Hindustan Lever Ltd. (HLL) is understood to have made a whopping expenditure of close to Rs 8-9 crore on the new Fair & Lovely fairness soap within a month of its launch. This expense on advertising and promotion is exceptionally high for a product launch in a soap category.
Industry sources say that this investment in media spend for a single product, within the given duration, is said to be extraordinary as, usually, the expenditure comes to about Rs 2-3 crore. The move is in line with the company’s recently pronounced strategy to invest disproportionately behind key brands, amongst which Fair & Lovely ranks high.
While HLL did not comment on the investment behind the promotion of Fair & Lovely fairness soap, the multinational has gone all hog to promote the soap which is an extension of its popular fairness cream brand “Fair & Lovely”, on the same USP.
HLL has used, by and large, all media to promote the Fair & Lovely soap. These include print, hoardings and television, with the frequency of the spot ads being quite high on a daily average. The advertising of Fair & Lovely soap, created by Lowe Lintas & Partners, talks about fairness “like the moon”.
On television alone, the total spend (based on the individual channel rate cards) comes to about Rs 15 crore in March. On Sony Entertainment, the rate amounts to about Rs 5 crore during the month, with the spot ads covering over two hours of channel time. On Zee, the spot ads of Fair & Lovely soap totalled almost an hour, for about Rs 2 crore by the rate card.
The soap was also advertised on regional channels like Udaya TV, Gemini, Sun TV, Surya and Eenadu, among others.
Fair & Lovely’s equity was extended to a fairness soap as competing brands in the category were posing a threat. Godrej’s Fair Glow fairness soap has already garnered 1.4 per cent share of the total soaps market in India. Fair & Lovely is a premium soap priced at Rs 15. Even though Fair Glow has the first mover advantage in this segment, industry observers do not rule out the tremendous growth potential which a Fair & Lovely soap has on the back of a strong mother brand. Fair & Lovely fairness cream is the market leader in the fairness creams market with an 80 per cent share.