Tribal DDB’s website for Itchguard takes the humour route for an awkward problem

Tribal DDB’s website for Itchguard takes the humour route for an awkward problem

Author | Shikha Saroj | Tuesday, Mar 14,2006 8:05 AM

Tribal DDB’s website for Itchguard takes the humour route for an awkward problem

Itchguard’s website, which recently won two bronzes for Tribal DDB India in the Interactive category at the recently announced Asia Pacific Ad Fest, promises to break away from all the awkwardness that surrounds itching.

CVS Sharma, Country Head, Tribal DDB India, said, “The Itchguard work gave a completely new dimension to the way the brand has been projected and perceived. Winning these awards proves that good work not only serves client’s business goals but also gets creative recognition.”

Meera Sharat Chandra, National Creative Director, Tribal DDB India, added, “Not just this award winning work, but most of the work produced by Tribal this year has been outstanding. Though we had not submitted too many entries, we were sure these had the potential to make the mark. We are delighted.”

Discussing something as embarrassing as itching is not easy, considering the awkwardness of the very act. One could of course, talk about the solutions for the embarrassing problem through in-your-face ads that showed the before and after effect on using certain skin creams that relieved itching. However, these ads really made the problem even more embarrassing by highlighting the social boycott that itching attracts.

What followed was the challenge to make Itchguard from the house of Paras being seen as a product that addressed the very private problems of the consumer. However, this had to be communicated in a manner that was interesting yet openly talked about the delicate condition of itching.

Tribal DDB India took up the challenge to delve a little deeper into the consumer psyche and found a meaningful role that the online medium could play in the lives of the afflicted. For Tribal DDB, the delicate condition of itching and that irritatingly unstoppable urge to scratch led to yet another quantum leap on the insight – the more private the problem is, the less solvable it seems; the more secretive you are about it, the less likely you are to find a simple cure for it.

These insights led to the birth of that openly talks about the problem by making fun of scratchy situations. The idea was to make the consumers pick up a tube of Itchguard without being worried about onlookers. The site is educative as well as entertaining and is built on humour. The site has a chronological perspective on how the itch has followed man through the ages.

Said Sharma, “When you enter the site, a gamut of interactive options welcome you as a user to just loosen up and have some fun. Itch-barrassing is a section where people can share/post their most itch-embarrassing moments. This helps in making the problem no longer one that you have to combat on your own. Full of hilarious confessions, this makes for a frank dialogue on a medium that gives you as much confidentiality as you find comfortable. Great reading allows for subliminal messaging and that is the insight we worked with here.”

The Itchy Gifts section is full of full of crazy gifts that help one scratch. With witty copy and funny audio effects, this section promises to draw laughs. Itchy Asanas talks about why the sages didn’t invent these asanas before Tribal DDB did. The section has different types of yogic postures to help one reach that elusive, out-of-reach scratchy part of one’s body. These are proprietary exercises that would put the world’s best contortionists to shame, with a series of must-follow instructions said in a typical nasal twang of a yoga master.

Itchy Cards are online musical cards for all itchy occasions. If you see someone scratching and find it odd to say it, then just mail it. Each card comes with a customised message, for a customised occasion and a customised relationship. These are harmless ways to tell someone to stop scratching in public. The site’s Itchy Game is where players can hit the ceaseless, habitual scratcher with spoiled tomatoes and rotten eggs in 60 seconds.

Sharma said, “We stopped at nothing. Even the privacy policy and disclaimer are in tune with the site’s mood. Every funny part of the site has been made as a viral, allowing the online crowd to mail it to each other either as a funny or even as a serious message. We’re confident that with its comic quotient being so high, these virals would spread across the online population and be the most talked about topic on blogs, chats and dialogue rooms.”

Chandra said, “The site has been planned with user experience as the main driver. Everything revolves around the consumer, his mindset, and his psyche. As a company committed to wellbeing, Paras has encouraged us in this pro-active initiative, placing their faith in our judgement of its viral power and its education-via-entertainment value to consumers. This is Tribal DDB India’s first foray into 100 per cent humour as a solution to a rather serious consumer insight and this makes the message so easy to understand.”

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