‘Biggest marketing plan was to get SRK as brand ambassador’

Somasree Bose Awasthi, Chief Marketing Officer, Godrej Consumer Products, spoke to e4m about the launch of ‘Godrej Magic Bodywash', and its rational and sustainable strategies

by Kanchan Srivastava
Published - July 26, 2022
4 minutes To Read
‘Biggest marketing plan was to get SRK as brand ambassador’

Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) has emerged as one of the top FMCG companies in India, which has been working towards reducing its plastic footprint and adapting corporate sustainability. The company has recently rolled out a new offering branded as ‘Godrej Magic Bodywash', a ready-to-mix body wash.

The innovation aims to encourage consumers to reduce their use of plastics and make sustainable choices for other daily life activities, company officials say. The product has been manufactured with 16 per cent plastic, and 44 per cent lower carbon emissions and diesel consumption. 

Campaign objective

Is GCPL looking to acquire new consumer segments through the newly launched bodywash, which is being projected as an affordable liquid soap?

Awasthi responds, “GCPL is already catering to 1.5 billion people across the world with our complete range of personal care and other products. During the COVID-19 pandemic, people wanted to use some of our categories, like liquid handwash, but the cost factor deterred them. Then we slashed the price of handwash by ?.”

“We had earlier launched the ready-to-mix handwash, and now we have come up with Godrej Magic ready-to-mix bodywash. Magic bodywash reduces carbon footprint and is an upgrade to handwash. We wanted to make these categories accessible to people albeit in a sustainable way,” she explains.

If the product succeeds, the company will focus on more innovation and research to come up with more sustainable products, Awasthi told e4m.

Marketing plans

The biggest marketing plan was to get a brand ambassador for the bodywash, says the GCPL official.

“Shah Rukh Khan was our natural choice because he is the most influential character today. People aspire to emulate SRK. The interesting part is, people know about his humble background and hence associate with him and the characters he plays,” Awasthi said.

“SRK has a huge fan following among men, women and children. He has a universal appeal that is suitable for our bodywash meant for all genders. In the advertisement, SRK mocks himself. How many actors can do that? Only SRK can make a mockery of himself. Through our product, we wanted to promote environment-friendly practices. Today, consumers are also concerned about climate change and sustainability. SRK is the right person to promote a product that is good for the environment.”

Other promotional activities

GCPL has planned 360-degree media campaigns spread across TV, digital and print. An interesting mix of outdoor campaigns is also on the cards, says the CMO.

“To drive awareness on plastic pollution, we have committed Rs 100 crore. This money would be spent in the next three years in research and development programmes to come up with new eco-friendly products, and also to associate with NGOs to help drive awareness about plastic waste,” Awasthi said. 

On inflation

How is GCPL dealing with inflation that is hurting the businesses not only in India but across the world?

“In some categories, we are forced to pass on the rising input cost to consumers, without compromising the quality. If you compromise on quality, consumers will leave you forever. We miniaturize the sachets. At the same time, we focus on innovation to cut out the frills, by reducing plastic - as in the case of Magic Bodywash. This helps cut costs on fuel and packaging,” Awasthi explained.

GCPL continues to be the market leader due to its rational strategy, she noted. “Consumers are affected by inflation, so we are trying to find new ways to keep catering to them.”

Digital Spends

GCPL spends nearly Rs 800 crore a year on advertising. The company partnered with advertising-technology company InMobi last year to boost digital marketing capabilities.

Many FMCG companies have contemplated trimming their advertising and promotion budgets due to factors like inflation and the falling rupee.

When asked about GCPL’s measures in this regard, Awasthi said in a guarded response, “With the decline of the COVID pandemic, things like hand sanitisers have gone. However, consumption of media has gone up in digital and is still growing. We are chasing consumers wherever there are. We are increasing our digital presence but we can’t share any statistics due to the silent period (Q1 results are slated to be announced soon).”