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Age no bar for fairness creams

24-August-2004
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Age no bar for fairness creams

Did someone say beauty lies only in the eyes of the beholder? These days, it also lies in the hands of Indian cosmetics majors who are leaving nothing to chance to make women look prettier. And innovation seems to be the name of the game in the Indian cosmetics industry today. For the first time comes a fairness cream that’s specially created for married women in India. Called ‘Lever Ayush Poshak Cream’, it has just entered the Rs 950-crore mirror-mirror-on-the-wall market for fairness products.

After an extensive market research, Lever Ayush, the healthcare brand of Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL), has just launched this brand, the first of its kind fairness formula for 30-plus women, claims HLL business head consumer health care Vipul Chawla. And to announce the new launch, Lever Ayush is currently beaming a high-voltage television commercial with a tagline “Kunwari nichari tvacha....barson ke baad—35 going on 25?”

Designed by Chlorophyll, a brand consultancy, the commercial portrays a housewife’s longing to look as fair and beautiful as she looked on her wedding day.

As for the rationale behind the new launch, Mr Chawla explains: “With the help of insights that we got from our extensive market research, we created this product that’s only targeted at married women. Playing the role of the ‘custodian of the family’ Indian women tend to neglect their looks.” Would the new launch dilute the popularity of HLL’s flagship brand Fair & Lovely? “Not at all,” says Mr Chawla. Instead, the new launch will enable HLL to target married women single-mindedly, he reasons. “It all boils down to finding out what exactly consumers want,” he adds.

Incidentally, Lever Ayush had introduced its new product in the southern states to start with. Reason: HLL’s market research has revealed that women are more conscious of their complexion in the south compared to the north. The company has plans to launch ‘Lever Ayush Poshak’ in Mumbai in the near future. To support its mass media advertising plans in eight languages, the company has opted for below-the-line activities such as ‘sampling’ exercises.

But do fairness creams really help in making women look fairer? Dr Rekha Shilpi, general practitioner in Vidyavihar, a suburb in Mumbai, opines that to a certain extent, fairness creams improve the complexion of Indian women. “What matters is they feel beautiful after using the fairness cream and that’s what counts,” she adds.

The Rs 950-crore market for fairness products is once again hotting up as lead players Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) and HLL are drawing up new gameplans to woo consumers. HLL’s arch rival, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd has recently relaunched its ‘FairGlow’ with value additions.

With the colour of competition intensifying in this segment, who will emerge the fairest of them all? That’s the million-dollar...er...Rs 950-crore question!

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