Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series highlighting cause marketing campaigns from around the world called ‘Global Voices’ and brought to you by Your Public Interest Registry. We hope our team of international contributors will shed insights into cause marketing in their home country and inspire you to expand your own purpose-driven horizons.
Two brands in India have interestingly found a common solution to promote better education through stronger hair. Nihar Naturals – a hair oil brand owned by Marico and Clinic Plus – a shampoo brand owned by Hindustan Unilever (HUL) are both nourishing the cause of girls’ education through separate cause marketing campaigns.
Healthy, stronger and longer hair is considered to be a sign of good health, good parenting and even empowerment. Both these brands are banking on the emotional quotient of the value their respective products add among their primary customer segment – women.
Nihar Naturals, a hair oil brand in India launched a campaign called ‘Chotte Kadam – Pragati ki Aur’ (Small Steps Towards Progress) which supports children’s education. The campaign aims to provide a platform to its customers (mostly women) to take small steps to enable brighter future for underprivileged kids. This campaign launched in 2012 commits to donate 2% of all sale proceeds from ‘Nihar Shanti Amla’ to Child Rights and You (CRY), an Indian charity working on child rights for over 3 decades.
Marico recruited popular Indian film actor Vidya Balan as campaign ambassador and launched a television commercial featuring her.
In an official press release campaign ambassador Vidya Balan said, “While women take care of their families with utmost dedication, Nihar Naturals is allowing them to be part of something larger as they can use their choices to contribute to the cause of children’s education. All they have to do is buy a bottle of Nihar Naturals, and they will be taking a step towards changing a child’s life. This is truly a brilliant initiative that has been crafted only for the women, and to empower them to contribute to the development of India.”
The campaign has supported over 36,000 children across 10 States in past 2 years.
Clinic Plus has focused on changing mindsets and behaviours to reduce girl dropouts from schools. Launched on Mother’s Day last year the campaign advocates for keeping girls in school for an extra year. The campaign titled – M se Maa, Maa se Mazbooti (M for Mother, Mother for Strength) highlights the role of a mother and her strength in making her daughter’s life better. A television commercial launched as part of the campaign depicts how a mother convinces her family to extend her daughter’s education by one year every time there’s a hurdle.
Srirup Mitra of HUL, says, “Our motive is not only to educate a few girls, but take a step towards strengthening the future of India. As a brand Hindustan Unilever believes in making a difference at the ground level and contributing to the consumers’ lives. Clinic Plus is the third most trusted hair care brand in the country, we want to further nurture this relationship by enabling every mother with the power to fulfill her daughter’s dream”.
In addition to radio and television outreach Clinic Plus also launched on-ground activities in partnership with charity partner Plan India. It reaches out to mothers in Plan India communities and builds awareness on girls’ education. Clinic Plus took the initiative further by recently announcing a scholarship programme for girls’ education.
Both the brands use different tools and approaches to support a common social goal. While both the campaigns score well on media and outreach there’s room for improvement on tracking and disseminating progress and impact for both.
Parvinder Singh says
The brand narrative and connect with values through creative messaging, that engages aspiration social values are strong components in both these campaigns. The first social cause marketing campaigns targeted at masses were by the state agencies and harnessed the aspirational values of nation in the making and progress as a collective calling where new set of values of the middle class, including the lower middle class, were evoked. These association allow the product to develop a brand value which links up to larger narratives of the community around upward mobility and progress.