How Vicks’ purposeful advertising led to Lions & 12 mn consumers in 2 years

The second digital film in the Vicks #TouchOfCare campaign – called ‘One in a Million’ – has won 2 Bronze Lions in the Creative Strategy and Film Craft categories at Cannes Lions 2019. Brand P&G has 4 more shortlists at Cannes Lions 2019 and is hoping to bag a few more Lions before the festival concludes.

The ‘One in a Million’ film tells the story of Nisha, an Indian girl who suffers from a rare genetic skin condition, called Ichthyosis. The campaign captures her journey of transformation through the love and care of her adoptive mother, Aloma. Conceptualised by P&G and Publicis Singapore, and produced by Offroad Films Mumbai, the campaign propagates the idea of giving unconditional love and care to people beyond biological relationships.

Both the campaigns have received an overwhelming response and have clocked close to 65 million views on digital platforms. Additionally, the awards and accolades received by the campaign both in India and abroad have given P&G the confidence to move forward with purposeful brand communication in the future.

It is a proud moment for Ritu Mittal, Country Marketing Manager – Personal Health Care, India Sub-continent, P&G, as she said, “#TouchOfCare is very close to my heart as I’ve been a part of the campaign since the very inception. This campaign is about real people like Nisha and Gauri and about their extraordinary journeys of care. As a brand, we wanted to tell these stories to a larger audience and have a positive impact on society. Acting as a force for good, being recognized at prestigious festival such as Cannes indicates that our efforts have been in the right direction.”

Mittal further said that the #TouchOfCare campaign is the beginning of a new journey for brand Vicks. With 2 films already released, the brand is now looking to doing more films in the future. There are some elements that she believes are an inherent part of the communication of the campaign while it remains consistent with the broader communication of Vicks.

“#TouchOfCare is about real people and their extraordinary stories. It is about family care beyond blood ties. Vicks is a 128-year old brand loved by millions of consumers around the world. The very root of the brand is solving problems via the touch of care. When you ask a consumer to visualise Vicks, they immediately think about a moment of love and care like when their mom applied Vicks on them and gave them relief from their cough, cold or breathing problems. That’s the legacy of the brand.  In India, we have been present for 75 years and if you pick up any piece of advertising from 25 years back or even 50 years back, you will see elements of consistency. You will see the same endearing moments of care between a mother and child; between a caregiver and a person in need. What #TouchOfCare does is strengthening this legacy and taking it one step further. #TouchOfCare broadens the definition of family and family care in this modern world. Our concept was rooted in the legacy and purpose of the brand but made more contemporary at the same time,” Mittal elaborated.

She further added, “While the element of consistency is important for any brand, it is important to keep reinventing to stay contemporary and keep evolving with time.”

Also read: Vicks as a brand has always been about Touch: Ritu Mittal on #TouchOfCare

On opting for long format storytelling at a time when brands are increasingly looking at telling impactful stories in 10 seconds or less, Mittal explained that while Vicks experiments with all ad formats, the story was so powerful that it demanded a long format to do justice to these extraordinary people who had demonstrated such unconditional love.

When asked whether purposeful advertising was the way ahead for brands of the future? She replied, “If we look at our consumers, deep in India or globally, there is a growing trend that they want to buy brands that are socially responsible and act as a force for good. They don’t want to buy into functional advertising, that’s for sure. When I talk about Vicks, this has definitely worked for us. #TouchOfCare is all about bringing the purpose of the brand to life, strengthening the equity of the brand and making it more relatable to the modern mom. At the same time, it has helped us in the business. In the last 2 years, we have added close to 12 million consumers in India; we have achieved the highest market share. This is an indication that consumers today are rewarding brands that are acting as a force for good and a force for growth. 

I think this will become a bigger trend going forward. This form of advertising that is rooted in the purpose of the brand will definitely go a long way in strengthening equity of the brand, winning hearts and connecting with the consumer.”


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