ItchGuard’s initial advertisements, simple and straightforward at best, with the protagonist wailing “Hai yeh khujli”, has now given way to research-backed commercials aimed specifically at non-users.
Research showed that ItchGuard already had a loyal customer base with regular communications going on for several years. The trick, therefore, was to target the non-users or those who felt it was embarrassing to use ItchGuard.
Rajesh Sonawne, Creative Director, Mudra, explained, “The existing idea – getting caught while scratching can cause embarrassment to oneself / one’s significant other – came under the scanner. All communication over the years on this platform had exhausted its appeal. While it did get us trials and loyalists thereafter, it was not working on the fencesitters, people who perceived ItchGuard as a serious remedy for a serious problem not suffered by them. Ironically, a product that prevented embarrassment actually became an embarrassing product to ask for at the counter.”
Thus, it was only natural for ItchGuard to have worked on commercials that were necessarily different in theme and tone from its earlier ones. One of the tasks was to make ItchGuard more acceptable as a product and less embarrassing.
Elaborating further Sonawne said, “The challenge was to redefine khujli – i.e. give it a newer, more universally acceptable casualness. This had to be lifestyle-related and not a physiological condition that many can discount.”
It was clear that if ItchGuard was to acquire a desirable persona, it would automatically transcend any condition-related imagery and become acceptable to non-users too.
Sonawne added, “The creative spark came in the colloquial expressions people use to talk to each other about getting started on any activity – ‘Chal ho ja shuru’. Since highly active people, i.e. our protagonists, would be seen as achievers, they would colloquially be addressed as ‘Guru’. Hence, the tie-up: ‘Guru Ho Ja Shuru’. And the counter ‘Guru Phir se Ho Ja Shuru’ for the condition and product connect.”
Three target groups were reached through the three different commercials – college goers, children and office-goers. While it was felt that office-goers and children could be addressed in a similar vein, college-goers needed a different way of addressing.
Through a catchy phrase like ‘Haath hai yahaan’ and the questioning ‘Haath hai kahaan’, the commercial conveys that using ItchGuard will ensure freedom from itching and freedom to use hands for various activities.
The new commercials of ItchGuard have been a welcome change from its erstwhile simple tone and is hoped to strike the right chord with the consumers.