CategoryA03. Best Use of Live Events, Stunt and/or Celebrity Endorsement
EntrantBBH Mumbai, INDIA
Entrant Company:BBH Mumbai, INDIA
PR/Advertising Agency:BBH Mumbai, INDIA


Name Company Position
Partha Sinha BBH Managing Partner
Subhash Kamath BBH Managing Partner
Russell Barrett BBH Creative Head
Santosh Ramakrishnan BBH Copy
Siddhesh Sapte BBH Art
Abhimanyu Khedkar BBH Brand Partner (Account Management)
Asparsh Sinha BBH Brand Partner (Account Planning)
Kanishk Kabiraj BBH Brand Partner (Account Management)
Sushma Joseph BBH Executive Producer (Film)
Sameer Satpathy Marico Marketing Head
Sushrut Pant Marico Category Head
Avik Chatterjee Marico Brand Manager

The Campaign

Nihar Naturals Coconut Hair Oil is a challenger hair oil brand in West Bengal, India. While the brand had been growing, it had still not embedded itself into the cultural fabric of the land. This was blunting its challenge to the older, more established hair oils of the land. Our campaign was developed from the cultural insight that though the Bengali woman’s roles are no longer limited to the kitchen, or home, the media that introduced her to these opportunities, continued to stereotype her through those roles. The time was ripe to make a larger social comment and appropriate it as the brand voice. We tempered the aura and charm of our brand ambassador – film actress Vidya Balan, with the wit and satire of folk-band Chandrabindoo – to create an unbranded music video and song, which we followed with a branded 35 second ad spot a few weeks later. Thereby going from ‘brand authority’ to ‘cultural authority’. Results: Over 6 months post campaign, the brand has grown by 20%YOY in absolute volumes, with remarkable gains from competition brands. INR 50 million of earned media visibility from the music video alone.

The Brief

Our core audience of the brand is the ‘progressive’ Bengali housewife. India has a large percentage of women who are home-makers or housewives, and not all of them are as forward thinking or astute enough to evaluate how personal care advertising talks to her. Our research told us that the Bengali housewife has been moving ahead with the - far more informed, aware and astute. Unlike previous generations, her roles and responsibilities are no longer limited to the kitchen, or the home. However, the same media which has introduced her to these opportunities, continues to stereotype and patronise her.


Over 6 months post campaign, the brand has grown by 20%YOY in absolute volumes, with remarkable gains from competition brands. INR 50 million of earned media visibility from the music video alone with the song played on 3 radio stations, and the music video watched on YouTube and across 7 TV stations during the campaign period, free of cost.


The music video and the song placed across Youtube, the band website, 3 radio stations & 6 TV stations, free of cost, of course, with coverage of the press conference and the video across local dailies. Kolkata, the capital of Bengal was abuzz with the collaboration of Chandrabindoo with Vidya Balan and comments on the YouTube link flowed in. Despite being a niche audience (housewives with intermittent access), fans of the band downloaded the song 25000 times, a record of sorts. The combined duration of the unbranded campaign was 3 months (Jan to March 2011) on radio TV & the internet. This was followed, as planned by the TV spot, a 35 second ‘branded’ version of the music video, which ran from March to May 2011.

The Situation

Our brand strategy was clear. In order to counter the trust and weight of the heritage brands of the land we needed to embed Nihar Naturals Coconut Hair Oil within the popular culture of Bengal, so that it drove change, and did not just reflect people’s lives like every other brand was doing. And in doing so, become a cultural force, rather than just a popular hair oil. Broadcast advertising is not the best medium for making a social comment. We needed this comment to become a part of popular culture first.

The Strategy

We planned the campaign as two-pronged. 1) A PR driven music video and song launch and drive which saw two huge cultural icons – the folk band Chandrabindoo & film actress Vidya Balan, our brand ambassador come together and basically have a lot of fun. The music video and song were kept completely unbranded. This was also the launch of Vidya Balan as the brand celebrity and the first time that the audience would see her in this avatar. 2) This was followed by a TV spot, which was envisioned as an edit of the music video + a brand new ‘branded’ section to drive recall. The important thing was that we kept the music video and song completely unbranded but used a limerick style chorus around the product ingredients – coconut & fenugreek. We springboarded from this chorus in the TV spot to explain Nihar’s philosophy and intent.