Horlicks is all set to sell itself as the health drink which has been ‘proven’ to make kids ‘Taller, Stronger, and Smarter.” A teaser underscoring the proposition is on air currently and a 360-degree campaign is to hit the markets soon.
The claim is based on research conducted by a group of independent group of nutritionists and scientists, and the health drink major claims that the study is endorsed by the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad. 869 kids of a boarding school in Hyderabad, in the age group of 6 to 16 years, were part of the study, said Shubhajit Sen, GM-Marketing, Nutritionals, Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Healthcare. Addressing media persons in Chennai on Wednesday, he said, “This is not a marketing gimmick. It has been proven and the new pack of Horlicks will carry the unit saying ‘Proven – Taller, Stronger, Sharper’.”
One half of the sample of 869 kids were given Horlicks and the rest were given an ‘Ordinary health drink’, according to the spokesperson. “Because it was a boarding school, it was possible to control the environment. All the kids were given the same food, and went through the same levels of physical and mental exercise. Tests were conducted at the end of four months, eight months and 14 months.”
To questions from the media on possible counters to the company’s claims of ‘clinically proven’, the spokesperson added that the method of evaluation was the international standard ‘double blind test’, where neither the kids nor the researchers knew which set of kids had been given Horlicks.
On the new campaign, he said, “For the first time, we’re doing a teaser campaign. We’ll be spending quite a bit on media. We’ll be creating a 360 degree campaign around the proposition including school contact programs and medical marketing programs.”
The ad spends on Horlicks was said to be in the region of 7 to 8 per cent of revenue from sales. The second set of ads for the campaign would be 60-seconders, and the teaser playing currently is a 30-second spot. Sen added, “Generally, TVCs are in the region of 20 to 30 seconds but since we have much longer story to tell, we decided to have a 60-seconder.”
Some pertinent contentions from the media present included that since the identity of the ‘Other health drink’ was not known, the claim of ‘Taller, Stronger, and Smarter’ was without a frame of reference. But the micronutrients that Horlicks has, promise to deliver on these counts fro kids, said the company spokesperson.