 90 days.

Fashion TV

Associate sponsorship of Midnight Hit for 1 month.

Well if one looks closely at the placement of these ads, it is seen that most of them are very strategically placed on adult content programming and also crosses over a mass of channels. Very intensive with a lot of focus. Also, there seems to be a lot of stress on the southern market as the company sees a lot of potential there.

Speaking to Initiative Media associate vice president Mahesh Motwani, he says, " We have tried to build a frequency going by the 'recency theory' so as to maximise and sustain brand recall value as well as visibility for a longer period of time."

The mapping of the TG has led for Moods to adopt the 'push strategy' by constantly reminding the TG to go and buy and sample the product.

Says Motwani, " We need to change the rules in this category in terms of more focussed promotion on television."

An interesting fact is that Condom as a category was not very active last year on TV. The only active brand on TV being 'Harmony', which was launched in 2003. The entire category accounted for about Rs 70 million for the period April - March 03-04 as compared to Rs 82.5 million overall clocked in Apr-March 02-03. The dip is attributed to television networks objecting to carrying condom ads.

Looking at the condom advertising spend as a category in print, the figure is about Rs 40 million, which has remained consistent over the last two years.

The whole marketing blitz that Moods has undertaken definitely seems impressive and concentrated, but the million dollar question still is, will the woman be convinced and play her role in this whole campaign as expected? Or will the Indian man be touched by the whole concept to satisfying his woman? I mean after all, how many women do you know who are vociferous about their preference of their favorite condom brand if there is one at all and how many men do you know who are titillated by intimacy and compassion?

But all said and done, the winner is the one who makes a mark. What kind of mark is not necessarily relevant, the point is to make one. Moods for sure is bang on, on that one.

Well all in all, aggressive and all out is the current Mood of the brand. Maybe, just maybe, we might hear the Indian women in time sing Leann Rimes' My baby gives me satisfaction, My baby gives me all his love.

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